US$172,000 “Bottle” of Wine

Penfolds is releasing a limited edition glass ampoule containing its rare 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon. Each ampoule contains the equivalent of one bottle of wine (750ml) and costs approximately US$172,000. According to Penfolds, the vessel is a “beautiful objet d’art designed to store wine in an ideal environment.” The handblown ampoule is securely…

Founding Fathers Wine Fun Facts

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Several of the United States’ Founding Fathers were fond of wine. Here are some fun facts on their interests from Thomas Jefferson on Wine by John Hailman. George Washington was particularly fond of Madeira. He ordered Madeira directly by the barrel straight from the best producers on the island. He also ordered vine cuttings from…

Red Wine Made into Dress

Researchers at the University of Western Australia have discovered a way to make red wine into clothing, no weaving required. Scientist Gary Cass got the idea when he noticed a skin-like rubbery layer covering a vat of wine that was contaminated with Acetobacter, a non-hazardous bacteria. Working with artist Donna Franklin, they developed this material…

Wine Crimes

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Counterfeiting, vandalism, arson. Here’s a rundown of some of the more notorious “wine crimes” that have been in the news recently… Wine Collector Indicted for Counterfeiting In May 2012, Rudy Kurniawan, a collector of fine and rare wines who represented himself as an expert skilled at detecting counterfeit wine, was arrested on charges that he…

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238-Year-Old Wine Sells for $49K

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According to Decanter.com, a 1774 bottle of vin jaune was purchased by an anonymous French buyer for US$49,343 on May 15th. Christie’s Geneva conducted the auction. The bottle was part of a batch which had been kept intact for eight generations by a family of winemakers in a vaulted underground cellar. The bottle comes from…

Flower Wine

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Wine isn’t only made from grapes. It’s also made from vegetables, berries, fruits, herbs and even flowers…all kinds of flowers, including dandelions, lavender, roses, honeysuckle and marigolds, to name just a few. Basically, any edible flower can be used to make wine, but only the petals/flower heads tend to be used because other parts of the…

Wine in a Box

In the wine industry where tradition matters almost as much as the product itself, seeing wine in a box can be jarring. However, economic and environmental concerns have led to the development of new packaging options. It’s not surprising—glass bottles aren’t very easy to recycle, their weight makes them expensive to transport, and producing them…

Wine in Ancient Greece

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Ancient Greece is one of the oldest and most important wine-producing civilizations, with evidence of production dating back 6,500 years. The climate, terroir and native vine stocks of the Greek islands enabled the production of a wide variety of superior quality wine. Not only did the Greeks export wine throughout Europe, but they also established…

The Role of Oak in Winemaking

Wooden Barrels

Do you want to know more about oak and winemaking? Here are the answers to some common questions… Why is oak the preferred wood for making wine barrels in which wine is aged? Oak is preferred because it is easily bent, strong enough to withstand wear and tear, slightly porous (which is desirable for aging wines…