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…

The Winemaking Process

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Here’s a quick rundown of the process that converts grapes to wine… 1. Crushing and Destemming: Grapes are fed into a machine which crushes them between rollers and removes the stems. The remaining mass of juice, pulp, seeds and skin is known as “must.” 2. Fermentation: Yeast converts the sugar in the must into alcohol…

2012 Thanksgiving Wine Picks

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by Jordan Salcito According to historian Kathleen Curtin at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, wine, more than any beverage besides water, is the most probable libation that Pilgrims and Native Americans consumed at the original Thanksgiving, in 1621.  Hard cider, later a New England staple, hadn’t materialized yet (no one had planted apple orchards), and beer…

VINE TALK 2012 Halloween Costume Contest Winner

Check out the winner of the 2012 VINE TALK Halloween Costume Contest — The Devil Made Me Do It! Congratulations to our winner and thanks to everyone who participated in the contest!    

The Canadian Wine Industry

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Although early European settlers, and possibly even the Vikings, attempted to make wine using wild native grapes, Canada’s commercial wine industry has been slow to develop. Canada’s production of wine is small by world standards as its climate, characterized by severe winters, spring frosts, and a short growing season, are not conducive to large-scale winemaking….

How Sparkling Wine Is Made

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The bubbles that make sparkling wine so attractive are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. When grape juice is fermented, the sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. If the gas cannot escape because the wine is in a sealed tank or bottle, it remains dissolved in the wine—and then when the…

Why Are Ships Christened with Wine?

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Wine has been a part of many cultural traditions for thousands of years. One familiar tradition is the smashing of a bottle of Champagne against the bow of a ship as part of a ship christening ceremony. But what is the origin of this tradition?  For thousands of years, many cultures have christened their ships,…