Phylloxera: Tiny Pest, Huge Impact

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      In the late 19th century, an insect commonly referred to as phylloxera, spread throughout Europe destroying every vineyard in its path, and then made its way to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, continuing its rampage. At the time it was thought to be the biggest disaster in the history of wine,…

Pairing Wine with Chips and Dip

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Wine is not only for special occasions. It can be enjoyed all the time with all kinds of food! You may be surprised by the number of easy, versatile pairings involving popular nibbles and wine. Corn Chips and Salsa: Two things come to mind. First, a dry Riesling from Germany, Australia, or even the Finger…

Wine in China Fun Facts

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Here are some fun facts on Chinese wine consumption and production… • Wine consumption in China has increased considerably. Since 2006, the market has experienced annualized growth in excess of 20%, and according to consulting firm International Wine Spirit Research, China was the seventh-largest consumer of wine by volume in 2011. China has the potential…

Athletes in Wine, Part II

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Following up on our previous post “Athletes in Wine, Part I”, here are a few more top athletes who have turned to winemaking as an outlet for their creative drive after retiring from the racetrack, golf course, and gridiron… Mario Andretti Mario Andretti, the only racecar driver in the world to win the Indy 500,…

Tips on Storing ‘Leftover’ Wine


As soon as you uncork a bottle, and wine is exposed to air, a process known as oxidation begins, which causes the wine to eventually lose its flavors, colors and aromas. So, what can you do after your dinner party guests have left, and you find yourself with partially consumed bottles of wine? First, to…

The Origin of “The Toast”

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“Salud!” “Cheers!” and “Here’s to you!” Phrases that we’ve often heard, and said ourselves, but what is the history behind these traditional toasts? Mythology maintains that the custom of the toast started in ancient Grecian times as a way to ensure that someone hosting a gathering had not poisoned the wine he was serving attendees….

Mulled Wine

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Mulled wine is a winter tradition popular around the world, especially during Halloween and Christmas. In Scandinavia, it is called glögg (pronounced “glug”), which simply means “heated up.” In Germany, it is known as Glühwein, “glow[ing] wine.” In Poland, it is grzane wino or “heated wine,” and in Italy, vin brulé, “burnt wine.” The French…

An Introduction to Italian Wine Classifications


Currently Italy’s wine classification system has four categories. In descending “quality” order they are: DOCG (e.g. Controlled and Guaranteed Origin Denomination), DOC (Controlled Origin Denomination), IGT (Protected Geographic Indication), and vino da tavola (table wine). On August 1, 2009, new EU regulations went into effect that created a three tiered “quality structure” for wines, and…

Sparkling Wine Options


Nothing embodies celebration more than a spectacular pop, followed by an effusive gush of cheerful bubbles! No wonder sparkling wines are a favorite for holidays and special occasions. Champagne, the grand dame of sparkling wines, is so famous that some people use the term Champagne “generically” when referring to any sparkling wine. However, there are…

Henry VIII’s Wine Fountain Recreated


How’d you like to drink out of Henry VIII’s wine fountain? If the answer is yes, you are in luck. In 2010, Henry’s Hampton Court Palace wine fountain was recreated. Most of the time it has water, but on select days it serves red and white wine for £3.50 per glass. According to the press…