What Makes Wine Kosher?

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It is a widely held misconception that what makes a wine kosher is the blessing of a Rabbi. What actually makes a wine kosher has to do with the ingredients and equipment used to make the wine and who handles the wine. There are three requirements for a wine to be considered kosher. First, orthodox…

An Introduction to TTB

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Ever wonder who grants operating permits to wineries? Or who approves the designation of new American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)? Or who reviews and approves wine labels? All these activities and more are the responsibility of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), a bureau within the Treasury Department which plays an important role…

Maiwein (May wine)

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Has dancing around a maypole celebrating the arrival of spring left you feeling thirsty? Or are you just in the mood for a traditional springtime wine-based drink? In either case, Maiwein may be the perfect option. Maiwein (May wine) is a centuries-old beverage of German origin enjoyed in the spring, traditionally on the May Day holiday. It…

The UK “Government Wine Cellar”

Bottles of wine aging in a cellar

In late March, the UK government pulled out a few bottles from its wine collection, sold them at auction, and pocketed almost £75,000 (US $115,275) which it plans to use to replenish its wine cellar. Wait—a government with its own wine cellar? It may seem odd, but when you think about it, many a person…

Pampering Your Skin…with Wine?

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After a hard day’s work, why relax with a glass of wine when you can soak in a wine bath instead? Or have a wine body wrap? Whether you think it sounds relaxing, indulgent, or like a waste of good wine, the fact is, wine is being incorporated into a variety of spa, skin care…

US Wine Consumption Grows in 2012

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In 2012, the US maintained its position as the world’s top wine consumer as table wine consumption grew for the 19th consecutive year, according to the Beverage Information Group. An estimated 295 million cases of table wine were consumed, up 2.8% from the prior year. According to the Wine Market Council’s 2012 Consumer Tracking Study,…

Wine with a Splash of Gin?

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For variety sake, have you ever considered mixing your wine with beer? Or schnapps? Or vodka? As novel, quirky or absurd as these combinations might seem, they are not unusual. In fact, cocktails made by combining wine with beer, spirits or liqueurs are a longstanding tradition. The Black Velvet, for example, which is a combination…

Red Wine Headaches

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Do you have a friend or associate who won’t drink red wine because he says it gives him a headache? Although it might sound strange, some people have a sensitivity that makes them susceptible to headaches when they drink red wine. To learn more about the cause of “red wine headaches” and how to mitigate…

Low-Alcohol Wine

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Have you ever wondered what “low-alcohol wine” is, or how winemakers can decrease the alcohol content of wine? Here is a quick overview of wine alcohol content guidelines, the factors that influence wine alcohol levels, and the dynamics driving demand for “low-alcohol wine.” Q: What is “low-alcohol wine?” There is no universal guideline that defines…

The Origin of Champagne

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Wine has been made in the Champagne region since Roman times, but the sparkling white wine we know today was not developed until centuries later. Here’s how the wine we know and love today—which has become a fixture at holidays and special celebrations—came to be… Dom Pérignon did not invent sparkling Champagne; rather, its “fizzy…