Drinkipedia
Rachis
Rachis is the name for the skeleton of branched stems which gives a grape bunch or cluster its shape. The rachis isn't obvious when covered with grapes, but very obvious after the grapes have been removed by mechanical harvesting. The mechanical harvester literally shakes the berries right off the vine, leaving the naked rachis still attached. (Wine/Other)
Rackhouse
A rackhouse (also known as a rickhouse) is a structure that holds barrels of alcoholic beverages during the aging process where barrels are typically stacked on their sides, often up to several stories high. Barrels at the top of the rackhouse age at an accelerated pace due to evaporation at the heights higher temperatures, the converse is true for barrels at a lower level making for many variations barrel to barrel. Windows, air circulation, light, and rackhouse location will all cause variables in the barrels contained within. Typically producers will blend barrels from various locations to achieve the desired character. (Spirits/Production)
Racking
Racking is the process of draining a beverage from a holding tank in order to separate it from the sediment that has collected at the bottom. This also serves to aerate the the beverage. (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Production)
Racking
Racking, in beer, is the transfer of beer from its primary fermentation vessel to a secondary one for continued fermentation and maturation. (Beer/Production)
Rakau
Dual-purpose hop that provides a big, fruity character and significant bitterness. Aromas include fig & stone fruit, apricot, and resinous pine. Used in IPAs, Pale Ales, and Belgian-style Ales. Similar to Amarillo and Summit, but more intense. Previously known as 'AlphaAroma'. Commercial examples of Rakau include: Summit Saga IPA. (Beer/Hops)
Ramos Gin Fizz
Also known as a Ramos Fizz, the New Orleans Fizz was created in the late 1800's by Henry C. Ramos in New Orleans. The cocktail became so popular that by the 1915 Mardi Gras celebration Ramos' 35 "shaker boys" could not keep up with demand.

This classic cocktail is one to add to your list of drinks to know, but remember to shake it really well to ensure the egg is completely mixed. In fact, your best fizz comes from shaking until it hurts. (Spirits/Cocktails)
Rancio
Rancio is a tasting term to describe the nutty, buttery, candied fruit flavor of Sherry and other wines. It is indicative of oxidative aging. It is pleasing and desirable flavor and is not to be confused with the spoiled taste of "oxidized wine." (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Tasting Terms)
Rapel Valley
Rapel Valley is a large production zone within Chile's Central Valley, located appropriately enough in the center of the country. Rapel contains two very important valleys: Cachapoal and Colchagua. For years, there were many many wines exported from Chile that had a Rapel Valley origin; these wines, white and red, were value-oriented, made in an approachable style with modest tannins for the reds and little or no oak for the whites. For many consumers, these wines were their first introduction to Chile's wines, many of them from some of the country's best known estates. Today, while Cachapoal and Colchagua have become better known and more highly regarded, Rapel Valley is not seen on wine labels as in the past, but it is still a reliable name for honest, well made Chilean wines with very good varietal character. Production is primarily red - especially Cabernet Sauvignon - but Sauvignon Blanc is also a leading variety. (Wine/Appellations)
Rasteau
Rasteau is a relatively new appellation in France’s Rhone Valley, named for the hamlet a bit north of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Previously the red wines were sold as Côtes du Rhone Villages, but in 2010, the wines from this village were given a separate appellation and can now be sold simply as Rasteau.

The grapes used include Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, as with all Rhone reds. Medium-bodied to medium-full, these wines have ripe, forward berry and plum fruit with sleek, medium-weight tannins; these should be consumed within 5-7 years with roasts, stews and aged red cheeses.

Rasteau is also known for a sweet red known as vin doux naturel, produced from Grenache; this was first produced by local vintners in 1944. These wines are produced from vineyards that are more than 50 years old and thus have very small yields. Alcohol is added to the must to create these fortified wines, which contain between 15% - 18% alcohol. These wines age for more than a decade and are usually served after dinner on their own. (Wine/Appellations)
Rattlesnake Hills
The Rattlesnake Hills is a sub-region of the Yakima Valley AVA, centered on the city of Zillah. These hills form the northern boundary of the Yakima Valley and there are roughly 1,500 acres under vine. Elevations range as high as 3,000 feet, making this the highest point in the Yakima Valley. The heightened elevation creates a significant diurnal range and also helps to mitigate the dangers of frost damage. The Morrison Vineyard was the first planted in the region in 1968, by Chateau Ste. Michelle, as a source for Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. (Wine/Appellations)
Ravat
Ravat was a French hybridizer of wine and table grapes. Ravat produced many hybrids, but is best remembered for Ravat 262, which is still grown commercially. (Wine/People and Places)
Recolte
"The wine crop" in French. (Wine/Other)
Red Hills
The Red Hills Lake County AVA is one of seven AVAs in Lake County, just north of Napa County. Red Hills is entirely enclosed within the Clear Lake AVA; Red Hills is south of the city of Kelseyville and borders Clear Lake, at the northern end of the Mayacamas Mountains. The Red Hills zone is situated atop a local magna strain, as these are numerous ancient volcanoes in the area. Soils naturally are volcanic, with deposits if gravel and quartz; many are deep red in appearance. Vineyards range from 1350 feet to 2600 feet above sea level; 3200 acres of vines are planted. Daytime temperatures at these heights are moderated by Pacific Ocean breezes; this situation is beneficial for preserving acidity in the grapes. Red varieties are dominant, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel and Syrah being the most successful, while Sauvignon Blanc also performs well in these soils. Many of the Cabernets here have relatively soft tannins and are value priced below $20. (Wine/Appellations)
Red Layer
The red layer is a caramelized layer of wood in an oak barrel that is a result of charring. (Spirits/Production)
Red Meritage
Meritage (rhymes with "heritage") is a term coined in California to describe a blended wine made with Bordeaux varieties. While there could be a white Meritage, the term generally refers to a red wine, thus made with any combination of five grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

Established in the 1980s, the concept of Meritage wines was initially greeted with a good deal of fanfare, but today, that excitement has waned. Most of the 100 plus wineries that make a Meritage-style wine are in California; many do not even use the term on the label, preferring their own fantasy name.

Meritage red wines age similarly to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and are best paired with red meats and game. (Wine/Classification & Attributes)
Red Mountain
Red Mountain is the smallest appellation in Washington State at only 4,040 acres in total area. Of this land, a shade over 700 acres are planted on southwest facing slopes. Red Mountain is a sub-region of the Yakima Valley, and it is neither red, nor is it a mountain, but rather a rolling set of hills with elevations between 500 and 1,500 feet. The region was first planted in the 1970s by John Williams of Kiona Vineyards and Jim Holmes, originally from Kiona and then Ciel du Cheval Vineyards.

This is typically Washington's warmest and sunniest wine-region and as such has a formidable reputation for red wines. Daytime highs in the growing season average 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures typically plummet 40 degrees or more. This diurnal range creates an extended growing season and helps to preserve the grape's natural acidity.

The result is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah that tends to be concentrated, tannic, and firmly structured. Classic examples are best with bottle age and have shown the capacity to cellar for 20 years or more. Many wineries are located in the region, with Hedges, Kiona, and Col Solare among the most prominent. Red Mountain grapes are also sourced by wineries around the state, with the Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, Kiona, and Tapteil Vineyards frequently supplying highly rated, cult favorites. (Wine/Appellations)
Red Snapper
This cocktail is another highly modifiable hair of the dog. Originally just a moniker for a Bloody Mary, Red Snappers are now known as the gin alternative to the classic brunch cocktail. (Spirits/Cocktails)
Reduced
Reduced is a term describing an oxidation state which is the chemical opposite of oxidized. A taster may describe a wine as having "reduced" notes. In wine, as in drinking water, the reduced state is usually recognized by the obvious smell of rotten eggs or struck match. (Wine/Other Classification & Attributes)
Redwood Valley
Redwood Valley, is one of the ten AVAs of Mendocino County in northern California. Situated in eastern central Mendocino, the climate is rather cool, given its distance from the Pacific; a gap in the coastal ridge allows Pacific breezes to pass through to this area. Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera and Syrah benefit from these conditions and are among this valley's finest wines. The best whites include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris (Grigio) and Chenin Blanc; in general, these wines have very good acidity, and excellent varietal purity. (Wine/Appellations)
Redwood Valley, Mendocino
Redwood Valley, is one of the ten AVAs of Mendocino County in northern California. Situated in eastern central Mendocino, the climate is rather cool, given its distance from the Pacific; a gap in the coastal ridge allows Pacific breezes to pass through to this area. Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera and Syrah benefit from these conditions and are among this valley's finest wines. The best whites include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris (Grigio) and Chenin Blanc; in general, these wines have very good acidity, and excellent varietal purity. (Wine/Appellations)
Refermentation
Refermentation is the continued action of yeast on available sugars in beer or wine, after primary fermentation, in another vessel, bottle, keg, or cask. (Beer,Wine/Production)
Regional Verdicchio
Verdicchio is the main white grape of Italy's Marche region on the Adriatic coast. The finest examples are bottled as Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and are typically crisp and refreshing in style with subdued citrusy aromatics. They work well with seafood and as an aperitif. (Wine/Grapes)
Regions
see Climatic regions. (Wine/People and Places)
Regnie
Regnie is the newest of the Beaujolais crus, having been added in 1998. This appellation has the reputation of being among the best to drink in youth. The hillside vineyards produce extremely aromatic and enticing wines with limited capacity to age. (Wine/Appellations)
Rehoboam
A rehoboam is an oversized wine bottle, equivalent to six 750 ml bottles. (Wine/Service)
Reims
Reims is the beautiful cathedral city in northeastern France. Along with the town of Epernay, Reims is the commercial center of the Champagne region. (Wine/People and Places)
Remember The Maine
In 1898, sensationalist journalists used the phrase “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain” in response to the mysterious sinking of a U.S. naval ship, The Maine, off the coast of Spanish-occupied Cuba. This cocktail surfaces in Charles H. Baker’s “The Gentleman’s Companion: Being an Exotic Drinking Book or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask." (Spirits/Cocktails)
Repeal
When used in the context of alcoholic beverages, repeal referrs to the end of the prohibition experiment in America. The 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment, which had prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages for human consumption. The date of repeal was December 5, 1933. (Wine/Other)
Residual Sugar
Residual Sugar, or RS, is a measure of the sugar left in a beverage after the alcoholic fermentation is completed and a is key to the sweetness. (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Tasting Terms Classification & Attributes)
Resin
Resin is the aroma and flavor prominant in Greek Retsinas wines. It is caused by the addition of small amounts of resin to the fermentation. Tavel rosés and American Grenache-based rosés display a greater or lesser degree of resinous odors, while not actually having had resin added to them. Many spirits, beers and meads may also have a resinous character. (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Tasting Terms)
Resins
Resins are the substances in hops which deliver the bitterness characteristics via alpha acids. (Beer/Classification & Attributes)
Respiration
Respiration is the process whereby plants use oxygen to burn fuel (usually sugar) to create energy for their own growth, development and fruit production. These same reactions are used by animals except that animals take in oxygen through lungs, whereas plants absorb it through leaf pores and by diffusion of dissolved oxygen across membranes in leaves and roots, etc. (Wine/Other)
Restrained
Restrained is a tasting term used to describe the character of the aromas and flavors of a beverage. A restrained beverage may be one with rich and beautiful flavors that are not very powerful or intense. It is generally used in a positive sense indicating a more elegant and less "flashy" style of beverage. (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Tasting Terms)
Retsina
Retsina is a historic Greek table wine, deliberately held in contact with pine resin for flavor and, originally, to help preserve the wine. (Wine/Classification & Attributes)
Rhein
Rhein is the German spelling of Rhine, the well-known wine river which runs northward along Germany's western boundary. (Wine/People and Places)
Rhein
Rhein is a "tafelwein" designation indicating tablewine-quality wines from the Rhein-Mosel subregion. (Wine/Appellations)
Rheingau
The Rheingau district in Germany is located along the banks of the Rhine River, just north of the city of Wiesbaden in the central western section of the country. Although total production represents less than 5% of Germany's total, the Rheingau is one of the most famous wine regions in the world. Legend has it that Queen Victoria enjoyed wines from this area during her reign.

Most, but not all of the vineyards are planted on the banks of the river, with some a bit inland. The vineyards closest to the river feature slate soils, giving the wines a noticeable minerality. Riesling is far and away the leading variety here, representing more than three-fourths of the plantings. Other varieties include Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder and Kerner.

A typical Rheingau Riesling displays flavors of apricot and peach, unlike the petrol and white flowers notes of a Riesling from the Mosel. The Rheingau district spans for about 30 miles along the Rhine River; famous wine towns include Eltville, Rauenthal, Hattenheim and Winkel.

As the Rheingau has a celebrated name, the Rieslings from the finest producers here are more expensive than many other German regions. However, the prices are generally reasonable, especially as they are usually based on the size of production as well as the aging potential, as even a Kabinett offering, basically an off-dry wine, can age well for up to a decade in the best vintages. (Wine/Appellations)
Rheinhessen
The Rheinhessen wine region of Germany, is located just south of the Rheingau, along the Rhine River. It is the largest wine region of Germany, with more than 65,000 acres of vines. The climate here is mild, as temperatures are moderated by breezes from the river as well as nearby forests.

While Riesling is the most widely planted variety in the Rheinhessen, it is not as dominant as in other German regions. In fact, red varieties account for almost 30% of plantings here; these include Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) and two unusual reds, Blauer Portugieser and Dornfelder, which is often made into a sweet red wine.

As with other wine zones along the Rhine, temperatures are moderate, resulting in wines of very good acidity and structure. Although Rheinhessen wines are not as famous as those from other German regions, the quality is among the best in the country. The finest examples of Riesling can age for a decade or more, while Sauvignon Blanc, with textbook herbal flavors, is an up and coming wine in this area. (Wine/Appellations)
Rheinpfalz
Rheinpfalz (or simply Pfalz) is one of Germany's most important wine regions. Located in far southwestern Germany, a bit south of the Rheinhessen district, it is the second largest wine region, trailing only the Rheinhessen in terms of acres under vine. More than 6000 vintners produce wine in this region.

This is a continental climate, one that can be rather warm during the summer growing season. Conditions are generally fine for grape growing, as winds from the nearby Vosges Mountains, situated to the west, help moderate temperatures in the Rheinpfalz. While Riesling is the leading variety planted here, it only accounts for about one-quarter of the total. There are more than twenty other varieties that flourish in this region, including Kerner, Müller-Thurgau and Sauvignon Blanc for whites, and Spatburgunder, Blauer Portugieser and Merlot for reds.

The most common wines from the Rheinpfalz seen outside of Germany are Rieslings; ranging from dry to very sweet, these are among the most terroir-driven in all the country, with expressive notes of apricot, peach and yellow spice. As with the finest examples of Riesling produced in Germany, these wines can age for many years, from five to seven (or longer) for dry wines, to more than two decades for the sweeter versions. (Wine/Appellations)
Rhine
The Rhine is a famous wine river in Germany. It is also the name given to all German wines produced from vineyards near the Rhine river. (Wine/People and Places)
Rhine Wines
Rhine wines are any of the group of wines grown in regions along the Rhine river. These include Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Mittelrhein and Palatinate (or Pfalz). (Wine/Other)
Rhone
The Rhone is the major river in southeastern France, flowing from Switzerland to the Mediterranean. It is also the name given to the wines produced from vineyards along that river. (Wine/People and Places)
Rhone Valley
There are really two Rhônes, the north and the south, which should be thought of as two regions with differing climates, producing distinctively different wines from different grape varieties. In the cooler north, vineyards only prosper on dramatically steep slopes and the wines they produce are among the most concentrated and exotic in the world. Bottlings from appellations such as Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, and Condrieu can command high prices and are in short supply. It is these appellations that supply the Rhône's most sought-after wines.

Directly south, two hour's drive along the highway from the northernmost Côte-Rôtie sector of the Rhône valley, the onset of the southern Rhône heralds a change in climate and the graduation to the more dramatic and colorful southern French landscape. Here, the sprawling Côte-du-Rhône vineyards and highly distinctive "rock desert" vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape produce large volumes of wine of much more variable quality. Potentially, the southern Rhône offers the best possibilities to the selective, value-conscious consumer looking for everyday affordability. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the producers) in recent years sharp price increases have been seen in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the most glamorous of the southern Rhône's sub-regions, and these estate wines are often not quite the bargain they were a few short years ago. (Wine/Appellations)
Rhum
Rhum is alternative spelling for rum. It implies rum made from fresh sugarcane in the French Caribbean style. (Spirits/Classification & Attributes)
Rias Baixas
Rias Baixas, meaning "lower estuaries" or "rivers" is one of Spain's most famous and well loved DO wine regions. Located in the Galicia territory in the northwest sector of the country, this is white wine territory, with Albariño being the principal variety. Albariño is actually blended with other local varieties (regulations call for a minimum of 70% Albariño in these wines) such as Treixadura and Loureira; each adds a subtle character to the wine that would not be found in a mono-varietal Albariño. Approximately 90% of the plantings in Rias Baixas are Albariño.

A well made Albariño has a straw color with brilliant golden tints, with expressive perfumes of orange blossom, pear, apricot and yellow flowers. Medium to medium-full on the palate, most examples are aged in steel tanks, in order to highlight the charming aromas, though some producers opt for barrel fermentation and/or maturation. These are ideal wines to savor on their own or be paired with shellfish (Galicia is famous for its mussels and clams) or soft cheeses. Most examples, thanks to their good natural acidity, drink well for three to five years or longer; expect to pay anywhere between $12 and $40 for Albariño on retail shelves. (Wine/Appellations)
Ribbon Ridge
Ribbon Ridge sits 22 miles southwest of Portland, four miles northwest of Dundee and 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Ribbon Ridge is contained within the larger Chehalem Mountains AVA – which is contained with the Willamette Valley AVA. In 1980, Harry Peterson-Nedry planted the first wine grapes on Ribbon Ridge at his Ridgecrest Vineyards. Two years later, the first commercial vineyard was established with the planting of 54 acres of Pinot noir and Chardonnay. It was Yamhill Valley Vineyards who first used these grapes to make wine in 1985. Other vineyards were soon planted on this relatively small ridge. The appellation became official in 2005.

Geographically, Ribbon Ridge is a 3.5-mile long by 1.75-mile wide ridge that extends from the Chehalem Mountains. The ridge rises 683 feet from the Chehalem Valley floor, giving it an island-like appearance. Protected by geographical features to the north, south, and west, Ribbon Ridge’s grape-growing hillsides are slightly warmer and drier when compared to the adjacent valley floors. Ribbon Ridge’s moderate climate is well-suited for early grape growth in the spring, consistent and even ripening over the summer and a long, full maturing season in the fall.

The Ribbon Ridge region contains primarily sedimentary soils that are younger, finer and more uniform than the alluvial sedimentary and volcanic soils of neighboring regions. These moderately deep, well-drained silty-clay loam soils are part of the Willakenzie soil series and are of low fertility and ideal for growing high-quality wine grapes. (Wine/Appellations)
Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero is one of 69 DOs (Denominacion de Origen) in Spain; this production zone is situated in the north central section of the country, with Leon and Burgos being the main cities. The red wines of Ribera del Duero (named for the local Duero River) have received great acclaim over the past thirty years, with critics extolling the virtues of the richness and aging potential of these wines.

The principal variety is the local grape Tempranillo (also known as Tinta del Pais or Tinto Fino); this accounts for 90% of the plantings. Other varieties used in a Ribera del Duero include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Most vineyards are situated between 1000 and 2300 feet above sea level; this means limited yields, as well as less direct sun exposure, which preserves acidity for structure.

Only barriques of 225 liters (or less) are allowed for aging. A crianza version of Ribera del Duero must be aged for a minimum of one year in oak, while for a riserva, minimum aging is three years, with one year in cask. Finally for a Gran Riserva, minimum aging is two years in oak casks and three years in the bottle. The riserva bottlings are the highest quality and longest-lived versions of this wine; some of these offerings drink well after two to three decades. Acidity is quite good and tannins, while rich and not overpowering. Thanks to reviews in the mid-to high 90s for the best examples, expect to pay between $50 to $250 a bottle. (Wine/Appellations)
Ribera del Jucar
Ribera del Jucar is a DO wine zone in the Castilla-La Mancha wine region in central Spain. It was awarded the DO designation in 2003; previously it was part of the large La Mancha wine zone.

Vineyards are planted some 2500 feet above sea level; soils are a mixture of clay and pebbles. These high elevations provide for moderating cool conditions in this warm area, while breezes from the hearby Jucar River also provide relief from the torrid heat.

As with most DO in central Spain, Tempranillo (known as Cencibel, locally) is the leading variety, accounting for more than 50% of total plantings. There are also small percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, along with the local Bobal, while white varieties – in very small numbers – are lead by Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel.

Vintage reds are labeled as crianza, as with many other Spanish wine regions; those bottled after a minimum of four months of oak aging can be labeled as Vinos Tradicion Jucar.

The red wines dominate the exports, and are generally value priced, between $10 and $18. Those priced higher offer greater complexity and age worthiness; serve these wines with aged beef or grilled lamb. (Wine/Appellations)
Rice In Beer
Rice is a unmalted adjunct to beer, typical of popular American light lagers, used as a cost-effective contributor of alcohol. (Beer/Ingredients)
Richebourg
Richebourg is the best known and highest quality vineyard property in the Vosne-Romanee commune of Burgundy's Cote de Nuits. It has the highest classification of Burgundy, "Grand Cru" even though it is the second largest wine property of Vosne. (Wine/People and Places)
Rickey
The Gin Rickey is a classic mixed drink. This highball is very simple (gin, lime juice and club soda) and is very refreshing and a good alternative to a Gin & Tonic.

The story goes that the drink was created at Shoemaker's in Washington D.C., a popular hangout for Congressmen. It was named after Colonel "Joe" Rickey, a lobbyist who died in 1903 and who was known for entertaining elected officials in the area lounges. (Spirits/Cocktails)
Riddling
Riddling is a technique of the traditional Champagne production process. It is the moving of sediment to from the bottom of a bottle to the neck. Today the process is largely done by machine, but historically the process was done by hand. Bottles are placed neck down in a special rack called a pupitres. Over the period of several weeks a worker periodically twists each bottle encouraging any sediments to loosen from the glass and be moved by gravity to the neck of the bottle. When the whole process is finished, the sediments in the neck of the bottle are frozen and ready for degorgement. (Wine/Production)
Riesling
Although many consumers believe Riesling is a sweet wine, there are all types, ranging from bone dry to ultra-sweet. Offering a remarkable array of perfumes ranging from apricot and peach to peony and petrol, and having excellent natural acidity, Riesling is one of the world’s greatest wines.

Germany is home to the most famous examples of Riesling; produced from vineyards along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, these wines have tremendous character and minerality, owing to the slate soils these vines are planted on. Alsace, in northeastern France is another region that excels with Riesling (especially dry versions); the same is true for the Clare Valley in Australia, where Rieslings are often characterized by a petrol aroma.

Dry versions work with many different types of foods, from seafood with cream sauces to pork, veal and duck. Sweeter version should either be served on their own or with blue cheeses such as stilton or gorgonzola.

While it is safe to say that Riesling is an under appreciated wine for the typical American consumer, there has been greater popularity over the past few decades, as dry and off-dry Rieslings pair beautifully with Thai, Asian and fusion cuisine; thus Riesling is a wine directly linked to a healthy lifestyle. (Wine/Grapes)
Rio Negro
Rio Negro is a cooler climate wine region of Argentina and is the most southerly wine growing area of South America. It is situated along the Rio Negro river and is heavily influenced by its waters. Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Malbec are produced here with great results and great potential. (Wine/Appellations)
Rioja
Rioja is not only one of the most famous wine regions of Spain - it's also one of the absolute best. Proof of that is in the fact that Rioja has been recognized as a DOC, one of the few in Spain. DOC or Denominacion de Origen Calificada is a level (quality and prestige) above DOC, of which there are 69 in the country. Rioja was the first DOC in Spain; this honor came in 1988, and today there is only one other wine zone in Spain that is also DOC (Priorat).

This recent acclaim for Rioja is fitting, but in reality, praise has been showered upon Rioja for more than two centuries. It is the wine zone that most people think of when you mention Spain, and it is the Spanish wine most people grew up with in their introductory studies of the world's wine. It is a red wine (there is also a white Rioja as well as a rosé) that has many faces, but it remains a wine of great quality and breeding.


The Rioja wine region is located in the Ebro River Valley in northeastern Spain; the word Rioja is a contraction of Rio Oja, one of the tributaries of the Ebro. There are more than 150,000 acres of vineyards in Rioja, divided among three sub regions: Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. Soils vary in these districts, with Alavesa being primarily chalk, while Alta and Baja, are more abundant in limestone and clay with more alluvial soils from riverbeds. Baja is the hottest and driest of these three; as it is difficult to grow grapes in very hot years, it is not considered of the same quality as the other two districts.

The principal grape in Rioja is Tempranillo; other red grapes include Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo and Graciano. Red grapes account for 90% of Rioja's vineyards; of the 10% white, Viura is the primary variety. Rioja Tinto (red) is made in two ways: one with carbonic maceration, which produces a fresh, fruity wine with very light tannins, and the traditional red winemaking approach of removing the stalks before fermentation. The wines are aged in barriques of 225 liters, with the category of Rioja identified by the aging period. The youngest wines, which have no aging requirement, are known as Cosecha, are are released one or two years after the harvest. Next is a Crianza, wines that are in their third year; these must be aged for at least six months in cask. Then Riserva follows; these wines must be aged for at least one year in cask, with total aging time at least three years. Finally, Gran Riserva refers to wines from the finest vintages that have aged for at least two years in wood and at least three years in the bottle.

A typical Rioja has flavors of dried cherry and other red and black fruits, along with subtle tobacco and red spice notes; tannins are rich, yet rarely bitter. The oldest wines, the Gran Riservas, are the wines with the greatest complexity; some of the examples from the 1950s and '60s are still drinking well today. Expect to pay between $10 - $15 for a Crianza, $18-$25 for a Riserva and $35 and up for a Gran Riserva. Depending on the richness of the wine, a Rioja can be paired with a simple stew or an entree as robust as leg of lamb. (Wine/Appellations)
Rioja DOC
The DOC designation in Spain - Denominación de Origen Calificada - is the top rung of classifications for Spanish wine regions; it is one step above a DO (Denominación de Origen). This category came into being in 1988, following Spain's entry into the European Union. A national committee decides which DOs are deserving of being upgraded to DOC, and Rioja was the first selected in that year. It was the only DOC for the first fifteen years of its existence, before Priorat was named to DOC in 2003. One requirement for DOC inclusion is that its wines cost at least double that of the national average for DO wines.

Rioja is not only one of the most famous wine regions of Spain - it's also one of the absolute best. Proof of that is in the fact that Rioja has been recognized as a DOC, one of the few in Spain. DOC or Denominacion de Origen Calificada is a level (quality and prestige) above DOC, of which there are 69 in the country. Rioja was the first DOC in Spain; this honor came in 1988, and today there is only one other wine zone in Spain that is also DOC (Priorat).

This recent acclaim for Rioja is fitting, but in reality, praise has been showered upon Rioja for more than two centuries. It is the wine zone that most people think of when you mention Spain, and it is the Spanish wine most people grew up with in their introductory studies of the world's wine. It is a red wine (there is also a white Rioja as well as a rosé) that has many faces, but it remains a wine of great quality and breeding.

The Rioja wine region is located in the Ebro River Valley in northeastern Spain; the word Rioja is a contraction of Rio Oja, one of the tributaries of the Ebro. There are more than 150,000 acres of vineyards in Rioja, divided among three sub regions: Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. Soils vary in these districts, with Alavesa being primarily chalk, while Alta and Baja, are more abundant in limestone and clay with more alluvial soils from riverbeds. Baja is the hottest and driest of these three; as it is difficult to grow grapes in very hot years, it is not considered of the same quality as the other two districts.

The principal grape in Rioja is Tempranillo; other red grapes include Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo and Graciano. Red grapes account for 90% of Rioja's vineyards; of the 10% white, Viura is the primary variety. Rioja Tinto (red) is made in two ways: one with carbonic maceration, which produces a fresh, fruity wine with very light tannins, and the traditional red winemaking approach of removing the stalks before fermentation. The wines are aged in barriques of 225 liters, with the category of Rioja identified by the aging period. The youngest wines, which have no aging requirement, are known as Cosecha, are are released one or two years after the harvest. Next is a Crianza, wines that are in their third year; these must be aged for at least six months in cask. Then Riserva follows; these wines must be aged for at least one year in cask, with total aging time at least three years. Finally, Gran Riserva refers to wines from the finest vintages that have aged for at least two years in wood and at least three years in the bottle.

A typical Rioja has flavors of dried cherry and other red and black fruits, along with subtle tobacco and red spice notes; tannins are rich, yet rarely bitter. The oldest wines, the Gran Riservas, are the wines with the greatest complexity; some of the examples from the 1950s and '60s are still drinking well today. Expect to pay between $10 - $15 for a Crianza, $18-$25 for a Riserva and $35 and up for a Gran Riserva. Depending on the richness of the wine, a Rioja can be paired with a simple stew or an entree as robust as leg of lamb. (Wine/Appellations)
Riverina
Riverina is a massive district in the dry scrub of western New South Wales that relies entirely on irrigation for the production of wine. This is an area much like the Central Valley of California that contains large scale plantings that the big firms use to supply the major international fighting varietal brands. Indeed, Riverina accounts for 15% of the entire nation's output of Shiraz as well as a significant chunk of Chardonnay and Semillon. (Wine/Appellations)
Riverland
The Riverland is the engine of Australia's volume wine industry much like the Central Valley of California or the Midi in France. The region lies in the arid interior of the country, bordering Victoria, and is irrigated by the Murray River, without which, it could not exist.

The Riverland accounts for 50% of South Australia's wine by volume and nearly 25% of the NATION's total volume. The region has a continental climate with summer temperatures regularly exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Huge swathes of highly mechanized vineyards blanket the region and produce consistently reliable wines in almost limitless volume, accounting in large part for Australia's muscular presence on supermarket shelves the world over. Most wines form the basis of large scale blends and are labeled with the broader South or Southeastern Australia designations. (Wine/Appellations)
Riwaka
Finishing hop with intense tropical passion fruit, grapefruit, kumquat, and general citrus character. Used in IPAs, Pale Ales, and other hop-dominant ales, particularly when a "New Zealand" character is desired. Similar to a combination of Czech Saaz and Motueka. Commercial examples of Riwaka include: Epic Static IPA, Hill Farmstead beers. (Beer/Hops)
Roasted Malt
Roasted malt is barley grains that have been heated at high temperatures to achieve a particular color and flavor. (Beer/Malt)
Rob Roy
The Rob Roy is the Scotch whisky version of the Manhattan and is sometimes referred to as a Scotch Manhattan. It was named after Robert Roy MacGregor, the Scottish Robin Hood of the 18th century.

Like the Martini and Manhattan, the Rob Roy can also be made dry or perfect. Dry would use dry vermouth, while perfect would use equal parts sweet and dry vermouth. See more about this below. (Spirits/Cocktails)
Robust
A robust beverage is one that is full in flavor, body, alcohol, and/or tannins. (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Tasting Terms)
Rockpile
The Rockpile AVA, established in 2002, has only 150 acres under vine (out of 16,000 total acres in the AVA), making it the smallest in California and one of the smallest appellations in all of the US. The production zone is in Sonoma County near the town of Healdsburg; a section of the AVA is situated within Dry Creek Valley, but most of the appellation is northwest of that town. Vineyards are situated at 800 feet or higher, with some close to 2000 feet. The grapes receive plenty of heat and sun; naturally red varieties such as Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, are the principal ones of the appellation. (Wine/Appellations)
Roero
The Roero is a region of rolling hills immediately adjacent to the Langhe between Alba and Asti. The Roero was elevated to DOCG status in 2004 for red wines made from Nebbiolo and white wines made from Arneis. This is the star appellation for Arneis in particular, and the grape dominates the 2,500 acres of vineyards and 430,000 cases of wine produced annually.

While it is true that Piedmont is noted primarily for its great red wines, Arneis is the white wine of choice for the great restaurants of Alba and the surrounding villages. Arneis is a crisp, racy, high acid white that makes an excellent aperitif or accompaniment to shellfish and seafood. The wines are widely available on export markets and a number of major Barolo and Barbaresco producers source Arneis here to produce a white wine. (Wine/Appellations)
Roero Arneis DOCG
Roero Arneis is a medium bodied, low acid wine from the hills of Roero in Piedmont. Arneis means rascal in Piedmontese dialect, referring to its wily growing habits. Occasionally called 'White Barolo', this flagship white grape of the region was traditionally used for blending with and softening Nebbiolo based wines. Nowadays it shines in a varietal wine that offers gorgeous pear, apricot, and almond flavors with a generous dose of minerality. These wines tend to be un-oaked and are freshest when drunk young. Try Roero Arneis with tortilla espanola, mild curries, or ham on the bone. (Wine/Appellations)
Rogue Valley
The Rogue Valley AVA is the southernmost winegrowing region in Oregon. It’s made up of three adjacent river valleys (Bear Creek, Applegate and Illinois Valleys) that extend from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains along the California border north to the Rogue River. It is 70 miles wide by 60 miles long and encompasses the Applegate Valley.

Rogue Valley’s wine history dates back to the 1840s when European immigrants began planting grapes and eventually bottling wines. In 1852, an early settler named Peter Britt joined in on the grape growing adventure, though it wasn’t until 1873 that he opened Valley View Winery – Oregon’s first official winery. Valley View closed in 1907 (though its name was resurrected by the Wisnovsky family in 1972), then Prohibition began. It wasn’t until after an Oregon State University professor planted an experimental vineyard here in 1968 that winemakers rediscovered Rogue Valley as a superb winegrowing region. Rogue Valley became an official appellation in 2001.

The Rogue Valley is made up of three distinct valleys with progressively warmer microclimates, enabling the region to successfully grow both cool- and warm-climate grape varieties. To the west, the region is affected by mountain and ocean influences, making it suitable for some cool-weather varieties, including Pinot noir. Farther east, Rogue Valley has the highest elevations (nearly 2,000 feet) of Oregon’s winegrowing regions, but it is also the warmest and the driest, making it well-suited for warm-weather varieties including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon blanc.

Vineyards here are typically at elevations of 1,200 to 2,000 feet and are planted on hillsides rather than valley floor. Rogue Valley’s diverse landscape is derived from the convergence of three mountain ranges of varying ages and structure: the Klamath Mountains, the Coastal Range and the Cascades. This region includes the Rogue River and its tributaries: the Applegate, Illinois and Bear Creek rivers. (Wine/Appellations)
Rosato
Rosato is the Italian word for rose (wine). (Wine/Classification & Attributes)
Rosato del Salento
Roasato del Salento is a lighthearted rosé wine from Puglia's Salento Peninsula made of their flagship grape, Negroamaro. These wines are crisp, fruity, and perfect for summertime. Try a glass with Margherita pizza or linguini with frutti di mare. (Wine/Appellations)
Rose
Rose is the French word for pink table wine, now commonly used all over the world. Rose winemaking traditionally involves direct pressing of red grapes or a short period of skin contact to extract color and tannin. The two less traditional methods of production are blending finished red wine into a finished white wine or using charcoal treatments to remove the color from red wine. (Wine/Classification & Attributes)
Rosso
Rosso is the Italian word for red (wine). (Wine/Classification & Attributes)
Rosso di Montalcino
Rosso di Montalcino is the baby brother to Brunello di Montalcino. It is generally the product of younger vines or wines that do not make the cut for an individual producer's Brunello. The wines are aged for a minimum of one year, with six months of that in oak, as opposed to the much lengthier aging regime of Brunello.

Rosso di Montalcino is much more drinkable in youth and can be a charming wine in its own right. It often provides outstanding value for money vis-a-vis the increasingly pricey Brunellos. An average of 360,000 cases of Rosso are bottled per year, with that number varying widely based on the quality of the vintage and the subsequent need (or lack thereof) to declassify wines. For a more in depth analysis of the appellation consult "Brunello di Montalcino." (Wine/Appellations)
Rosso di Montepulciano
Rosso di Montepulciano is the baby brother to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It is generally the product of younger vines or wines that do not make the cut for an individual producer's Vino Nobile. The wines are aged for a minimum of six months, as opposed to 24 months for the Vino Nobile.

Rosso di Montepulciano is more accessible in youth and can be a charming wine in its own right. It often provides great value for money. An average of 220,000 cases of Rosso are bottled per year, with that number varying widely based on the quality of the vintage and the subsequent need (or lack thereof) to declassify wines. For a more in depth analysis of the appellation consult "Vino Nobile di Montepulciano." (Wine/Appellations)
Rosso di Toscano IGT
Rosso di Toscana IGT refers to a red wine produced from grapes grown in Tuscany that is not covered by DOP regulations or is not included as part of another IGT red from the region. As there are numerous IGT red wines produced in Tuscany, this designation is not seen much today, as opposed to twenty or thirty years ago. Grapes used include the local Sangiovese as well as international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. (Wine/Appellations)
Rosso Piceno DOC
Combine the sturdy sophistication of Sangiovese with the overt fruitiness of Montepulciano and you have Rosso Piceno from the Marche region of eastern italy. This is an ancient wine style that it is said Hannibal fortified his troops with when passing through the area. Temperate climates and rolling hillside vineyards contribute to this rich, smooth and balanced wine. Rosso Piceno is best consumed with rich pasta dishes or simple beef dishes that pay homage to Marche's farming culture. (Wine/Appellations)
Rosso Veronese Igt
Rosso Veronese is an unofficial term to describe certain reds from the Verona area of Italy's Veneto region. The most famous reds from Verona are Valpolicella and Amarone (a type of Valpolicella); these are labeled under their DOC or DOCG designations. If reds from here do not meet these DOP regulations, they are labeled as Veneto IGT, as Rosso Veronese is not an official designation. (Wine/Appellations)
Rotten Eggs
Rotten egg odor is emitted by a beverage rich in hydrogen sulfide; it may dissipate with aeration, but most often not in time for you to enjoy the beverage. (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Tasting Terms Chemistry & Flaws)
Rouge
Rouge is the French word for red (wine). (Wine/Classification & Attributes)
Rougeau
Rougeau is leaf reddening, caused by any of several viruses in grapevines. The virus infection seals off the leaf petiole (stem) so that the sugars produced by the leaf through photosynthesis cannot be transported back into the vine. The sugar accumulates there until the leaf, in an effort to get rid of a problem, uses it to make red anthocyanin pigment. Vines infected by these viruses have difficulty in ripening their fruit because much of the sugar the vine produces cannot be used by the vine where it needs it— in the fruit. Leafroll virus is a common example of this type of infection. (Wine/Other)
Rough
Rough is tasting term to indicate a beverage, usually a red wine, with too much tannin making it difficult to enjoy. Rough wines sometimes age well, becoming softer and well balanced wines after a few years. Other beverages may be described as rough in reference to their level of perceived alcohol or noticeably poor distillation. (Wine,Beer,Spirits,Sake,Mead/Tasting Terms)
Roussanne
Roussanne is white grape from France's Rhone Valley; it is used in the production of such white blends as Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Crozes-Hermitage Blanc and St-Joseph Blanc and sometimes even in red Rhone wines (it is permitted in small percentages) such as Hermitage and Cotes-du-Rhone.

Roussanne has exotic aromas of orange, custard, pineapple and even praline in some instances; these perfumes mean that food pairings must be very specific, as with Thai or fusion cuisine.

Roussanne has been popular with a few dozen artisan estates in California for the past two decades. It is also grown in Washington and Oregon as well as part of Southern France, such as Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. (Wine/Grapes)
Ruby Port
See Port. (Wine/Classification & Attributes)
Rueda
The Rueda DO zone is in north central Spain, just south of the city of Valladolid. Reds and whites are produced here, with the most famous being the whites made from the Verdejo grape; these highly aromatic, refreshing whites are the stars of this region, just like Albariño from the Rias Baixas zone. Other white varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc and Viura, also perform well in this territory. All in all, white varieties make up 80% of the 20,000 planted acres. A high percentage of the wines are exported to many countries; expect to pay between $8 - $20 for the whites. (Wine/Appellations)
Rulander
Rulander is a synonym for Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, or Grauerburgunder. This is a white wine grape which has just enough color in the skins to make the appearance not yellow or green, but grey. It is grown in Germany, Alsace, Italy, Switzerland and in several places in the new world. (Wine/Grapes)
Rum Punch
Jamaicans have a sweet tooth and love their rum. This drink combines sweetness, strength and a generous amount of fruit. The most popular punch in Jamaica, where it is sold under different names with slightly varying ingredients. It always contains orange, pineapple and most importantly, overproof rum. (Spirits/Cocktails)
Russian River Valley
The Russian River Valley, in western Sonoma, named for the eponymous river that glides its way through the appellation, is one of California's most famous wine districts. 15,000 acres of vines are planted her, ranging from Gewurztraminer and Syrah to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It is these two latter varieties that are the source for the signature wines of the district. While the eastern reaches of the valley near Santa Rosa is slightly warm (and this better for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) much of the zone, from Sebastopol in the south to Windsor in the north, to Guerneville in the west, is a cool climate. Fog from the Pacific Ocean permeates most of the region and the river itself moderates temperatures.

Because of these cool temperatures (Russian River Valley has some of the coldest sites in Sonoma for grape growing), the wines are intensely flavored; indeed the Pinot Noirs have very deep colors for this variety. Both wines receive small oak aging (many are barrel fermented), which adds texture and delicate spice. Chardonnays run the flavor gamut from tropical fruit (mango and pineapple) to lime and pear, many with an attractive creaminess. Pinot Noirs are quite spicy, with flavors ranging from cola to black cherry, raspberry and strawberry, often with notes of nutmeg on the nose. These wines are delicious upon release, but have the structure to age for five to seven years, longer for the Pinot Noirs.

Zinfandel is another important variety in Russian River; the wines have good acidity, with beautiful notes of blackberry and even boysenberry in certain years. Pinot Gris is becoming important, while Gewurztraminer, made in both dry and sweet styles is also a Russian River specialty. (Wine/Appellations)
Russian Spring Punch
Well balanced, complex and refreshing. Created in the 1990s by Dick Bradsell, London, England. (Spirits/Cocktails)
Rusty Nail
The Rusty Nail rose to popularity in the 1960’s and remains a favorite of Scotch Whisky lovers today. The cocktail is just a simple combination of Scotch Whisky and Drambuie- a Speyside malt based liqueur flavored with honey and spices. (Spirits/Cocktails)
Rutherford, Napa Valley
Midway up the Napa Valley lies the celebrated district of Rutherford, home to the famous Rutherford bench--a flat plain of gravelly, well-drained, alluvial soils on either side of the Napa River.

Thomas Rutherford planted the first local grapes during the mid-19th century, thus beginning the history of Rutherford Wineries. He also gave the region its name. Part of Thomas Rutherford’s original land is now owned by Provenance Vineyards.

Rutherford Wine is produced in a very similar climate as its neighbors. However, there are differences; Rutherford Wine Country is slightly warmer and local Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be a bit earthier and often requires more time in the bottle to fully develop.

Rutherford wineries produce some of the best red wines in the world, and the warm climate and well-drained soils make it perfect for growing the traditional red Bordeaux varietals.

Beaulieu and the original Napanook Estate (now Niebaum Coppola) are historic stalwarts while relative newcomers such as Freemark Abbey, Staglin, Peju, Flora Springs, and many, many more highlight a very deep "bench" of world class producers. (Wine/Appellations)
Rutherglen
Rutherglen is a big deal. Simply put, it is the home of some of the world's greatest and most historic fortified dessert wines. The area is far to the northeast of Melbourne, Australia on the border with New South Wales and is a remote, flat, sun-baked, somewhat godforsaken corner of the world.

Like much of Victoria, planting here followed the gold rush of the mid-1800s. Unlike other regions; however, the brutal climate favored heat tolerant varieties such as Muscat and Muscadelle. These were made into dessert style wines following the tastes of the era and the results were so spectacular that the region's wineries have stuck with this style of wine to this day.

Muscadelle is known colloquially as Tokay, after the great wines of Hungary and the Muscat planted had the good fortune to be the most noble in the family, the dark-skinned Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, known locally as Rutherglen Brown Muscat. Both are brought to intense ripeness under the relentless sun and then barrel aged for lengthy periods in an oxidative process that concentrates and almost cooks the wines.

They emerge deeply colored, intensely sweet, and with a complex range of exotic flavors described variously as tea, olives, butterscotch, toffee, sweet spice, and caramel. Historic wineries hold very old stocks, often known as "museum wines," that can fetch hundreds of dollars per half bottle on release.

In addition to the dessert specialties, local wineries produce Shiraz and Petite Sirah (labeled Durif) to round out their portfolios. (Wine/Appellations)