Did I misspell “facts” or ?? No, I wanted to use some alliteration. But since you love my wine facts, here are some more for you to sip on.
Sixty percent of Napa Valley wineries require an appointment to visit them, versus 20% which are open to the public. Other regions of California are less restrictive: 5% of Santa Cruz and Monterey wineries require an appointment; fewer than 10% of Santa Barbara; and 30% of Sonoma County. I think that is totally ridiculous. But a man in the know told me the reason why. To address the number of drunk drivers on the road up and down the Napa Valley. Good reason, I say, especially when I am on a bicycle!!!
The German wine harvest will begin 21 days EARLY, making the 2018 harvest the earliest on record in Germany for the last thirty years. Grapes were picked in the Rheinhessen on August 6th. According to German officials, the early harvest is the result of summer heat waves and the general trend of warming in northern Europe due to climate change. The first photo above shows how the vines are planted and farmed. Very different from the U.S.
It’s hard to think of anything more magical than when an exquisite wine is paired with a scrumptious cheese. Which got us to thinking: Is there one cheese that pairs well with most wines? We asked our cheese guru colleagues and our Facebook friends. The consensus—some cheeses really are super wine-friendly. These four cheeses were especially popular.
Dry Jack: Mild and nutty. Pasteurized cow’s milk cheese with a firm, crumbly texture.
Comté: Fruity, nutty, salty, savory, smokey. A supple cow’s milk cheese from the Jura region of France.
Brebirousse d’Argental: A sheep’s milk cheese from France’s Rhone-Alps region. Buttery, creamy, mushroomy, sweet, and tangy.
Manchego: Nutty, fruity, sweet, tangy. A sheep’s milk cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain.
Could this become all the rage among bubbly drinkers like me? Who knows?
Pétillant Naturel wines, dubbed Pét-Nats by the hip wine scene of today, are the trendy new-but-old style of wine everyone is getting excited about. These wines are actually made using a method that pre-dates the Champagne style – and is way cheaper to do. Much like your parents’ old band tees and bell bottom jeans, they are back, and back with a vengeance.
Known for their al natural outlook on life, Pét-Nats have no added sulfites (although sulfites do occur naturally in small amounts) and little to no additives, making these wines pretty kickass. They range from white to rosé to red, vary in sweetness levels and differ in how soft and sudsy to full blown bubbly they are. They are usually low in alcohol, and more often than not fall in a reasonable 20-something price range. You could pretty much say with the diversity of these wines there’s a Pét-Nat for everyone in the family… or at least the over 21 crowd.
This style of wine originated in France and is said to be the O.G. of the sparkling wine family. The words Pétillant Naturel are translated to “mildly, naturally sparkling.” The production method that is used to transform these still wines into rad sparklers is known as méthode ancestrale.
The process goes a little something like this:
The wine is bottled during its primary fermentation, when the sugar in the grape juice is still transforming into alcohol. Then, the winemakers slap a crown cap on the bottle (much like a beer bottle), sealing in the carbon dioxide that is naturally created during fermentation. This is ultimately what converts the still wine into bubbly. Voilá – there you have it kids, naturally sparkling wine!
Even though the méthode ancestrale process is indigenous to France, these effervescent wines are made all over the world – from Slovenia to California and back to the Loire Valley of France (aka the motherland). In my studies (drinking) of Pét-Nats I have found one dominant consistency: THEY ARE ALWAYS CHANGING. Which makes them a curious thrill of a wine. When popping a Chablis or pouring a glass of California Cab we have at least an idea of what is about to hit our palates.
Undoubtedly, Pét-Nats are the hipster of the wine universe who shop local, wear Birkenstocks and use vegetable oil to run their car. They may never be as popular as Champagne, but they do deserve some steamy love for keeping this crazy world a little more sustainable!
Jordan Winery in Sonoma will be one of the first to open this weekend, by appointment only, of course. They will offer “excursions” and picnics into the vineyards to keep people at social distance. I just do not see how I would enjoy holding my wine glass in a rubber glove!!!
Here is their official story: Jordan Winery in Sonoma County is introducing $110-per-person (seems a little ridiculous) hikes this weekend, sending you home with a takeout box of wine and food. Since that article was published, Heringer Estates in Clarksburg is taking appointments for a short nature hike on its property, with a suggested $5 donation that goes to a scholarship fund.
|According to Nielsen, dollar sales of still (that is, non-sparkling) rosé were up nearly 35% during the 10-week period ending May 9, compared with the previous year.|
|Rosé isn’t just a wine. It’s a mood. And it feels especially transportive right now, possibly because it’s a beverage so well suited to daytime drinking and evocative of outdoor activities that are currently unattainable. The passage of time is moving strangely right now, but rosé has a reassuring way of marking the entrance to a new season. Sipping a glass of pink wine, even while confined to, say, your small San Francisco apartment, can make you feel like you’re on a beach, at a picnic in the park, at a big outdoor concert.|
We all know wine, beer and alcohol consumption is UP in general. But notice that we have fewer deaths due to auto accidents? A similar statistic occurred back during the first Arab Oil Embargo back in 1974-75. With gas at high prices, and rationing enforced, the number of deaths due to auto accidents dipped to its lowest in decades.
Basically, nobody is waiting until the weekend to enjoy a cocktail or “home” party. Just keep it in perspective!