Snooth - Articles Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:11:15 -0500 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:11:15 -0500 Snooth Prime Time Wine: Russia Lifts TV Ban on Advertising James Duren <p>Russian winemakers and wine marketers who endured a two-year ban on TV advertising for wine are now back in the game, according to several reports from industry experts and Russian news sources.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;These amendments came into force on Jan. 1, 2015, and cover both still and sparkling wines made from domestic wine materials,&rdquo; international wine business site Meininger&#39;s reported earlier this month. &ldquo;Advertising at food and catering exhibitions will also be allowed.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The move, the article said, is economically motivated, as members of the Russian government are realizing the potential boom the country&#39;s wine industry could provide.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Lifting (the ban) is part of plans by the Russian government to actively support domestic winemaking in the next few years,&rdquo; Meininger&#39;s said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the article, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that the government&#39;s proposed plan to help grow the industry will increase the nation&#39;s total vineyard area by 150 percent by 2020.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Part of the problem for winemakers, the article said, is that even though wineries are producing quality products, few consumers are aware of it.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sparkling wine estate Abrau-Durso&#39;s owner Boris Titov told Meininger&#39;s he believes good things are ahead for him and his colleagues.&nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;Lifting the advertising ban will allow even small enterprises to produce and sell quality wine, with minimal bureaucratic regulations,&rdquo; the article said, quoting Titov.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The outlook has not always been so positive.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A Nov. 2013 article in the English-language version of The Moscow Times described the response of the viticulture community in the first year of the ban, which included prohibitions on wine reviews and the inclusion of specific winery names and brands in editorial pieces.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;At first they said that publications distributed at wine-selling outlets would be exempt, so it was actually a green light for us,&rdquo; said Tatyana Zlodoreva, editor and publisher of the country&#39;s only wine industry periodical. &ldquo;But in the latest explanatory note they removed that exemption. So we are going to be in trouble.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In addition to the prohibitive law, high tax rates on wine &ndash; wholesale prices in Russia were equal to retail prices in Europe &ndash; made wine ever more distant for the average alcohol drinker in Russia.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Russian legal website Rapsi News, the lifting of the ban now allows wine advertising on television and radio between the hours of 11 p.m and 7 a.m. Such ads would not be allowed on youth-oriented programs nor by live transmissions, Rapsi News said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Alagich Katya</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6067 Super Bowl Sunday Kitchen Counter Tailgate Mary Ann Esposito <p><div><br /> <div><br /> We all know where most of America will be on Super Bowl Sunday, watching the big game on TV. And with this yearly iconic spectacle comes the anticipated clever commercials that for some are maybe more entertaining than the game itself!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Family and friends will join many of us as we cheer on our favorite team until we are hoarse and all that energy will require food fuel to keep things at a fever pitch. There will be the predictable favorites like chips, dips, wings and pizza. &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> How about adding some fresh fun into the food mix this year and throw a kitchen counter tailgate with some nifty finger foods that can be made ahead of time?</div><br /> </div><br /> <br /><br /> <br /> The best part is that everyone helps himself or herself! Here are some ideas to make this year&rsquo;s game the tastiest ever!<br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Pita Pizza Wedges</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Makes 32 wedges</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Split open 4 pita breads to make two rounds using a kitchen scissors to cut around the outside edge of each pita bread. Place them in single layers on baking sheets and top each with a couple of tablespoons of your favorite tomato sauce; add shredded cheese, sliced mushrooms or other toppings. Bake them in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Use a scissors to cut each one in half and then in quarters. Serve with a <a href=""><strong>Chianti</strong></a>&nbsp; (try <a href=""><strong>Banfi</strong></a>) or a <a href=""><strong>Rioja</strong></a>.</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Spaghetti Frittata Squares</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Makes 16 squares</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Olive oil</div><br /> <div><br /> 6 large eggs</div><br /> <div><br /> 2 cups cooked spaghetti</div><br /> <div><br /> 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley</div><br /> <div><br /> 1 cup diced mozzarella cheese</div><br /> <div><br /> &frac12; cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese</div><br /> <div><br /> Dash hot red pepper sauce</div><br /> <div><br /> Salt and pepper to taste</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Line an 8 x 2 inch square pan with aluminum foil and allow the foil to over hang the sides. Brush the foil with olive oil and set aside.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Heat oven to 350F.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In a large bowl beat the eggs with a whisk until fluffy; stir in all the remaining ingredients and pour evenly into prepared pan and smooth the top.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is nicely browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest about 20 minutes then carefully lift the foil at the outside edges and remove from pan. Cut the frittata into 4 equal sections lengthwise and crosswise to make 16 squares. Serve warm or room temperature with a crisp <a href=""><strong>Prosecco</strong></a> or <a href=""><strong>Riesling</strong></a>.</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Sweet Red Bell Pepper Bites</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Makes 12</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 3 large sweet red bell peppers 
</div><br /> <div><br /> 1/2 pound Genoa salame, diced</div><br /> <div><br /> 14 cup chopped oil cured olives</div><br /> <div><br /> 3 tablespoons minced thyme leaves
</div><br /> <div><br /> Salt to taste
</div><br /> <div><br /> Freshly ground black pepper 
</div><br /> <div><br /> 1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil 
</div><br /> <div><br /> 2/3 cup grated Provolone cheese</div><br /> <div><br /> Preheat the oven to 350&ordm;F.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Oil a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Stem and cut the peppers lengthwise in half and then in quarters and remove the seeds and white membranes. Arrange the quarters skin side down in the prepared dish.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In a food processor, add the salame, olives, and thyme. Pulse to create a thick paste.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper.</div><br /> <div><br /> Spread the paste evenly in the pepper quarters.</div><br /> <div><br /> Bake for 45 minutes or until the peppers are tender when pierced with a fork.</div><br /> <div><br /> Sprinkle the cheese over the top and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.</div><br /> <div><br /> Serve warm with a glass of <a href=""><strong>Zinfandel</strong></a>, South American <a href=""><strong>Cabernet Sauvignon</strong></a>&nbsp;or <a href=""><strong>Malbec</strong></a>.</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Italian Sausage and Grapes on a Stick</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Makes 8 (recipe can easily be doubled)</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil</div><br /> <div><br /> 4 sweet Italian sausages</div><br /> <div><br /> 2 cups seedless red or green grapes</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Heat the olive oil in a saut&eacute; pan and cook the sausages until nicely browned. &nbsp;Add grapes. Remove to cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes then cut each one into 8 round slices. Thread the sausages and grapes on long toothpicks so there are 4 sausage rounds and 4 grapes on each toothpick. Serve on a platter and accompany with a glass of <a href=""><strong>Pinot Noir</strong></a>&nbsp;or <a href=""><strong>Shiraz</strong></a>.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Mary Ann Esposito is one of America&rsquo;s most beloved television chefs. Through her long-running PBS program Ciao Italia and appearances on other television programs including &nbsp;The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, QVC, the Food Network, Discovery Channel, Fox, Martha Stewart Radio, RAI International, The Victory Garden, Simply Ming, and so many others, she has been able to share traditional Italian cooking with audiences around the world.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Mary Ann has worked beside world-renowned chefs like Julia Child, Todd English, Daisy Martinez, Sara Moulton, Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan, and countless others who share the same passion for cooking. Mary Ann is the author of 12 cookbooks. Her most recent, Ciao Italia Family Classics, is available here. For more information visit <a href=""><strong>Ciao Italia</strong></a> and on <a href="">Facebook</a>.</em></div><br /> </p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6054 Massachusetts Legislature Makes Amends With Small Wineries James Duren <p>Turns out Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick&#39;s pen can absolve a multitude of mistakes.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Earlier this month he signed a law which allows &ldquo;farmer-wineries&rdquo; to distribute their wine directly to restaurants and stores, according to a story by The Boston Globe correspondent Dan Adams. The law had been in effect for several years, the article said, but was &ldquo;accidentally deleted&rdquo; when the state enacted new laws governing direct-mail wine orders from other states.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The state&#39;s 34 farmer-wineries only noticed the mistake in November, when regulators published and advisory explaining the new wine shipping rules that took effect on January 1,&rdquo; Adams wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The nearly three dozen wineries were quite angry about the new rules, as direct deliveries to local stores and restaurants represented a big chunk of their business.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Outraged, the wineries demanded a fix from the Legislature and eventually got one on New Year&#39;s Eve, when the state Senate approved an emergency law undoing the mistake.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> That emergency law came on the heels of a day in which Massachusetts legislators were fielding calls from small wineries wanting updates on the rules change.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;I&#39;m really glad I can go back to doing what I do, which is making and selling wine,&rdquo; Black Birch Vineyard Co-Owner Ian Modestow told The Globe in a story published on New Year&#39;s Eve. &ldquo;This whole affair was unpredictable, and that&#39;s the last thing you want in business.&rdquo;</div><br /> <br /> The days leading up to Jan. 1 were stressful ones, Modestow said.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;It&#39;s down to the wire, and it&#39;s frustrating because you don&#39;t have any control,&rdquo; he told The Globe in an article this past December. &ldquo;It&#39;s all done behind closed doors.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Modestow&#39;s frustration was apparent, as the omission had the potential to devastate many of the 34 wineries who would be affected by it.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;I am never going to let the Legislature live this down,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I wish I could trust them to do their jobs and at least read the legislation they&#39;re passing, but I guess I can&#39;t.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The small-winery snafu resulted in lawmakers burning the midnight oil when many families were celebrating the holidays, the Dec. 31 story said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;We&#39;ve essentially preserved the status quo,&rdquo; said Representative John Scibak, who co-chaired a House committee related to the alcohol industry. &ldquo;It&#39;s was not the easiest thing to do at this time of the year, with the holidays.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to a Dec. 31 article in The Globe, the fix was gladly accepted by lawmakers but concerns over repeating a similar error resulted in a prolonged examination of the law&#39;s wording.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>WEBN-TV</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6065 Such a Headache: Scientists Explains Why Bubbly Bothers Us So Much James Duren <p>Nothing like starting the new year with a splitting headache and squinty eyes.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> University of Colorado pharmacology professor Boris Tabakoff offered an explanation for why Champagne causes such intense hangovers, a topic well-trod by millions of NYE revelers. You can thank carbon dioxide for your woes, Tabakoff told ABC News in a recent interview.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages like Champagne helps absorb the alcohol,&rdquo; he said in the interview. &ldquo;You get a faster rate of absorption, higher blood alcohol levels &ndash; and brain levels &ndash; if you drink Champagne as opposed to something non-carbonated.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> European wine-and-spirits industry website The Drinks Business noted a 2001 study done at the University of Surrey (U.K.) in which researchers gave some subjects two glasses of freshly opened Champagne and gave some subjects two glasses of flat Champagne.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Volunteers given two glasses of freshly opened Champagne had an average of 0.54 milligrams of alcohol per milliliter of blood after five minutes,&rdquo; the article stated, &ldquo;while those given the flat Champagne had just 0.39 milligrams.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In other words, the average person&#39;s blood-alcohol level rises approximately 40 percent faster after a glass of sparkling wine as opposed to a glass of still wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The results of these statistics are head-splittingly obvious, ABC News pointed out.</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;Most people &ndash; about two-thirds of them &ndash; get drunker faster when they drink Champagne or other carbonated alcoholic beverages,&rdquo; the ABC article said.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The science behind a hangover explains why ragged revelers avoid as much light and noise as possible, preferring the hermit&#39;s way over harm&#39;s way.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Hangovers, in theory, are caused by two things: the brain inflammation that alcohol consumption causes, and the brain&#39;s lingering overcompensation in the face of alcohol&#39;s depressant mechanisms,&rdquo; Tabakoff told ABC.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> These factors make the brain&#39;s sensory mechanism more sensitive; factors exaggerated the more a person drinks.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Other side effects are well known among partiers, The Daily Mail pointed out in a recent article.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Because alcohol is a diuretic, those who drink in excess are almost guaranteed to become dehydrated, &ldquo;which in turn leads to symptoms such as headache, dry mouth, reduced concentration and irritability.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Coupled with the blood-sugar drop associated with drinking copious amounts of booze and the result is a hungover, hungry lot, the article said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Alcohol also irritates the stomach and disrupts sleep, causing nausea and exhaustion,&rdquo; The Daily Mail reported.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Lisa Brewster</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6068 Lords and Ladies: Downton Abbey Adds American Offerings to Wine Line James Duren <p>Americans have a certain countess to thank for the recent inclusion of two United States varietals in the Downton Abbey series of wines.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The Countess of Grantham Lady Cora Crawley is the namesake of the new line, called &ldquo;Countess of Grantham Collection,&rdquo; a nod to the countess&#39; American birth.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The wines &ndash; a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, both from Lodi, California &ndash; draw inspiration from Lady Cora Crawley, the modern, American-born wife of British aristocrat Robert Crawley,&rdquo; reporter Marc Bona wrote in a recent story on</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to press materials from the wine producer, the American offerings bring big flavor.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The fruit-driven Downton Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are full-bodied wines with an abundant concentration of color and flavor,&rdquo; the company said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> published more detailed descriptions of the wines.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Scents of ripe red cherries and subtle oak dominate the nose in the Cabernet Sauvignon with spicy notes and soft vanilla on the palate,&rdquo; the story said of the cabernet.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The Chardonnay mixes fruit and oak, the article said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The Chardonnay offers the lovely aroma of tropical fruits and delicate oak giving way to citrus flavors on a soft, silky palate,&rdquo; the article said.&nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> A representative from the popular PBS show said the original idea for creating a wine of lines carrying the Downton Abbey name came when wine market Ron Roy and his colleagues noticed how wine always seemed to make its way into the program&#39;s important scene.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;&#39;Downton Abbey&#39; was a no-brainer,&rdquo; Roy said in an interview with;s Edward Deitch in 2013. &ldquo;Wine plays a really important part of the experience of &#39;Downton Abbey&#39;, so that was our&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &lsquo;aha!&rsquo; moment.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Roy&#39;s company, Wines that Rock, is responsible for rock-band themed wines like Grateful Dead Wine, Rolling Stones&#39; Forty Licks Merlot, Pink Floyd&#39;s The Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon and The Police&#39;s Synchronicity.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Before the introduction of the California wines, Bordeaux offerings dominated the Downton Abbey line.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> At less than $20 a bottle, the French wine may not be as luxurious as the undoubtedly pricey bottles the Granthams kept in their cellar, the wines give American viewers a chance to imbibe vicariously as they watch the British family navigate the staid-yet-suspenseful social nuances of aristocracy.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The new wines will give Americans in love with the show the chance to drink, at least in spirit, as the Crawleys did at those grand dinners in Downton Abbey,&rdquo; Deitch wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Gil Griffin</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6066 Preggy Power: New Wine Made for Moms-To-Be James Duren <p>Nine months without a quaff of wine was too much for one entrepreneur.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A new line of sparkling grape juice called 9Months is being marketed specifically to pregnant women who&#39;ve had enough of sparkling cider, according to a recent report by financial website MarketWatch.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;When Marvin was pregnant, she says she couldn&#39;t find anything festive enough to drink for a special occasion &ndash; the closest product that came to mind was Martinelli&#39;s Sparkling Cider &ndash; so she developed something on her own,&rdquo; MarketWatch reporter Charles Passy wrote this past month.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A picture of the wine reveals a sparkling red and sparkling white version of the product. The &ldquo;9&rdquo; in the name &ldquo;9Months&rdquo; is a stylized version of a nine which incorporates a mother koala bear and a baby koala bear. The bottle label also says &ldquo;Non Alcoholic&rdquo; and &ldquo;South Australian&rdquo;.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Marvin told MarketWatch that her wine is different from other sparkling juices because it uses grapes &ldquo;typically used for wine production,&rdquo; Passy said.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> She pitched the idea to United States winemakers, but there wasn&#39;t much interest.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;They were like, &#39;I don&#39;t get it,&#39;&rdquo; Marvin told MarketWatch.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Seeing the &ldquo;void in the market,&rdquo; Marvin took her idea to Australia where she found takers.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> South Australian grapes are used for the sparkler. &ldquo;The juice of freshly picked grapes is collected and refrigerated at zero degrees Celsius to prevent fermentation,&rdquo; according to the 9Months website. &ldquo;It is then filtered and pasteurized within the bottled.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In addition to providing expecting mothers with a grapey retreat, a portion of the sales of 9Months are donated to March of Dimes.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Marvin lost a child at 39 weeks, her website said, and because of this she is donating a percentage of her sales to &ldquo;promote healthy babies and provide resources for research in the areas of birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.&rdquo;</div><br /> <br /> MarketWatch notes the alcohol-free wine market is small but growing in the U.S.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Sales in the United States increased by 5.6 percent to nearly $100 million in 2014,&rdquo; the article noted.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The market is receiving a boost this month as many ambitious resolution-makers are trying to stay dry during the first month of the year.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;While pregnant women may constitute a part of this market, there&#39;s clearly plenty of demand from others avoiding alcohol,&rdquo; Passy wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> As for the taste of the non-alcoholic wine, Passy said the sparkler offers a grape-juice taste &ldquo;perhaps with a little more earthy character than some of your standard grape juice products on the market.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;If you&#39;re looking to avoid alcohol, it&#39;s an option, albeit a pricier one than regular juice.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=";oe=5563D0B1"><strong>Photo Credit: 9Months Facebook Page</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6061 Anti-Counterfeiting Lawyer Proposes Wine Bottle Security Method James Duren <p>Fighting the tide of wine fraud may be a matter of a little glass.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This past week Master of Wine Jancis Robinson&#39;s website featured a guest post by anti-counterfeit lawyer Nick Bartman, who used to opportunity to propose a new method of security in which the bottles themselves would reveal the origin of the wine inside.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;I believe there is a self-help solution in the form of just one item; the common-or-garden glass wine bottled,&rdquo; Bartman wrote. &ldquo;Look at the bottom, or punt, and there before you is an array of insignia permanently cast into the bottle, with each element importantly telling a story and offering traceability.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Bartman said that a system of identification already is in place in which bottle manufacturers imprint a specific set of information on the punt in order to, in the case of a production glitch, properly identify where and at what point in the process a particular error took place.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;In this eventuality a bottle manufacturer needs rapidly to know what has happened in order to trace the source of the problem immediately,&rdquo; he wrote. &ldquo;And this is where the moulded insignia comes in.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> He noted that the information on the bottom of the bottle &ldquo;has sufficient information to identify the manufacturer, the geographic location of the plant, even down to the mould that produced the offending bottle, helped by a series of braille-like pimples, or so called dot-codes.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Using these codes as a means to confirm the veracity of a wine, Bartman said, is superior to aging tests, which can be easily falsified by counterfeiters.</div><br /> <br /> To illustrate his point, he used several photos of wine bottle codes in which he pointed out seven specific pieces of information ranging from who produced the bottles to in which country and factory the bottles were produced.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;It is this one area of knowledge that, metaphorically, ties the wine bottle, wine and brand together such that it is almost impossible to achieve a passable counterfeit,&rdquo; Bartman wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Implementing an anti-counterfeiting system would be a matter of creating digital drawings of each bottle code and linking those codes with the label and the wine placed in the bottle. Those drawings would then be emailed to each winery so they would have the unique code for each type of wine they produce.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;It is for everyone concerned with the distribution chain through to the consumer to be made aware this traceability exists, and for them to report back to the brand owner anything suspicious, or just perhaps simply conduct routine checks,&rdquo; Bartman wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>Photo Credit:</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6062 Napa Vineyard Pays Homage to Pontiff With Personalized Wine James Duren <p>It remains to be seen if there&#39;s a blessing in every bottle of Cabernet FRANCis.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Trinitas Cellars, a Catholic winery located in California&#39;s Napa Valley, recently released the Cabernet Franc as part of the winery&#39;s tradition of creating a wine in honor of the pope. In this case, the holy man in question is the Argentine Pope Francis I.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;(Winery owner) Tim Busch presented Pope Francis with a bottle &ndash; a picture of the exchange graces Trinitas&#39; library wall &ndash; and gave the rest as a thank you&#39;s to various Vatican friends,&rdquo; Religious News Service&#39;s (RNS) Kimberly Winston reported.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Winston&#39;s story, winery owners Tim and Steph Busch &ldquo;made the family&#39;s Catholic faith a part of business since its founding in 2002.&rdquo; The couple&#39;s son Garrett Busch also helps out with operations.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The elder Busch is a trustee with The Papal Foundation, a position which has afforded him face-to-face meetings with Francis I and the pope&#39;s predecessor, Joseph Ratzinger, or Pope Benedict XVI.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In advance of Tim Busch&#39;s audience with Benedict in 2008, he and his son worked together to create a zinfandel with a fitting name, Winston said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Trinitas produced RatZINger, a zinfandel, that Benedict reportedly drank and liked,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Another vintage was produced two years later.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> When Francis was elected pope in 2013, the elder Busch asked his son to create a wine which would be ready for the father&#39;s visit with the holy father in 30 days.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;I said, &#39;Dad, you know how this wine thing works. I can&#39;t make a wine in 30 days. I can&#39;t even get a label approved by then,&rdquo; Garrett told RNS.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> So, the father-son team decided to gift the new pope a bottle of RatZINger. However, just a year later the duo had a chance to redeem themselves.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Garrett and the estate&#39;s winemaker had teamed up to create a cab franc. With new of his dad&#39;s second meeting with the pope, he and the winemaker tapped 12 bottles from the barrels of cab franc.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;They hand-bottled and hand-labeled one case of Cabernet FRANCis &ndash; 12 bottles in all,&rdquo; RNS reported.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> However, the story didn&#39;t stop there. The Busches received a call from the pope&#39;s butler, saying the pope had enjoyed the wine so much he wanted more.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Tim Busch made a round of calls, and those friends who had not already downed theirs were glad to hand them over to the pontiff,&rdquo; Winston wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the story, the other 250 bottles of the cabernet franc were bottled this past fall.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>H. Michael Miley</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6064 Woof! Trade Publication Creates List of Top Winery Canines James Duren <p>Man&#39;s best friend is a logical pairing for man&#39;s best drink.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This past week reporter Lauren Eads, a reporter for European industry publication The Drinks Business, published a list of the top ten winery dogs which included pooches &ndash; and two donkeys to boot &ndash; from three different countries.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Wherever wine is made, it&#39;s likely that canine companion won&#39;t be far away, stalking the cellar o vineyard,&rdquo; Eads wrote. &ldquo;(They) often form an integral part of the winery, so much so that they become part of the family, eulogised in books and websites and immortalised on wine bottles.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> California topped the list with four pooches, including Beni, a retriever from Muscardini Cellars, whose photo shows the golden-haired heartthrob with his paws on a winery counter and a friendly look, as if to say, &ldquo;How can I help you today, sir?&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> California&#39;s litter also included Poe Winery&#39;s greyhound-deerhound cross Stella, Robert Renzoni Vineyards&#39; &nbsp;Habanero and Harney Lane Winery&#39;s Ranger.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Two pups from wineries in Michigan made the list: &nbsp;the particularly fluffy Samoyed Sitka at Chateau Grand Traverse and Bowers Harbor Vineyards&#39; Bernese Mountain Dog Brix Cuvee Stegenga.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Eads wrote that Brix was named after the sugar concentration in wine (measured in degrees Brix).</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;He continues a line of wine dogs which have previously called the winery home,&rdquo; Eads wrote. &ldquo;Brix even has his own sparkling wine named in his honour.&rdquo;</div><br /> <br /> Virginia-based Pearmund Cellars&#39; Tug, who looks like a Retriever mix, rounds out the list of American pooches.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Australian winery Ballabourneen&#39;s Charlotte and Matilda made the list. The pair of Australian Kelpie Cross pups are shown playfully relaxing in one of the winery&#39;s facilities.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Bordeaux canine Happy, an English setter, represents French winery Domaine de Chevalier.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The final animals on the list are not, in fact, dogs.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Georgio and Bella, a pair of donkeys, are the stars at Ventosa Vine Vineyards, a winery in Finger Lakes, N.Y.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The two donkeys share the winery with a pair of peacocks, Eads wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A series of three user-submitted photos were included at the conclusion of Eads list. These three additional photos included a rather frigid shot of Chinook, a grey-and-white beauty standing rather unassumingly in stark landscape of snow on what appears to be a very chilly day near his Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, home.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Also included in the additional three photos are Symington Family Estates&#39; (Portugal) boxer Mungo and Plumpton College&#39;s (United Kingdom) Snoop.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>Photo Credit: Muscardini Cellars Pinterest Page</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6063 Sipping Synthetic: Scientist Creates Guilt-Free Alcohol Pill James Duren <p>If David Nutt&#39;s wonder pill was around a few years ago, we may never have had the pleasure of watching Bradley Cooper and his pals fumble their way through numerous hangovers.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> The English scientist received attention this week in several British publications for alcosynth, a substance which is reported to give drinkers the feeling of being tipsy without the nasty day-after effects of a hangover.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The substance is in the Valium family, but without being addictive or causing withdrawal symptoms,&rdquo; The Telegraph reporter Rebecca Burn-Callander said in a story this past week.<br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nutt&#39;s alcosynth pill is only one half of the story. The neuropsychopharmacology professor also created a drug called &ldquo;chaperone&rdquo;, a pill drinkers can take which is reported to make it &ldquo;impossible to become drunk to the point of incapacitation.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Both drugs would be available in high-end cocktail bars at first, claims Nutt,&rdquo; Burn-Callander wrote. &ldquo;The alcohol substitute would be market as a companion to a regular tipple and relatively cheap to buy.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The idea behind Nutt&#39;s project is that Britons are notorious for their heavy drinking, a habit which causes a host of health issues: &ldquo;It contributes to obesity, violent crime, general health, life expectancy and of course economic productivity (think of all those times you&#39;ve been late for work with a hangover),&rdquo; the United-Kingdom edition of Ask Men recently wrote.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to The Telegraph, alcohol is one of the top-five causes of death in the European Union, &ldquo;and the Government cites it as the leading cause of premature death in men aged 16 to 54 in the U.K.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> The Telegraph also noted that the costs of alcohol misuse are sobering: &ldquo;estimates for the overall cost of alcohol to the British economy range from &pound;21bn to &pound;55bn per year.&rdquo;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nutt said we accept the consequences of alcohol, as opposed to other harmful drugs, because we love to drink.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Part of the reason alcohol can affect heavy drinkers is because its chemical makeup allows it to pervade nearly every cell in the body.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The effects of alcohol are devilishly hard to mimic because of its complex effect on the human body,&rdquo; The Telegraph story said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nutt is looking for backers to fund a trial for the two drugs. According to a pair of sources, the two drugs required 85 patents.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Synthesising a new drug to replace alcohol may seem extreme,&rdquo; Burn-Callander wrote. &ldquo;Nutt points to the tobacco industry, where e-cigarettes were dismissed for years as a ridiculous notion.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit. <a href=""><strong>Whatleydude</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 article6056