Exclusive online extract from Kevin Zraly- Which wine regions in the world produce the best wines?

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'Windows on the world - wine journal' (published by Sterling publishing) is a diary of wine experiences, from the basics of wine, to how to taste like a pro and how to store you wine, written by Kevin Zraly.

Continuing our exclusive online series from the world's best wine authors, here is an extract on the best regions in the world for wine.

What are the best places for Cabernet Sauvignon?
BORDEAUX, FRANCE (MEDOC)
RUNNER-UP—CALIFORNIA
In my opinion the best wines of the world are the Great Chateaux of Bordeaux. The primary grape of the Medoc wine is Cabernet Sauvignon. These are not only the best wines for investment, they are some of the best wines to age. With thousands of Chateaux, there’s plenty of wine to choose from at all different price points.

 What are the best places for Pinot Noir?
BURGUNDY, FRANCE
RUNNERS-UP—OREGON AND CALIFORNIA
Burgundy is a region deep in history and tradition. Vines have been planted there for over a thousand years, and the sensuous Pinot Noir is the only red grape allowed (other than Beaujolais). The only problems with a great Pinot Noir from Burgundy are it's price tag and availability.

What are the best places for Riesling?
GERMANY
RUNNER-UP—ALSACE, FRANCE
Many professionals and wine connoisseurs believe that the best white wine made in the world is Riesling. It is definitely one of the best wines to go with food, especially with lighter-style fish dishes, such as sole and flounder. 
I still think that the consumer is confused by the Riesling grape variety and thinks that all Rieslings are sweet. The reality is that 90 percent of all Alsace Rieslings are dry, and most of the German Rieslings I would classify as off-dry or semisweet. Even though I probably drink more Alsace Rieslings than German Rieslings, the diversity of style of the German wines—dry, off-dry, semisweet, and very sweet—is the reason I would rank German Rieslings as the best in the world.

What are the best places for Sauvignon Blanc?
LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
RUNNER-UP—NEW ZEALAND
The Sauvignon Blanc produced in the Loire Valley is best known by its regional names, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. The best of the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are sold under the producer’s name. The stylistic differences between the Sauvignon Blancs of the Loire Valley and New Zealand are striking. While both Sauvignon Blancs are medium in body with high acidity, and while both work well with fish and poultry, the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have what some would call a very aggressive tropical citrus bouquet that you either like or don’t like, which continues in the taste. I like it!

What are the best places for Chardonnay?
BURGUNDY, FRANCE
RUNNER-UP—CALIFORNIA
As much as I like the best producers of California Chardonnay, the elegance and balance of fruit, acidity, alcohol, and oak in a white Burgundy wine are unmatched in the world. From the non- oak-aged Chablis to the barrel-fermented and barrel-aged Montrachets, to the light, easy-drinking Macons and the world-famous Pouilly-Fuisse, there is a style and price for everyone.

What are the best places for Merlot?
BORDEAUX, FRANCE (ST-EMILION, POMEROL)
RUNNER-UP—CALIFORNIA
The great chateaux of St-Emilion and Pomerol both produce wines made primarily of the Merlot grape. The major difference between the two is the price and availability. St-Emilion is a much larger region than Pomerol, with many more chateaux, offering a better price/value relationship than Pomerol. So for my money I’d go with St-Emilion, based on its lower price and also because today it is the most progressive of all the Bordeaux wine regions.

What is the best after-dinner wine?
PORT
You don’t need to drink a lot of Port to get the full enjoyment. One glass of this sweet and fortified (20 percent alcohol) wine ends a meal with a satisfying taste.
Most of the Port that I consume—whether it be Ruby, Tawny, or Vintage—I drink between September and March, the cooler months in the Northeast. For me, the best way to enjoy Port is when it’s twenty degrees (or colder) and snowing outside—after the kitchen and all the dishes have been cleaned, your children are tucked away into their dream world, and you are sitting in front of your fireplace with your golden retriever by your side!

Windows on the world - wine journal by Kevin Zraly is available to buy from amazon.co.uk