Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Little Wine-Grape Trivia

As we see the grapes turning from green to purple, how about a little grape trivia?

What’s your favorite bit of wine trivia?

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Filed under Uncategorized, viticulture, wine trivia

Today’s Wine Word: Phylloxera

Image

With all due modesty, dontcha just love this photo? When I saw this vine displayed it confirmed something I’ve felt for nearly my whole life: that dormant vines are beautiful – they’re Mother Nature’s sculptures!

And, as an educator I love the graphic depiction of how virtually all wine grapes, world-wide, are grown.

As of the 1860s, vitis vinifera (European grape varieties – wine varieties) have to be grafted to American rootstock in order to survive. Yes, even in Europe.

Long story, short: Back in the 1800s, as French varieties came to the U.S. American varieties went to France. Some of the American cuttings that went to France carried a nasty pest, phylloxera, with them. Continue reading

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Filed under viticulture

Moscato Mania

Once in awhile I like to check the search data to see what you really want to know. And, what came in first? “What is Moscato.” Here’s a little info:

Do you have a favorite Moscato brand or Moscato pairing? Help us out!

Visit A Million Cooks for more brief videos from experts on the food you eat: Where it comes from, where to buy it and how to prepare it.

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Filed under buying wine, wine appreciation

What is Dry Wine?

no sugar

I was checking search data on the blog, hoping to find out what it is that you really want to know. The top search over the last several months is on “Moscato.” I’ve got a post on that coming right up.

What came in second? “What is dry wine?”

Okee dokee. That’s a pretty good question because it’s not cut and dried – pun intended 😉 – dryness is relative.

While, in the rest of the world dry is the opposite of wet, in the wine world dry is the opposite of sweet. I’ve noticed that a lot of folks who want to appear sophisticated about wine make a point of saying that they don’t drink the sweet stuff. Well, let me tell you, they’re missing out on a whole lot of fun because some of the most exquisite and sought-after wines in the world are sweet wines done right! Continue reading

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Filed under buying wine, wine appreciation

Decanting Wine as Entertainment

Did you know that decanting the wine is a form of entertainment here in the Napa Valley? Given that we don’t have much to talk about around here but wine and food – and food and wine – it shouldn’t be too surprising 😉

Visit A Million Cooks for more brief videos from experts on the food you eat: Where it comes from, where to buy it and how to prepare it.

Send me your wine question.  I’ll get back to you in a jiffy!

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July 6, 2013 · 7:53 pm

What Makes Wine Smell Musty?

Question from Kristy: What makes the wine smell musty? Can it still taste okay?

Reply: There are a few different reasons the wine might smell musty. And, you decide if it tastes okay. Here are some possibilities:

Maybe you chemists or microbiologists can enlighten us with some other causes?

Visit A Million Cooks for more brief videos from experts on the food you eat: Where it comes from, where to buy it and how to prepare it.

Send me your wine question.  I’ll get back to you in a jiffy!

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Filed under wine faults