A Wine Induced Story


Some Italian winemakers have an unusual side dish for their latest blends.

In an effort to re-new interest in reading, the wine maker Santa Margherita is kicking off the sixth year of a contest they launched with an Italian book store. It allows amateur writers to submit a short story on a wine related subject. The winners will then see their stories published in the form of tiny booklets. Those booklets will be attached to the back of Santa Margherita’s best-selling bottles.  read more »

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End of the World Wine


There’s a new wine being introduced to the American pallet and it’s almost out of this world.

Thirty eight year old Santiago Bernasconi is a winemaker from Patagonia. A large piece of land located on the southern tip of South America. And it’s here on the edge of the earth that Santiago and his colleagues are experimenting with the world of wine. They say growing wine here means dealing with a variety of elements.  read more »

Wine for Mom


Hard working mothers need an end of the day drink and winemakers are arguing over who gets to give it to them.

According to a lawsuit filed last week in San Francisco two wineries are at odds over the use of the word “mommy.” California based Clos Lachance Wines wants the court to declare that its “Mommyjuice” doesn’t violate the trademark of “Mommy’s Time Out.” A different wine that is produced and distributed by a winery in New Jersey.  read more »

Vending Machine Wine


Along with candy bars and coke residents of Pennsylvania can now purchase wine from vending machines, as long as they pass a couple of tests first.

The Keystone state is currently testing out two wine kiosks at supermarkets in the cities of Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg. And if these machines prove to be a hit, another 98 will be installed all across the state come fall. The adults’ only vending machines work by asking customers for their age, identity and blood alcohol level.  read more »

Perfect Price


People have been tightening their purse strings in the past year. So indulgences such as a night on the town often come down to one big item on the menu, price.

At least week's third annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine event sponsored by American Express Publishing, I talked with Dana Cowin, the Editor-in-Chief of Food and Wine Magazine. Cowin says over the past year people focused on price and in the process discovered they could get great food and great wine for a lot less money. Cowin says the recession appears to finally be lifting but to get patrons to pay more now, chefs and winemakers need to get creative.  read more »

Uncorking Smoke


There’s a new wine on the shelves and the flavor might leave a bitter taste on the palate of non-smokers.

The 2008 Pinot Noir from California’s Anderson Valley is showing up in stores and the taste is being compared to a wet ashtray. Severe forest fires during the growing season are being blamed for the smoky aftertaste and have left growers scrambling for a solution.  read more »

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Pick your wine by price or taste?


When it comes to choosing a wine to enjoy with your meal, the price should not matter as much as the taste. But yet for women, it does.

This is not just my idle observation on the fairer sex. Recently academic researchers from the Stockholm School of Economics and from Harvard University conducted a detailed study to see how the price of a bottle of wine affects what people think of its taste.

The researchers found that women certainly prefer the top shelf bottles. Two hundred and twenty six volunteers tasted both a $5 dollar bottle and a $40 dollar bottle of Portugese red wine. One third of the tasters were aware of the prices, one third did not know, and one third were told the price of the bottle after they tasted from it.  read more »

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Uncorking a Great Deal

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Despite the bad economy there are some good deal to be found, is you are willing to take a taste.

This weekend more than six hundred and thirteen lots of fine wine are up for auction at Christie's Auction House in New York. Wine consultants everywhere are calling this the best time for collectors because of the deals available, and the lower prices are bringing out the buyers. Last Saturday's Sotheby's auction brought in $2.9 million dollars, way above the presale estimate of $1.8 million. Consultant Judy Beardsall says fine wine is a great long term investment. Beardsall says wine collecting is a lot like gardening and now is a great time to turn over the soil and lay down some stock.  read more »

Gold Medalist Peggy Flemming Makes Wine For A Good Cause

For one Olympic gold medalist, her latest business venture isn’t just about making money.

Former ice skater Peggy Fleming and her husband, retired dermatologist Greg Jenkins, started their own vineyard 10 years ago. As it flourishes Fleming says they just enjoy making wines that people like. And even though they are still a small boutique winery it’s more important to put out quality wine and experience all the best that wine has to offer.

“We’re making wines that we enjoy and we started out with chardonnay because that’s what we mainly drank back then and now I think the more you get into wine the more your pallet grows and the more different kinds of wines you like.”  read more »

Gold Medalist Turned Vintner

At a recent wine event I ran into 1968 Olympic Gold medalist Peggy Fleming. It turns out that Fleming hung up her ice skates in exchange for a wine bottle, a wine bottle that boasts her own name. In 1999 Fleming and her husband Greg Jenkins, a retired dermatologist, started their own vineyard in the San Francisco bay area. Fleming says the project started out as a simple landscaping idea and grew from there.

“Well it started out as a landscaping project but now we have landscaping we can drink. But you just get more interested and curious as you see the vines everyday and you just wonder what they would produce if it was all our grapes and what would that wine taste like.”  read more »