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LIVERMORE WINES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 LIVERMORE WINES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
 LIVERMORE, Calif., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Choosing the perfect


holiday gift is an annual dilemma. If it's wine you're selecting, the decision includes not only "red or white" but vineyard, varietal and vintage.
 Here are wine buying tips to make the selection process simpler. First, narrow your choice by defining geographic boundaries. Choose a specific growing region that consistently produces high quality wines within your price range. Instead of looking at France, look at Bordeaux. Rather than considering California, consider Livermore. This way when you enter a store, you already know where to head.
 To determine the geographic region, consider two major factors that affect the quality of a wine: soil and climate. For instance, Livermore has gravelly soil and a climate that mixes coastal fog with hot, arid temperatures. These elements lend a natural balance to the region's consistently high-quality wines. Similarly, Bordeaux features gravelly alluvium and an equable climate, facilitating the production of its internationally-recognized wines.
 Second, choose the varietal of your liking and research it. Take Chardonnay (unquestionably this year's wine of choice). All Chardonnay vines cultivated on the West Coast originate from a patch of vines that survived Prohibition on Wente Bros.' Livermore estate. While history does not necessarily affect taste, if all the others are clones, why not buy the original?
 Third is the question of cost. Two theories come to mind: 1) good wine is expensive, and 2) all wines under $25 taste the same. Neither theory holds true. Know your limits in terms of budget. With today's competitive market, there is a wide range of premium wines available for under $25. If you choose a geographic region and a specific varietal, chances are good that you will find a diversity of affordable wines. In Livermore, for example, you can find premium Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Merlot and more -- from leading U.S. wineries including Wente Bros., Concannon and Murietta's Well -- all at reasonable prices.
 Finally, the most obvious advice is to taste. If you have access to the vineyards, go directly to the source. Or take part in tastings held at the local wine stores. Tastings are designed for consumers and are an ideal opportunity to learn more about what you're buying.
 So if you're starting to stress about choosing holiday presents, take these tips and relax. Wine is an easy way to delight many on your list.
 -0- 11/10/92
 /CONTACT: Chanin Cook of Paige Poulos Communications, 510-528-0665/ CO: Wente Bros.; Concannon; Murietta's Well ST: California IN: FOD SU:


LD -- NYHFNS28 -- 9040 11/10/92 07:11 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 10, 1992
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