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Coming to a bottle near you…

2 Jun

Coming to a bottle near you… Nutritional information…

“The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has reviewed its position regarding the use of “Serving Facts” statements on labels and in advertisements for alcohol beverages…TTB will allow the use of either statements of average analysis or Serving Facts statements on labels and in advertisements, in accordance with the terms of this ruling.”

Feel free to read the 11 page release from the TTB ( )

What I find interesting is:…”TTB Ruling 2004–1 defined a single serving as:

  • 12 fluid ounces for malt beverages
  • 5 fluid ounces for wine
  • 1.5 fluid ounces for distilled spirits, regardless of the alcohol content of the product…”

Whatever happened to a 6 Oz glass of wine?


China resurrects French vines

18 Apr


Yunnan province in southwest China grows grapes with beautiful names like Crystal, French Wild and Rose Honey. These are believed to be the descendants of vines the phylloxera louse devastated in France from the mid 1860s to the mid 1890s. French missionaries brought these grapes to Yunnan about two centuries ago, and this is the only place where they are now found. It is believed the Chinese also introduced clones of these grapes from Indonesia and Vietnam in the 1950s, as did missionaries from the Shangri-La region in Yunnan’s north. Professor Li Demei at Beijing University of Agriculture considers Yunnan has the best conditions in China for making fine wine. The province is so warm that it does not need to employ the expensive practice of burying vines each year to protect them from the winter cold, as happens in the north.

Vines at Yunnan Red are planted Continue reading

Guido “Electrico”

26 Sep

Guido “Electrico” Folonari

I recently was seated next to Guido Folonari at a luncheon and a very informal (therefore very fun) tasting. I have decided to bestow upon Guido his new nickname: “Electrico” for the energy that exudes out of this debonair and likeable ambassador. Guido likes to say that he loves to create chaos… organized chaos that is.

I have seen the chaos first hand. I can report that it is fun, animated, electric and above all it creates a dialogue that promotes the exchange of ideas between like-minded wine lovers.

Guido is on the road 5 days a week and is proud to show pictures of his wife and 4 children with whom he resides in Milan. Continue reading

Top 10 Champagne Brands

8 Sep


Top 10 Champagne Brands by Volume Sales 

10. PERRIER-JOUËT Volume 2011: 211,000 cases

9. LANSON Volume 2011: 405,00 cases

8. POMMERY Volume 2011: 410,000 cases

7. TAITTINGER Volume 2011: 464,000 cases

6. PIPER-HEIDSIECK Volume 2011: 520,000 cases

5. LAURENT-PERRIER Volume 2011: 580,000 cases

4. GH MUMM Volume 2011: 639,000 cases

3. NICOLAS FEUILLATTE Volume 2011: 800,000 cases

2. VEUVE CLICQUOT Volume 2011: 1,450,000 cases

1. MOËT & CHANDON Volume 2011: 2,205,000 cases


Case = 12 X 750ml = 9 Liter volume


2012 Saint Emilion (Official) Classification

7 Sep

After much legal wrangling, discontent, threats, vociferous demonstrations and just plain Gallic anger, the official  2012 Saint Emilion classification is out. Let’s take a deep breath and relax for the next 10 years or so!

Below is an alphabetical listing.  Continue reading

(Wine) Diamonds are Forever

3 Sep

Tartrate Tartrate molecule

Tartaric acid is rare in nature, it is however the major organic acid found naturally in grapes. Grapes are also rich in potassium which under certain circumstances can cause the crystallization of the salt form of tartaric acid known as tartrates AKA wine diamonds.

Those unsightly crystals can precipitate out of suspension
(unfortunately this is an irreversible process) when wine is exposed to extreme variations in temperatures. Continue reading

Getting Food & Wine Pairing Down to a Science

30 Aug

Eye opening article… But in the end it’s what you like that matters…isn’t it?

The molecular approach to wine pairing proposed by one of Ferran Adrià’s collaborators intrigues F&W’s Ray Isle—especially when his own cooking experiments show that it actually works.

Until recently, I never thought of eating raspberries with nori. And I certainly never thought of pairing nori-wrapped raspberries with Cabernet. But then, I’m not François Chartier.

Chartier is a French-Canadian sommelier and the author of the book Taste Buds and Molecules, released earlier this year in the US. Now a consultant for restaurants around the world, Continue reading


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