Wine Talk

Snooth User: AdrianSmith

The weirdest and most wonderful wine facts/secrets/myths/traditions.

Posted by AdrianSmith, Aug 6, 2014.

Hello everyone, 

As my first contribution to the forum I wanted to touch upon something that excites the hell out of me and get a little help from the community. 

As a blogger who works with, drinks and loves wine as a passion it always interests me to learn new things. In fact, i've brought out two blog articles on "Unique Wine Facts", but there's only so much research you can do by scouring the web. 

The best secrets lay within the minds of the community... and so thats is one reason I'm posting this today, I would really love your help to uncover and learn more!

Here are two of the weird traditions I found throughout my researching:

1) In China, it is not uncommon for people who wish to display their wealth and power to purchase a very expensive bottle of wine and then mix it with Coke or Sprite equivalents in order to make it more palatable to their tastes. 

2) In Hakone, Japan, there is a spa where guests can bathe in a pool of tea, coffee and most importantly...wine. It is not a rare occurrence to see members of staff walk over to the pool and pour a bottle of wine directly into it to impress guests. 

Thank you in advance and I can't wait to see what you all know!

Adrian :) 

 

Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 6, 2014.

"Wine-buro" are fairly common now in Japanese "onsen". o-furo (or buro) are baths, and onsen are hotspring bath resorts. I just had one in a 3rd-tier hotspring in Yamanashi when I was doing a survey across the prefecture of orphanages for an NPO I'm assisting. If they have them there, they have them all over the place. Hakone is close to Tokyo in another direction, though both it and the part of Yamanashi I was visiting are on opposite sides of Mt. Fuji.

Hotsprings stays are one of the national pastimes of Japan, and I feel probably oughta be another of their UNESCO treasures, up there close to their cuisine. Undoubtedly help contribute to the high longevity numbers, as well as to general peace of mind and body. Yamanashi also is one of the major winemaking areas of Japan, so it's a good way of disposing of the crap wine there. Only so many vinegar casks you can fill! The bath is usually a very light rose in color...

 

BTW, not sure anymore how many Chinese are pouring coke into their Chateau Lafite....

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Reply by gregt, Aug 7, 2014.

Hmm, I'm curious about who the audience would be.

I've heard this whole internet thing is going to be really big. Haven't looked at the Google much but people tell me that's a biggie too. They're into clouds and stuff. Wish they'd do one here because we could really use the rain.

One thing I've heard of is mixing wine with different kinds of fruit - oranges, apples, etc. It's a little weird because tropical and non-tropical fruit together??

 

 

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Reply by dvogler, Aug 7, 2014.

Well I don't know sh!t from shinola, but the thing about Chinese could probably be expanded upon.  I think that there's a probability that any icon wines are counterfeit, but regardless, I would not say it's a 'tradition' for them to pour Coke into a $3000 bottle.  This sounds like a "Top 10 weird things" list that some free-lance journalist wannabe (who can't spell their way off of a keyboard) posted to MSN.  This isn't directed at you however Adrian.  Just be careful about scouring the internet for research.  In my opinion, scouring the toilet would be cleaner and more factual.

Greg, I heard Google makes wine glasses. 

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Reply by gregt, Aug 7, 2014.

Fantastic! And because they track all your moves, are the glasses are automatically filled with your favorite wine?

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Reply by dvogler, Aug 7, 2014.

Yes Greg, and it's dispensed through a secret anaerobic method (hypoxic if that's more appropriate) so that it is always at it's freshest.  The problem so far is that the algorithm tends to put you on a particular track and it gets boring.  I want a more "on demand" version, like where I have some say.  I've been getting all Joseph Phelps Insignia and nothing else.

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 7, 2014.

OK, guys, enough scaring off of potential new members...  ;-(

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Reply by gregt, Aug 8, 2014.

Yo D - ain't no scaring!

One could Google weird wine facts and find a lot of nonsense. But dvogler and I are having a serious convo here.

Like the little wine burro you mention. I thought those were more common in small Mexican villages but you say they're common in Japan too? Amazing. I never knew that. I associate the Japanese with cameras, not burros. But that's truly the beauty of the internet - we learn all the time!

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 8, 2014.

Sure you're not taking about wine burritos? Either that's a cute name for otherwise pincho burros, or they use soured wine down south to marinade the carnitas. Can't get a clear answer from the Net...

All I know from past experience down there is 'tequilito es mi amigo!'

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Reply by dvogler, Aug 8, 2014.

Greg, there is in fact a small donkey in Guanajuato state that dispenses wine from it's teats.  Like the Google wine glass, it doesn't do variety well.  Optimally, it would have a different wine per teat, but that's just being ventripotent.

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Reply by gregt, Aug 8, 2014.

Well, last night I had a delicious burrito adobada and I opened a 1998 Napa wine. Starting to fade a bit but pretty nice nonetheless. They also have mahi mahi burritos but no wine burritos. Dang!

Now that wine dispensing donkey is a little weird and I don't even know what ventripotent means!

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Reply by zufrieden, Aug 8, 2014.

There is a machine using, as fuel, atomically compacted Koine Greek text from before the Council of Nicaea and exclusively from the second chapter of the Book of John.  It turns water into Mouton Cadet and bottles it as Lafite Rothschild...

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Reply by AdrianSmith, Aug 8, 2014.

Wow, a lot to take in since I last visited!

I'm not quite sure whether there is more joking going on here than actual facts

A donkey which emits wine from its teats?
Google Glasses for Wine?
Machines that Use Wine to Power themselves... I've heard of that before I think....

Could you guys confirm whether or not you were just joking?

Thanks!

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Reply by dvogler, Aug 8, 2014.

Zuf, that takes the cake.  I think we need to get together and drink wine with Greg T and talk about this.

 

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Reply by gregt, Aug 9, 2014.

Yep. We need to do that anyways though.

Adrian - kind of light-hearted but mostly true. Have you ever looked at the demographics for Silicon Valley? Most of the start ups are headed up by or partnered with people from other countries. I read somewhere that 30% of them were from the Indian subcontinent. The US has been benefiting from the brain drain from all those other countries for a long time. But the thing to remember is that there are limits on science in the US that don't exist elsewhere.

In the US, the individual is paramount but elsewhere, it's the common good. That's why in France the government brought charges against a guy in Burgundy for NOT spraying his grapes. He wanted to be an organic producer but they said that if his vineyards get disease, it will affect the whole area. E.O. Wilson said that when you consider an ant colony, you would be better off considering the entire colony as a multi-celled organism. Since he's the world expert on ants, I guess he knows. But in your body, you sacrifice a few cells for the greater good. Ants sacrifice a few individual ants for the greater good. In other countries, they take that approach.

So in the US, you can't do experiments on people or do certain things to animals, but elsewhere you can. The problem is there is no infrastructure to support business elsewhere, so the people come here. They have knowledge and experience that's banned in the US, Canada, etc., but once you have knowledge, you have it.

So look at the founders of Google and Amazon, two companies who are in a fight to the death. Of the three guys, Sergei Brin is an immigrant from Russa. That's about 30% right there. People think that Amazon sells books but they are actually spending billions on all kinds of research - remember the drones that Bezos said he wants to use for deliveries? Anyhow they tried once to get into wine and they failed. But they kept trying and now they're in the wine business. Google has billions to spend and they want a piece of the market too, since it's growing. So the scientists go to work and they come up with the glass described above. Obviously it wasn't created for wine, but if you look at the demographics for high-end wine consumption, those are people everyone wants to target. Really serious wine geeks typically have more money to spend than other people and once stuff like the Google thing becomes mainstream, forget it.

As far as the donkey thing - that's again not something from the US, where we get so worried about alcohol and that kind of stuff would be illegal. But I'm sure you've heard of the goats that were genetically engineered to produce silk in their milk? Same thing, only wine.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/jan/14/synthetic-biology-spider-goat-genetics

You have a good idea for a blog because this stuff just gets weirder every day.

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Reply by AdrianSmith, Aug 9, 2014.

Greg, thanks so much for clearing all of that up. Bloody fascinating. Some stuff i've never heard of nor even thought could happen, but it just goes to show as you say, there truly are some weird things going on out there. I'm excited to find out more...

On another note, I was reading a story about a 'human decanter'. A gentlemen who would empty his bladder with a catheter and then refill it with red wine, urinating into peoples glasses. Sounds extreme, but wondering if this has any element of truth to it?

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Reply by AdrianSmith, Aug 9, 2014.

PS... This as my first attempt at 'Unique Wine Facts" a couple of weeks ago and it got a pretty damn good response rate. Although, I feel I can delve deeper. This article was more just scraping what I could find from the interwebs... i really want to uncover some of the 'lesser' known facts, you know?

http://www.britwit.co/britwitblog/10-wine-facts

A huge thanks to you all for contributing to this by the way. I'm really enjoying reading all of this and learning. 

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Reply by cma238, Aug 10, 2014.

Hi Adrian! Cool to see some new contributions. This isn't a private club as far as I understand. Everyone and anyone can be a part of the Snooth forum.  

The spa you've described sounds like a true expression of decadence --- perhaps part in parcel of wealth and excess? (Or, are these just average citizens getting the equivalent of a mud mask at their neighborhood beauty parlor? I guess it could be either one. Cultural relativism is a brass ring for which we strive.)  

The question for me then becomes: are these spa-goers pouring Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 2000 (now retailing at $2699.99) into their tubs, or a $12.99 J. Lohr Cabernet from Paso Robles? That would make a huge difference! 

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Reply by AdrianSmith, Aug 10, 2014.

Hello there CMA!

Thanks for the kind words! To be honest, I think its much more on the 'beauty parlour' side of things when it comes to these wine/coffee pools. Some are slightly more glamorous than others depending on the region, but hidden in the corner of the picture I uploaded for that particular blog you see a giant tacky wine bottle hold with wire above the pool.

To top that off... i wouldn't be at all surprised if they were pouring the equivalent of two buck chuck in the majority of these things... :P  


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