Chapter 9: Trivia for Wine Nerds

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What is the difference between a Ruby and Tawny Port?

Ruby and Tawny are both Port wines. The difference is found in the amount of time both has spent aging in casks prior to blending and bottling.

Ruby Port is younger, has spent less time in the cask, perhaps only a few years, and has retained more of its natural color, and sweet, fruity characteristics from the grapes. As a result, its colors are more of a deep, ruby color.

Tawny Port has aged longer in the cask, sometimes as long as 20 years, and as it matures, more of its color fades to a brownish, tawny color. In addition, its flavors are less sweet, have have deeper, more complex, characteristics.

November 17, 2017 / by / in
How much alcohol is typically found in a wine?

Wine usually contains between 10% and 14% alcohol by volume. Dessert and fortified wines usually contain more. In accordance with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, and Firearms (ATF), a wine must have no more than 14% alcohol, else it is classified as a “high fermentation wine”, a term that applies to most dessert (e.g. Muscat) and fortified wines (e.g. cognac and port).

November 17, 2017 / by / in
What are the laws that regulate the shipment of Oregon wines?

Each state has its own set of rules governing the shipment of wines to and from that state.

Oregon is a “Reciprocity” state, meaning it has passed legislation allowing shipment of wines to and from other Reciprocity states with few restrictions. This doesn’t mean consumers can send wine through US Mail — that’s illegal — but it does mean consumers in Oregon (or other Reciprocity states) will have an easier time purchasing from wineries, and shipping to their home.

Other states have much stricter regulations, to the extent of making shipping wine a felony crime! is not an authority on shipping laws. We would advise anyone concerned about Oregon shipping laws to contact the winery from which they wish to purchase wines.

Additional information can be found at the following Web addresses:

November 17, 2017 / by / in
Is it still an “Oregon” wine if it is made from grapes grown outside Oregon?

To be labeled an Oregon wine, at least 75% of the wine’s grapes must have been grown in Oregon. In some cases, a wine can be labeled under two states, such as “Oregon/Washington”, though there are strict rules governing the labeling of such a wine. There are Oregon wineries that produce Washington appellation wines, and vice versa. The area in which the grapes were grown determines the appellation of the wine.

For more information on appellations guidelines, please visit the following Web address:

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