The Virus is Accelerating De-churching in America
The Covid-19 pandemic has hammered churches of all sizes and denominations across America, The Economist writes. Incomes have plunged and cash reserves are dwindling. “In many the majority of worshippers are old; if a vaccine is not developed soon, or is less effective in the elderly, many may be reluctant to go to church in the future.” Why it matters: there will be a significant reduction in the number of churches in America and accelerate the long-term decline in American religiosity. Only 45% of people attend church once or twice a month and only 20% attend every Sunday.
Catholic institutions may see the sharpest decline. “Successive clerical sex-abuse scandals have stopped many from going to mass or from going as regularly as they used [to].” This means their financial support has evaporated and many have been bankrupted by payouts to victims of abuse.
So, I am sure for many of you astute readers and thinkers, this comes as no big surprise. Personally, I try to focus on the great charity work the churches perform. None of this is good, but much like the spectator sports scene, a realignment is needed to put the economy back into its proper perspective. Churches too!
When ketchup arrived on American shores, it was painstakingly hand-crafted and fermented in the kitchen with a list of complicated ingredients, without sugar or vinegar. “Ketchup” referred to a variety of fermented sauces, with mushroom ketchup being a popular option. However, the face of American condiment shelves was destined for change when H.J. Heinz used sugar and vinegar to preserve tomato ketchup in 1876.
And for Memorial Day:
Speaking of apple pie, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the fruity baked good did not originate here in the home of the brave. Apples are native to Asia, but the Europeans had brought them home hundreds of years before America was founded. The oldest known recipe for apple pie dates back to England in 1381 – calling for figs, raisins, pears, and a sugarless pastry shell.
The association of apple pie to patriotism didn’t come about until the early 1900s. It was around this time that apple pie became a symbol of prosperity and American home cooking. Decades down the road, “for Mom and apple pie” became the go-to response of WWII soldiers when asked why they were going to the frontlines.
Most popular flavor of ice cream, according to International Dairy Foods Association: When it comes to frozen desserts, Americans love the classics. The best-selling ice cream flavor in the country, according to the International Dairy Foods Association, is plain old vanilla. This is likely because of its versatility: Vanilla ice cream can be used in milkshakes or root beer floats, served alongside almost any kind of pie or cake, and topped with sprinkles, hot fudge, candy, or fruit. In other words, it’s the perfect blank canvas. That said, Americans love their chocolate, too. The second most sold flavor on the IDFA’s list is chocolate, and all of the rest of the top five flavors have chocolate in them: cookies ‘n’ cream, mint chocolate chip, and chocolate chip cookie dough.
Go back to your normal Ground Hog Day activities. Enjoy your Twinkies!
• There are over 5,000 wine grape varieties in the world—many of which have multiple names.
• The Book of Jonah is the only book in the Old Testament that contains no reference to wine or the vine.
• The Romans mixed lead with wine to improve preservation, flavor, and texture. Unfortunately, lead is poisonous.
• Of the wine sold in restaurants, 55% is red wine.
• Red wine becomes lighter in color as it ages, but white wine becomes darker.
• There are more chemical compounds in wine than in blood.
• 90% of wine produced in America comes from California.
• Airén is the world’s most widely planted grape variety in terms of area planted; it is grown primarily in Spain where it is used to make white wine and brandy.
• And finally, a Latin proverb: “It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one’s present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason.”
It takes 2.5 pounds of grapes to make a glass of wine.
California produces over 17 million gallons of wine annually.
A glass of red wine contains 85 calories.
An acre typically contains 400 grape vines.
Wine bottles come in twelve different sizes.
A typical wine is 86% water, 11.2% alcohol, and 2.8% other. Over 250 different compounds have been identified in “other”.
American wine drinkers consume more wine on Thanksgiving than any other day.
Luxembourg leads the world in per capita wine consumption, leading the U.S. by 7.5 to 1! Mexico has the lowest per capita wine consumption with less than one glass of wine per person per year. (Happy I was not born there!)
The California wine industry provides over 150,000 jobs. More than 160 countries import California wines.
Napa Valley passed Disneyland as California’s number 1 tourist destination with 5.5 million visitors per year.
Sparkling wine contains 49 million bubbles per bottle, Champagne contains 250 million bubbles per bottle.
98% of all commercially produced wine is consumed within one week of purchase and 90% of the world’s wine is consumed within two years of its vintage date.
A cork tree is first harvested at about 25 years of age, subsequent harvests are every 9 years for 15 harvests. (No winder there is a shortage of cork!)
Top quality Napa Valley vineyard land sells for $100,000 per acre.
Well, in conclusion, you know me. I like the bubbles. Bonzai!!!!
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!
- 1 Sukiyabashi Jiro.
- 2 Ginza Kojyu.
- 3 Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama.
- 4 Hajime.
- 5 Ishikawa.
- 6 Joel Robuchon Restaurant.
- 7 Usuki Fugu Yamadaya.
- 8 Sushi Yoshitake.
But many Tokyoites grumbled that the guide gave high ratings to unremarkable restaurants, prompting wide speculation that the large number of stars was just a marketing ploy.
“Anybody who knows restaurants in Tokyo knows that these stars are ridiculous,” said Toru Kenjo, president of Gentosha publishing house, whose men’s fashion magazine, Goethe, published a lengthy critique of the Tokyo guide last month. “Michelin has debased its brand. It won’t sell as well here in the future.”