Happy Canadian Wine Day!
Today is Canadian Wine Day! Did you know that? There’s more to Canada than hockey, maple syrup and Céline Dion – and I’ll pretend I didn’t hear “Justin Bieber”! Janet Dorozynski If I’m not mistaken, Janet Dorozynski was the one who proclaimed the 28th of June Canadian Wine Day, in 2013. Who is she, you ask? Well, this lady has got a long CV…she’s been working with the Canadian and International wine industry for more than 20 years now. To name a few things, she’s a Trade Commissioner and analyst at Global Affairs Canada, she holds the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma in Wine and Spirits and is also an accredited educator for WSET. If you want to learn more about Ms. Dorozynski, you can check her profile here. Bill C-311 The date has not been chosen randomly, though. 28 June 2013 was the first Canadian Wine Day and it marked the 1st year anniversary of the passage of Bill C-311. This act, proposed by Dan Albas in the House of Commons, basically allows provinces to set their own regulations for trading wine, without any rules imposed by the federal government. Wineries are/would be then allowed to ship their wines directly to the final customers – as long as it’s for personal use. It amended the “Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act” (1928), that didn’t allow wine to be shipped across provincial borders, which was considered a federal crime. Free my Grapes Bill C-311 hasn’t produced its full effects yet. At the moment, only the residents of British Columbia and Manitoba are allowed to have wines from anywhere in Canada shipped directly to their cosy homes. If you want to be updated on this matter, as the situation evolves, you can check the Free my Grapes website. FREE MY GRAPES IS A VOLUNTEER BASED, NON-PROFIT ESTABLISHED BY WINE LOVERS WHO BELIEVE THAT CANADA PRODUCES GREAT WINE. UNFORTUNATELY, WE CANNOT FIND MANY CANADIAN WINES AT OUR LOCAL LIQUOR STORES. CURRENT CANADIAN LAWS LIMIT THE VARIETY OF CANADIAN WINES EASILY AVAILABLE TO CANADIAN CONSUMERS, ENCOURAGING US TO BUY FOREIGN WINE. THIS HARMS CANADIAN BUSINESSES AND JOBS BY HANDCUFFING THE GROWTH OF CANADIAN WINERIES, DISCOURAGES WINE TOURISM, AND PUNISHES CANADIANS WHO WISH TO BUY OUR OWN WINES. The Canadian Wine Day reminds us that Canadian wine should be set free and that Canadians should be allowed to drink their own wine, no matter where they live. I propose a toast to Canada, to its nice wine and to the Free My Grapes project. Will you do the same today?
Cat wine on the catwalk
If you’re just like me and you prefer drinking in good company, you can now share a bottle of wine with your furry friend! Cat wine is on the market. I’m a dogs-girl and sometimes I wonder “Who’s the pet?” Does it happen to you too? I remember attending a sort of dinner party once, in a winery, with one of my dogs sitting on my lap. I was done eating and I left some food on the plate. At a certain point, the gentleman on my right side started talking to me and I turned my head towards him for 2 seconds. When I turned my head back, I saw my pooch munching on a shrimp – stolen from my plate!!! Luckily, nothing happened to him and I don’t feed him human food. But if you have a cat, you can share a bottle of “wine” with him/her without any worry. Apollo Peak’s cat wine That’s possible thanks to a Denver-based (Colorado, USA) company named Apollo Peak, which started producing a non-alcoholic cat wine in 2015. The beverage is available in two versions: Pinot Meow (1.6 oz./47 ml~ and 8 oz./236 ml~) and MosCATo (1.6 oz./47 ml~ and 8 oz./236 ml~). Apollo Peak’s CEO, Brand Zavala, came up with the recipe that uses only organic ingredients, such as water, organic catnip, organic beets (golden or red, for the colour) and sea salt, thus resulting harmless to cats, dogs and humans. *** ATTENTION: please mind you that it’s not real wine. The term “wine” is used to allure the cat owners only. Alcohol is extremely dangerous to animals! Don’t give them any alcoholic beverage! *** Vets have given Apollo Peak’s “wines” the green light, as beets are considered non-toxic to pets. Either way, you might want to talk to your vet before giving it to your kitten pal. Mr. Zavala told The Huffington Post that IT’S MADE LIKE A TEA, BUT SINCE WE GOT IT TO LOOK SO MUCH LIKE A WINE, WE WANT IT TO BE PERCEIVED AS A WINE BY THE CONSUMER – THAT WAY THEY CAN FEEL AS THOUGH THEY ARE HAVING A GLASS OF WINE WITH THEIR PET. If you live in the USA, you can buy Pinot Meow and MosCATo on the company’s website (priced at $4.95 for the 1.6 oz. bottle and $11.95 for the 8 oz. bottles) – they do not ship it outside the U.S. The labels are cute, but the real boss and company’s spokes-cat, Apollo, is even cuter!!! Nyan Nyan Nouveau It’s not the first time we see a cat wine on the market, as the Nyan Nyan Nouveau (nyan nyan = meow meow in Japanese) made an appearance on the market a couple of years ago. It was a beverage aimed at the Japanese feline market, made from Cabernet Sauvignon grape juice, vitamin C and catnip. Although it was alcohol free, it was not a safe product, due to the fact that grapes are toxic for cats (and dogs), so…not a good idea! My dogs already curl up on my bed…on the couch…now they’ll demand wine too! Would you buy it to your pets?
Do you want Red, White or… Blue wine?
Blue is one of my favourite colours and now I can order blue wine too! Gïk Thanks to a Spanish company named Gïk, blue wine has now landed on the market, with 11.5% alcohol content. However, if you only drink red wine and are constantly looking for fancy appellations and age-old tradition, this is not the wine for you. Gïk was founded just for fun in 2015, by 6 young people in their twenties who did not have any wine experience on their CV: they are designers, artists, programmers and musicians. Blue wine is made of red and white grapes mixed with a pinch of 2 organic pigments that give wine its colour: anthocyanin (found in grape skin) and indigo (extracted from a plant known as woad). Add a sweetener to the liquid and the wine is done. The grapes come from different vineyards spread throughout Spain and France – hence the lack of “Denomination of Origin”. The choice of the colour has been inspired by the red and blue ocean strategy – you might’ve studied it as University. To make it short, red and blue oceans represent the market, where red is a saturated market with existing companies and brutal competition and blue is a potential market space, with lots of opportunity for growth and profit, no competition and yet to be explored. If you want to read more about it, you can get the book here. The company affirms: DRINKING GΪK IS NOT JUST ABOUT DRINKING BLUE WINE; YOU ARE DRINKING INNOVATION. YOU ARE DRINKING CREATION. YOU ARE BREAKING THE RULES AND CREATING YOUR OWN ONES. YOU ARE REINVENTING TRADITIONS. Gïk actually aims at millennials and states that it’s easy to drink and that people should just ignore what the sommeliers have to say. *cough* Sommeliers can be your best friend and can pass on super handy advice! But anyway…let’s get back to the topic! Bits of advice from Gïk Recommended serving temperature: > 13°C Recommended pairing: sushi, nachos with guacamole, tzatziki sauce, pasta carbonara, smoked salmon. Recommended soundtrack: Alt J – Left Hand Free (Lido Remix); Hayden James – There’s Something About You; Minus the Bear – Pachuca Sunrise; RL Grime, What So Not – Tell Me; James Blake – Stop What You’re Doing; Fryars – Cool Like Me. You can buy the wine at their website and the bottle sells for approximately 10 Euros a pop. I would try it – would you? Please note that the images seen on this post do not belong to Banana In My Wine. They belong to “Pixabay” and “Gik”.
Grape varieties in the UK
Now that we know the UK produces wine, let’s take a look at what they have to offer in terms of grape varieties. White grape varieties The following white grape varieties are grown in the UK – most of them ripen early and grow well in cooler climates: Auxerrois: low acidity, nice as a sparkling wine base, also grown in Alsace, Luxembourg, Burgundy, USA, Canada and New Zealand. Bacchus: one of UK’s top varieties, it’s a crossing of (Silvaner x Riesling) with Müller-Thurgau; with high sugar content and also grown in Germany. Chardonnay: one of the top grape varieties on the production of sparkling wines. Faberrebe: it’s a crossing of Pinot Blanc with Müller-Thurgau, also grown in Germany. Huxelrebe: it’s a crossing of Chasselas with Courtillier Musqué, suitable for dessert wines and also grown in Germany. It’s a high-yielding grape that ripens early. Now what’s up with all this “-rebe”, you mean? It’s the German suffix for “vine”. Kerner: it’s a crossing of Trollinger with Riesling, also grown in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy (and by the way, Trollinger is known as Schiava Grossa or Vernatsch in Italy). Madeleine Angevine: low on acidity, used in blends, it grows well in cooler climates. Müller-Thurgau Optima: it’s a crossing of (Silvaner x Riesling) with Müller-Thurgau, also grown in Germany, suitable for dessert wines. Orion: it’s a crossing of Optima with Villard Blanc, also grown in Germany. Ortega: it’s a crossing of Müller-Thurgau with Siegerrebe, suitable for dessert wines, also grown in Germany. Phoenix: it’s a crossing of Bacchus with Villard Blanc, also grown in Germany, disease resistant, but not widely planted. Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris: also known as Grauburgunder, Pinot Grigio, Malvoisie and Ruländer, among others. Regner: it’s a crossing of Luglienca Bianca (a.k.a. Seidentraube) with Gamay, low on acidity with good sugar content. Reichensteiner: it’s a crossing of Müller-Thurgau with (Madeleine Angevine x Calabreser Fröhlich), one of the most widely grown grapes in UK, also grown in Germany and New Zealand. Rivaner: a synonym for Müller-Thurgau. Schönburger: it’s a crossing of Pinot Noir with (Chasselas x Muscat Hamburg) and gets along really well with the British weather. Seyval Blanc: one of the most widely grown grapes in UK, it’s disease resistant and suitable for oak aging, also grown in Canada and the USA. Siegerrebe: also grown in Germany and the USA. Würzer: it’s a crossing of Gewürztraminer with Müller-Thurgau and not widely grown. Red grape varieties The following red grape varieties are grown in the UK: Dornfelder: it’s a crossing of Helfensteiner with Heroldrebe, shows a deep colour and is also grown in Germany. Dunkelfelder: it shows a deep colour, low acidity and is also grown in Germany. Pinot Meunier: one of the top grape varieties on the production of sparkling wines, it’s rather known as Wrotham Pinot in the UK. Pinot Noir: originally from Burgundy, it’s one of the top grape varieties on the production of sparkling wines. Regent: it’s a crossing of (Silvaner x Müller-Thurgau) with Chambourcin, it’s also grown in Germany and Belgium. Rondo: it’s a crossing of Saperavi Servernyi with St. Laurent and is also grown in Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands. Triomphe: sometimes named Triomphe d’Alsace, it’s also grown in France and Germany. Now what do Brits do with these grapes? British wines or English wines? Do you know the difference? Please note that the image seen on top does not belong to Banana In My Wine. It belongs to “Pixabay”.
Say what??? The UK produces wine???
Yes, mate! The UK produces wine and boasts around 500 vineyards, for a total of 4,500 acres (1,821.09 hectares), that produce both sparkling and still wines. After the English Wine Week, let’s explore UK, shall we? A bit of history… It’s not clear whether vines were grown or wine was produced in Britain before the Romans, although pre-Roman wine amphorae have been found in the south of England, which probably indicates its consumption. It is commonly believed that Romans were responsible for introducing vines to Britain. However, growing this plant didn’t really end in success, as the weather didn’t prove to be suitable. Wine amphorae, cups and grape remains found in archaeological excavations have led researchers to assume that from A.D. 43, the consumption of wine became quite popular. Moreover, grapevine pollen dating from the Roman occupation suggests that vineyards were cultivated back then on a commercial scale. It all changed dramatically after the Romans started leaving Britain, as the invasions by the Jutes, the Angles and the Saxons led people to flee and there was no one left to take care of the existing vineyards. Then came the Viking invasion, which led to the destruction of several monasteries – where the knowledge of vine growing and wine making narrowly survived until then, as wine played an important role in the Christian culture. Luckily, in the 9-th century, King Alfred managed to bring Christianity back, thus reviving the local viticulture. Archaeological evidences show that vines were grown and wine was produced in the 10-th century, especially in the West country and Central south regions. From 1066, viticulture bloomed, as William the Conqueror/William I brought French abbots and monks, who held the knowledge of winemaking and helped quench the thirst of soldiers with wine. In 1086, he commissioned a survey on all landholders in England and their possessions, which resulted in the famous Domesday Book. Now as far as wine is concerned, it turns out that there were 42 different areas under vines – from which 12 were attached to monasteries. Most vineyards were set up in the coastal areas of the South East and around Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Who would’ve imagined that Black Death would have a negative impact on viticulture as well?! The plague caused the monastic workforce to decrease and consequently the monasteries started leasing their land. In need of a quick return on investment in order to pay the rent, the new tenants gave up on vines and started cultivating other crops that would allow them to earn money faster. Not only that, but between 1536 and 1541 there was the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII as well, which cause the viticulture knowledge to fade once more. At that time, the weather wasn’t any helpful either, as it was wetter, with mild summers and winters, posing further difficulties such as the spread of fungal diseases. In the meantime, Britain imported wines from other European countries: loads of Port, Madeira and Sherry, to name a few, passed through the ports of London, Leith and Bristol. Now if we mix all these factors, we can understand why viticulture was not so hip back then! Nonetheless, some vintners stuck to it, like the Honourable Charles Hamilton, from Painshill Place, who set up a vineyard in 1740. Or the Marquis of Bute, who sent his gardener Andrew Pettigrew to France, in 1873, in order to learn how to grow vines. Upon his return in 1875, 3 acres (1.21 hectare) were planted at Castle Coch and wine was produced until 1911. Viticulture then succumbed to World War I and World War II…only to be reborn in the fifties, with new grape varieties and more effective cultivation techniques. Viticultural Revival There are 3 names to remember among the wine-people, as they were responsible for the revival of the wine industry from its moribund state: Ray Barrington Brock (1907-1999), Edward Hyams and George Ordish. Mr. Brock founded the Oxted Viticultural Research Station, in Surrey, and dedicated years of his life to the study of grape varieties that could get along with the British weather, thus creating a collection that would lay the fundaments for UK’s viticulture, apart from introducing Müller Thurgau (a.k.a. Riesling Sylvaner) and Seyval Blanc to Britain. In addition to that, he also carried out several experiments on winemaking, leaving a remarkable legacy behind. When Mr. Hyams started researching grape varieties, he bumped into some peculiar vines in Wrotham (Kent) which looked like French Pinot Meunier. He then took some cutting to Mr. Brock, who named it Wrotham Pinot. Mr. Hyams left a large contribution to viticulture on his books, such as “The Grape Vine in England” (1949) and “Vineyards in England” (1953). And to this day, those books are brimming with useful information on the history of grapevines and how to grow them. Mr. Ordish was an entomologist and economist who happened to work in the Champagne region (France). Back home, he realised that vines could be grown in Kent, as the weather was similar to the one in Champagne. On his book “Wine Growing in England” (1953), viticulture appeared to be very alluring and a business to invest on, as he described the ROI on an acre of grapevines. As a result of all the excitement around wine making, the first commercial vineyard in Britain was setup in 1951, in the small village of Hambledon (Hampshire), by Major Sir Guy Salisbury Jones, who planted 1 acre of Seyval Blanc. Then came The Merrydown Wine Company, in Horam, where Jack Ward planted 2 acres of grapevines in 1955 and later introduced Reichensteiner, Huxelrebe and Schönburger to Britain. Afterwards, the third vineyard was set up in 1957, by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert and Margaret Gore-Browne. By the way, the most famous prize for Wine of the Year in UK is named after her: the Gore-Browne Trophy. Since then, the wine industry moved forward admirably, with new grape varieties, improved cultivation and pruning techniques. Wine preferences change in time 1960s – 1970s: the top selling wine in UK was the German “Liebfraumilch” (= Beloved Lady’s Milk) and UK wines started taking their baby steps on the national market. Customers looked for fruity wines, with a hint of sweetness and low on alcohol. 1980s: customers demanded drier wines and Australian wines were in. British vintners also tweaked their wines accordingly, in order to satisfy the clientele. German wines were no longer fashionable, there was prejudice around German-sounding grape varieties and German style bottles made room for Burgundy and Bordeaux ones. Current scenario Approximately 15% of the wine produced in UK is sparkling and 10% is red; Oak barrels, oak staves and chips are used in winemaking; Rosé wines are very popular; Late harvest/dessert wines are produced mainly with Huxelrebe, Ortega and Optima grapes. Have you ever had any wine from the UK?
Happy English Wine Week!
Who knew?! English wines have “grown up” and are now drawing customers’ attention due to its high quality (or at least “higher” quality, compared to a couple of years ago) – specially sparkling wines. Did you know English wines exist? Please note that the image seen on top does not belong to Banana In My Wine. It belongs to “English Wine Week”.
Cité du Vin
Cité du Vin, a sort of wonderful “Adult-Wine-Disneyland”, opens to the public today! And I can’t wait to visit it!!! Located in Bordeaux and designed by the French XTU Architects in collaboration with the English design experts from Casson Mann; the project has taken 8 years to be conceived. Its shape has blossomed from an idea of Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmaziéres, who wanted to mimic “the swirl of wine moving in a glass, the coiled movement of a grapevine, the ebb and flow of the Garonne.” The sensual curves recur in and outside the facility, providing a surrounding sense of fluid movement. According to Cité du Vin, visitors can spend around 2 hours exploring the whole place, but I could easily spend the whole day long there. There are so many things to do and to see, so it would certainly keep me fully entertained for 8 or 9 hours. That’s because the 13,350 m2 structure is split in 10 levels and a bookshop, a restaurant, a wine bar and wine store can be found on the ground floor – and those would already keep me busy for several hours! A trip-by-the-glass Can you believe it? You can find more than 14,000 bottles of 800 different wines (chosen by Andreas Larsson and Michel Rolland) from more than 80 different countries at the wine cellar – a fabulous world wine tour in one place which shows that there’s wine-life beyond France and Italy! You can watch informational videos about the wines and taste some of them at the wine bar; indulging in a trip-by-the-glass to exotic places, such as Brazil, Tahiti or Bali. Plenty to see Apart from that, there’s a temporary exhibition area, a reading room (accessible free of charge), tasting workshops and a 250-seater auditorium (which hosts concerts, lectures and screenings), among others. During the Euro 2016, for instance, from 11 June to 2 July, visitors will have the opportunity to watch the live broadcast of 5 matches at the high-tech auditorium and to taste wines from the countries involved. Moreover, there’s the permanent exhibition area, which provides audio visual material about Bacchus’ realm 360 degrees: different terroirs across the world, arts, history, mythology and the marvellous link between men and wine. The multi-sensory tour can be done with a modern travelling companion: a hand-held guide available in 8 languages (English, French, Chinese, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Japanese). Tired? Take a break! If you get tired, you can go to the 8th floor, to the 35-metre-high Belvedere, in order to sip a glass of wine (a daily selection of 20 world wines), while enjoying an astonishing view of Bordeaux. Now if you need a longer break and your tummy starts rumbling, head to the 7th floor, where you can find the panoramic “Restaurant Le 7”. While enjoying the view of the Port of the Moon and the city of Bordeaux, you can delight your palate with its international cuisine and the wonderful selection of wines. The hard part is choosing, because there are 500 bottles on the wine list! Useful information You can reach the Cité du Vin by: tram, bus, car, bicycle or boat. Yes, you can arrive by boat! Cité du Vin docks for tourist boats too. Trés chic! Book all the tickets in advance on their website (which is, by the way, well done and full of juicy information)! As far as 2016 is concerned, the opening hours are: Now is the time to visit Bordeaux! Cité du Vin is officially open and the Bordeaux Fête le Vin is coming up (23-26 June). Have you ever been there? Please note that the images seen on this post do not belong to Banana In My Wine. They belong to “Cité du Vin”.
What to feed ducks and geese?
Have you ever seen an Indian Runner Duck? No? Think again! Have you ever watched the movie “Babe”? The character called Ferdinand was an Indian Runner Duck! It is a special breed of domestic duck which came from the East Indies. Now the curious thing about them is that they run, rather than waddling, and they stand erect like penguins. A-do-ra-ble! South Africans know better! Since the year 1984, a team of Runner Ducks has been employed in the pest-control-task-force of Vergenoegd Wine State – a winery in South Africa (Stellenbosch). Their job is to munch on snails and bugs twice a day – and I like it because that is oh-so-green-and-environment-friendly and allows the winery to reduce the amount of pesticides! The hardworking duckies even have a wine named after them, which comes in three versions: the “Runner Duck – White” (Sauvignon Blanc and a hint of Colombard), the “Runner Duck – Red” (Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Franc and Malbec) and the “Runner Duck – Rosé” (Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot). Nice labels, by the way! Get your ducks in a row! If you’re willing to visit the winery, you can watch the Duck Parade on the following hours: Mon – Fri: 09:45 or 15:30 Sat: 10:00 or 12:30 or 15:30 Sun and Public Holidays: 09:45 or 12:30 or 15:30 You can book it in advance on their website. Italians do it too Something similar is done in an Italian winery called Di Filippo (@Cannara, Umbria Region), where a geese-squad fights against pests – which is part of their organic and biodynamic approach to farming. The little animals fertilize the land and start munching on the vegetation that grows around vines in April, but then they’re forced to go on holidays between July and August – otherwise they start eating the lower bunches of grapes too! Along with them, there’s also the four-legged-squad, which is comprised of Italian Rapid Farmhorse, French Comptois and Noriker horses. IN 2010 WE HAD THE IDEA OF GOING BACK TO FARMING TRADITIONS AND WORKING THE LAND WITH HORSES, BECAUSE THEY REDUCE TRAMPLING IN THE VINEYARD CAUSED BY TRACTORS, WHICH ULTIMATELY COMPACT AND DESTROY THE STRUCTURE OF THE SOIL AND LEAVE IT STERILE. IN THIS WAY THE SOIL IS HEALTHIER, ITS MICROORGANISMS ARE PROTECTED, AND THE VINES LIVE LONGER, WHICH IS A BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF QUALITY WINES. GROUND WHICH HAS BEEN “MASSAGED” BY HORSES’ HOOVES HAS BEEN PROVED TO PRODUCE BETTER ROOTS, AIR AND WATER CIRCULATE MORE FREELY, AND THE QUALITY OF THE VINES IS IMPROVED. THE VINTNER IS ALSO MORE AWARE OF THE VALUE OF HIS WORK ONCE MORE. Beautiful, isn’t it? They basically cultivate 4 hectares of vineyards with the help of animals. That means: low environmental impact, less pollution produced and less fuel used! Thanks to their feathered friends, approximately one hundred liters of fuel per hectare is saved each year. Wouldn’t it be nice if more wineries sought the help of animals? Cost reduction, less pesticides, less pollution…[you add the benefit here]. Wouldn’t you be happier to buy a greener bottle of wine? Please note that the images seen on this post do not belong to Banana In My Wine. They belong to “Pixabay” and “Vergenoegd Wine State”.
Happy National Wine Day!
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s National Wine Day in the USA. However, we can all be sympathetic, no matter where we are at the moment, right? *** sympathy mode on > grabbing a glass of wine *** I did some research about its origin, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any real result. I haven’t been able to access their official website either (Nationalwineday [dot] org). Pity… Well, let’s get back to the birthday-boy here now, shall we? What is wine? You can click here to see one of the first articles here in the blog. Personally, I take the traditional concept of wine, which is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting grapes, where the yeast turns sugars (from the grape juice, the grape must) into ethanol. But don’t take it for granted … Lab Wine I read something quite peculiar this week, about a sort of lab-wine from Ava Winery (San Francisco, USA) and their claim got my attention “We can turn water into wine in 15 minutes.” The company, run by Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee, is now trying to replicate Moscato d’Asti and the Don Pérignon Champagne from scratch, by mixing different amino acids, acids, sugars, volatile organics (responsible for the aromas) and ethanol, to name a few. Meaning: no grapes are used in the process! Why would they do that? This is Ava’s reason why: IN 2015 WE FOUND OURSELVES FACE TO FACE WITH A $10,000+ BOTTLE OF WINE THAT PERMANENTLY CHANGED THE WINE INDUSTRY AND LEGITIMIZED WINES FROM THE NEW WORLD. THAT BOTTLE WAS A 1973 CHATEAU MONTELENA, AND IT WAS HOPELESSLY OUT OF OUR REACH. BUT WHAT IF WE COULD RECREATE IT, MOLECULE BY MOLECULE? CERTAINLY IT SHOULD TASTE THE SAME. AND WHILE THE REPLICA MIGHT NOT BRING AS MUCH PLEASURE TO OUR EGOS AS DRINKING A $10,000 BOTTLE OF WINE, IT SHOULD BRING PLEASURE TO OUR PALATES. WE STARTED AVA WITH THE GOAL OF MAKING THE GREAT VINTAGES ACCESSIBLE TO ALL. WHILE THE MONA LISA IS ONE OF A KIND, ITS REPLICAS WOULD NOT EXIST IF THEY DID NOT BRING SOME ENJOYMENT TO THEIR OWNERS. IN MANY WAYS, WIDESPREAD DISTRIBUTION OF THE REPLICAS HELPS REINFORCE OUR APPRECIATION FOR THE ORIGINALS. AVA’S MISSION IS TO RECREATE THE EXPERIENCE WITHOUT HAVING TO RECREATE THE PROCESS. It’s not on the market yet, but you can pre-order the wine on their website for 50 Dollars a pop. Fancy Science Fair project? Or a valid alternative to wine? You name it! However, they would have a hard time selling it in Europe under the name “wine”, as the European laws consider wine “the product obtained exclusively from the total or partial alcoholic fermentation of fresh grapes, whether or not crushed, or of grape must”. 2 + 2 = 4 and 2 * 2 = 4 Further reading has drawn my attention to another company that is into replicating wine – but seems like they’re doing it with real grapes. Guess the name of the company??? Replica Wine! Duh! They basically urge people not to spend a fortune just to buy a fancy bottle of wine, as you can buy their replica for a smaller price – carefully reproduced by their well-experienced staff: OUR CHIEF WINE OFFICER, BRETT ZIMMERMAN, IS ONE OF FEWER THAN 200 MASTER SOMMELIER ACTIVE IN THE WORLD TODAY. BRETT APPROVES EVERY SINGLE WINE BEFORE IT EVER FINDS ITS WAY INTO A BOTTLE. Wondering why a Master Sommelier would join the wine-replication business… The Banana way of celebrating it tonight… Even though it would be nice to taste the “wine” and the wines mentioned above, I’ll stick to a good glass of sparkling Verdicchio tonight – Ale! Warm weather is finally here – and that screams for aperitivo! What kind of wine will you drink today? Please note that the image seen on top does not belong to Banana In My Wine. It belongs to “Pixabay”.
Il Romanzo del Sangiovese
Do you fancy the grape Sangiovese? Do you fancy reading? You could lie down on a chaise longue and read the novel Il Romanzo del Sangiovese while you sip the namesake wine. It’s written by the Tuscan writer Andrea Zanfi and it talks about terroir, history, movies, photography, culture,…He takes you on a trip to Toscana and Emilia Romagna. According to the writer: IT WILL TELL THE STORY OF ITS TRUE ESSENCE. WHILE REVEALING ITSELF IN THE FIRST PERSON, IT WILL GUIDE READERS THROUGH A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER ITS FULL AUTHENTICITY, FAR AWAY FROM A GLOBALISM THAT HAS FADED, YELLOWED AND WATERED DOWN ITS TRUE NATURE. THE NARRATION FLOWS SMOOTHLY THROUGH THE ROWS WHERE ITS FLAVORS BLOOM. FROM THE UNCERTAIN ORIGIN OF ITS NAME TO THE FIRST CERTIFICATES ON WHICH IT APPEARS AND TO THE LANDS THAT WELCOMED IT, BETWEEN TUSCANY AND EMILIA ROMAGNA. THE LANDSCAPES THAT HOST IT ARE VERY DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER. A VINE THAT HOLDS THE HISTORY OF MEN, TRADITIONS AND CULTURES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NARROW-MINDED MASSIFICATION TO WHICH IT WAS ASSOCIATED TOO MANY TIMES IN RECENT YEARS. THIS WORK, WRITTEN BY ANDREA ZANFI, IN COLLABORATION WITH JOURNALISTS, WINEMAKERS, EXPERTS OF THE FIELD AND THE COMPANIES THAT WERE INVOLVED, HAS ONE COMMON OBJECTIVE: TO FREE THE SANGIOVESE FROM ALL THE TRAPS IT ENDURED OVER TIME AND THAT DAMAGED ITS TRUE SOUL. Looking forward to getting this book! The author will present it in Florence, October 23rd, at 6:00 PM, at the Auditorium di Sant’Apollonia. Please note that the image seen on top does not belong to Banana In My Wine. It belongs to “Andrea Zanfi”.