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…

US Wine Consumption Grows in 2012

People holding glasses of white wine making a toast

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,…

The Origin of Champagne


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 Canadian Wine Industry

okanagan valley vineyards  penticton british columbia

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….

The Mexican Wine Industry

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Although most think of Mexico as the land of tequila, Mexico’s wine industry is actually the oldest in the New World. It got its start in 1521, one year after the Spanish invasion, when conquistadors started planting vines. Then, in 1524, Hernán Cortés, the governor of New Spain (Mexico), decreed that each Spanish settler who had…

Phylloxera: Tiny Pest, Huge Impact

Hunawihr (Alsace) - House and vineyard

      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,…

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…

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…

US Wine Fun Facts


Here are some fun and interesting facts we thought you’d enjoy about US wine consumption and production. Did you know…..? Consumption Fun Facts •US wine consumption has been growing steadily for years and in 2010, we passed France to become the world’s #1 consumer of wine by volume, according to wine industry consultants Gomberg, Fredrikson…