Quick Wine Facts and Fun stuff.


Facts about Bordeaux Wines.

Top producers will go to extraordinary measures to protect their grapes. Famous examples include Petrus drying out the vines with a helicopter during the 1987 harvest or Château Figeac circulating the hot air above the vines in spring 2017 to prevent frost damage.
As a result, in Bordeaux, you need to know your vintage. Good vintages seem to come every five years, sometimes two years one after another. Good years include: 1995, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016.

World’s Earliest Wine

by Mark Berkowitz
Archaeological Institute of America


Residue on a potsherd dating to the time of the first permanent settlements in the Middle East suggests that wine-making began 2,000 years earlier than previously thought. The sherd, ca. 7,000 years old, came from one of six two-and-one-half-gallon jars excavated two decades ago from the kitchen area of a mud-brick building in Hajji Firuz Tepe, a Neolithic village in Iran’s northern Zagros Mountains. Using infrared spectrometry, liquid chromatography, and a wet chemical test, Patrick E. McGovern and a team from the University of Pennsylvania Museum found calcium salt from tartaric acid, which occurs naturally in large amounts only in grapes. Resin from the terebinth tree was also present, presumably used as a preservative, indicating that the wine was deliberately made and did not result from the unintentional fermentation of grape juice.


Analysis of the Hajji Firuz Tepe sherd comes in the wake of two other recent discoveries of early wine-making in this region where grapes grow in the wild. Residue from a jar from Godin Tepe, in the nearby middle Zagros Mountains, was dated to 5,100 years ago, until now the earliest evidence of wine-making.


Our Best Sangria Recipe.

Sangria, the fresh fruit wine cocktail with roots firmly planted in Spain, delivers some serious party punch with a squeeze of fresh citrus and your favorite budget-friendly wine. The beauty of the basic Sangria recipe is that it is as delicious as it is easy, and it only gets better as you spice it up with your own tasty additions! Really, it is hard to add the “wrong” ingredient here, think favorite fruits, spice and liquors.
Chill and enjoy!
Click here for the Best Sangria Recipe

Blue Wine

There’s red wine, white wine, even pink wine, but now there is blue wine. Wine with a blue tint targeting the millennial wine drinkers, is about to hit the markets in Europe. A combination of anthocyanin (a pigment found in grape skin) and indigo dye is what produces the blue tint.
Everybody knows that red wine is for red meat, white wine is for white meat, and rosé is for shell fish and vegetables. But what about blue wine? What go with blue wine? Well the creators of blue wine the Spanish company Gik Live suggest pairing the wine with sushi, nachos with guacamole, pasta carbonara, and smoked salmon.
Blue wine has 11.5% alcohol content and is a blend of red and white wines from Spanish and French vineyards. How does it taste? According to the owners “Surprisingly, when we did a blind tasting, just one of 15 people said it was a wine. Among the reactions we found some people even saying it was a soft drink!”
Might be a good selection for a halloween party, but it does seem cruel to do this to smoked salmon.

What are the top five wines to bring to a party?

First of all try to pair the wine with the foods being served. For a dinner party, pair with the main course and then the dessert. For a cocktail party, find bottles that have a wide appeal to most audiences, Cabernet Sauvignon or Riesling are safe choices. Are you attending an afternoon garden party? Choose a wine that is a little lighter or possibly bubbly. For an evening party select a bigger, bolder bottle.
The most important thing is to go with what you like! If you’re the host of the party, then it’s a chance to introduce your guests to all of your favorite wines, use it as an opportunity to try something new!
Shiraz. It’s fruity and fantastic, and slightly unknown so it will be a plesant surprise to those who don’t know it. Shiraz has blackberry flavors topped with vanilla which makes it a true crowd pleaser.
~ Suggested price: $12
Rieslings are perfect garden party wines. Fruity and light, best served chilled, and almost everyone is familiar with them. Some of the best ones come from Oregon, which is the king state of Reisling in the U.S. and has that classic fruity, floral taste.
~ Suggested price: $15
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cab traditionally has dark chocolate and blackberry aromas and the deep red-purple color. Everyone seems to love Cabernet, even the wine novice and it pairs with most foods especially meat with barbecue sauce.
~ Suggested price: $20
Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc goes a long way. It’s not fancy, and it won’t impress the wine snob quest, but it will taste great. It’s got fresh, springy aromas like lemon and green apple that make everyone smile.
~ Suggested price: $12
Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is just plain cooler than most wines, hipster wine drinkers will love this wine choice. Some of the best Chenin Blancs are from South Africa and they are simply delicious. A little bit drier but with a slightly more lush, fruit flavor than the Sauvignon Blanc.
~ Suggested price: $15

China increases tariff on wine from the U.S.

China has retaliated against the U.S. for trade actions on aluminum and steel. Effective as of April 2nd China has increased the tariff on wine imported from the U.S. by a whopping 15%. The total tariff on a bottle of U.S. wine is now 67.7%.
Other countries such as Chile, Georgia and New Zealand export their wine to China tariff-free and only pay the 27% combined tax rate and Australian wines will be tariff free starting in 2019.
China is an important market for California wines. The tariffs put on wine create a tremendous price disadvantage for U.S. Wine Producers and runs the risks of long-term disruptions in U.S. sales of wine to China at a time when popularity of U.S. wine with the Chinese people is at an all time high.
One of the fastest growing wine markets in the world is China. Wine exports to China from the U.S. have increased 450% in the past decade. U.S. and in 2017 reached $197 million.

The correct way to open a bottle of Champagne.

Don’t allow the cork to pop loudly – remove the foil and the wire, gently twist the bottle while holding the cork firmly allowing it to release with a muted thud that says  ‘I am a person of the world’, not a loud explosion that says ‘I have learned all I know about champagne from an episode of “Friends”…

Find out more about Champagne >

Think luxury goods. Think leather. Think wine.

Think wine leather – a simulated leather made from grape skin and grape seeds.
Combining two great Italian excellences: Fashion and Wine. It is the new way to be fashionable and eco-friendly at the same time. This new material, in the form of garments, bags and fashion accessories, will launch this October in Milan Italy.
VEGEA is a bio-material obtained from the processing of the fibers and vegetal oils contained in grape marc: a totally natural raw material consisting of the grape skins, stalks and seeds derived from the wine production.
The research is focused on the development of innovative bio-materials, to be used in fashion & design Industries in order face the growing demand for green and animal free products. Work on the wine leather project began in 2014, in cooperation with several Italian research centers and the University of Florence.
Simple Wine Math.
From 26 billion Liters of wine per year produced worldwide, resulting in 7 billion Kilograms of grape marc that can potentially produce 2.6 billion square meters of Vegea, every year. Businesses outside the wine and fashion industry may also be interested. BMW already produces a car with vegan interiors, as does Buick, Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen and others.

Wine and weight loss

Did you know a glass of wine a day could actually help boost your weight loss efforts? Studies have shown that those who drink moderately have smaller waists then those who drink infrequently or not at all.
The alcohol encourages the body to burn more calories. This can happen for as long as 90 minutes after you enjoy your glass of wine so you can burn more calories than you have consumed. It becomes easier to create a calorie deficit in the body, meaning that you can actually lose weight.
It is important to drink in moderation. Also the benefits come from drinking a glass or two a day when you follow a healthy and balanced diet. This doesn’t work if you snack while you’re drinking or if you drink more after those glasses of wine.
It’s best to stick to wine with your meal to really get the benefits. You’ll soon find that your weight loss efforts are much easier.
Read more…everything-need-know-benefits-drinking-wine

Millennial Women Drink Almost Half the Wine in America

According to a report on the US wine market conducted by the Wine Market Council, young people in their 20s and early-to-mid 30s now drink almost half the wine bought in the US. And, get this: among high-frequency wine drinkers under the age of 30, women are out-purchasing men two-to-one when it comes to wine.
According to Wine Spectator, the report also says that the wine that Millennials are drinking is not their parents’ wine: it is from more diverse regions, it’s more expensive, and it is more likely to be sustainable and organic.
Read more…

History: Wine as Medicine

The first wine drinkers were in Central Asia, West Asia and Egypt, and from there, wine drinking spread all around the Mediterranean Sea.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School reported that red wine has anti-aging properties. Specifically, resveratrol was the compound found to have the beneficial effect. The resveratrol in wine comes from the skins of red grapes. Blueberries, cranberries and nuts are also sources of resveratrol.

Doctors used wine for medical purposes. Egyptian and Sumerian doctors used wine and wine vinegar alongside opium as an anesthetic for operations and childbirth, and as a base for herbal medicines. Hippocrates, in West Asia, also used wine to clean wounds and bandages, so they wouldn’t get infected.
“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.”
― Louis Pasteur

Islam forbade all Muslims to drink alcohol, and preferred opium as an anesthetic for surgery, though some Islamic doctors still used wine to disinfect wounds. In medieval Europe, wine remained very popular both for drinking and for medicine, especially as opium stopped being available.

Bourbon Barrels for Wine?

Can this be a current trend of the wine world? We always hear about “aged wine”, wine that ages in a barrel for some time. But aging wine in an old Whiskey barrel, are you serious?
Its true, now barrels that once held bourbon or whiskey are being refurbished and used to age wine. They are charred for aroma and flavor. The popularity of “bourbon barrel wine” is growing, and will definitely be a topic wine lovers will talk about in the future. So will you take a walk on the wild side and try this type of wine?
We tasted a Zinfandel aged in old Bourbon Barrels it revealed subtle whiskey flavors, jammy dark fruit, smokiness, with a hot bourbon finish. Worth a try.
Read More >

Why Harvest wine at night?

Harvesting at night, in cooler temperatures, produces better wine and is very popular with the pickers. Instead of suffering under a punishing sun and they bundle up a bit for the night chill. Chilly grapes are firmer grapes, so there’s less possibility of the grapes bruising during the harvesting process.
Also the sugar levels in the grapes are more stable at night, and the acid levels are better. Winemakers include a step in their process called “cold soaking”, where the grapes are cooled to slightly below 55 degrees for several days before the fermentation begins. Picking cooler grapes at night makes the process of cold soaking faster and less expensive.

Chinese Character for Wine

Chinese writing has been evolving for over 4,000 years with many of the characters approaching aesthetic perfection. They are wonderful designs combining sounds, calligraphy and meanings.
The Chinese character ‘jiu’ with the general connotation ‘wine’ on a wooden Japanese sake cup. The left part of the character, three strokes, indicates ‘liquid’, the right hand part indicates a wine vessel.

“Do not allow an empty goblet to face the moon”.

Wine Toasting

Why do we click glasses before we drink? Clinking wine glasses is a time-honored tradition we do without thinking. Some believe the idea was to slosh a little bit of wine into your drinking partner’s glass to insure, they couldn’t poison you without risking dying himself.


Of the many theories we believe this one. Before clinking was invented, a toast involved four senses: touch, taste, sight, and smell. As the manufacturing of wine glasses transformed into an art, people began appreciating the fine sounds of struck stemware, and the clink was incorporated into the toasting routine. Clinking also produces a sense of community. We tap our glasses. It’s a way of saying, “we are a group and sharing a drink is a good feeling”.



Wine and Cigars

Pairing a cigar with wines;  When you’re looking for a successful pairing of wine and cigars, it is best to start with a red wine. White wines are a little too weak and can be over powered by a quality cigar.


Red wines cover a wide spectrum of flavors from earthy, fruity, to sweet, can be strong to very mild. It is important to find a cigar that harmonizes with the characteristics of the wine. Consider if the selected wine is medium or full-bodied and choose a cigar that will match the personality without overwhelming or masking the flavors. A spicey cigar works well with a full body Cabernet, a sweeter cigar, will taste wonderful with a fruitier wine with like Washington State Sangiovese. A cigar with a oily dark wrapper is perfect to match with Port wine.



Wine Collecting & Wine Storage.

Select a cool place with a constant temperature. Keep your bottles on their sides gently turning 45° every few months. Keep the temperature constant (between 45°F and 55°F for whites, and between 50°F and 64°F for reds). Store wine on its side to keep the cork moist and ensure a good seal with the bottle. Higher humidity helps to swell the cork, which minimizes oxidation. Avoid sunlight or other kinds of excessive light exposure on your wines and no vibrations…


Find out more about wine collecting and storage >



Old World traditions and why they make a difference.

The Old World style is based on traditional and sometimes antiquated winemaking practices that have been passed down through the generations. Many of these practices are now regulated by strict laws to preserve an area’s authenticity. Old World wine styles are not limited to Old World regions, winemakers sometimes create wine in New World regions with an Old World style…


Find out more about Old World vs. New World wines >



Organic Wineries? What makes them so green.

A vineyard can’t label its grapes organic until it’s completed at least three growing seasons without using chemical pesticides or fertilizer. A vineyard can’t label its grapes organic until it’s completed at least three growing seasons without using chemical pesticides or fertilizer. The legal definition of organic wine varies from country to country. The primary difference in the way that organic wine is defined relates to the use of preservatives during the wine-making process. Wine can only be labeled “organic” if it is a minimum of 90% organic.


Test your Green IQ. >


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The Oak Barrel and Wine

A typical oak barrel holds either 59 or 60 gallons. Since oak is naturally porous in nature, as the wine passes time in the barrel some evaporation inevitably takes place with about five gallons or so being lost via evaporation. This natural process results in increased concentrations of both the wine’s aromatics and flavor profile. The oak used for making wine barrels is influenced by a number of factors. Where is the barrel from? How was it dried? How was it toasted? What standard practices are employed by the cooperage that made the barrel?


Find out more about oak wine barrels and storage >