Wednesday, October 8, 2014


ñ Labels were first put on wine bottles in the early 1700s, but it wasn’t until the 1860s that suitable glues were developed to hold them on the bottles.
ñ Top Napa Valley vineyard land sells for over $100,000/acre!
ñ In the year 2000, there were 847 wineries in California.
ñ Wine is often called the nectar of the gods, but Sangiovese is the only grape named after a god. Sangiovese means “blood of Jove.”
ñ Ninety-two percent of California wineries produce fewer than 100,000 cases per year. Sixty percent produce fewer than 25,000 cases.
ñ Egg whites, bull’s blood, and gelatin have all been used as fining agents to remove suspended particles from wine before bottling. Egg whites are still commonly used.
ñ “Brix” is the term used to designate the percentage of sugar in the grapes before fermentation. For example, 23° brix will be converted by yeast to 12.5% alcohol, more or less, depending on the conversion efficiency of the strain of yeast used.
ñ In describing wine, the term “hot” refers to a high level of alcohol, leaving an hot, sometimes burning sensation.
ñ In the production of Port, the crushed grapes are fermented for about two days. Then the fermentation is halted by the addition of a neutral distilled spirit or brandy. This raises the alcohol level and retains some of the grapes’ natural sugar.
ñ American wine drinkers consume more wine on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.
ñ As of 2000, 554,000 acres in California were planted to grapevines.
ñ “Still wine” does not come from a still. The phrase refers to wine without bubbles, which includes what is also referred to as table wine.
ñ Fiasco [fee-YAHS-koh]; pl. fiaschi [fee-YAHS-kee] - Italian for “flask.” The word is most often connected with the squat, round-bottomed, straw-covered bottle containing cheaper wine from the Chianti region. The straw covering not only helps the bottle sit upright, but protects the thin, fragile glass. Fiaschi are seldom seen today as the cost of hand-wrapping each flask for cheaper wines has become prohibitive, and the more expensive wines with aging potential need bottles that can be lain on their sides.
ñ As early as 4000 BC, the Egyptians were the first people to use corks as stoppers.
ñ The wine industry generates 145,000 jobs in California.
ñ California has 847 wineries. Napa County is the home of 232 of them.
ñ Market research shows that most people buy a particular wine either because they recognize the brand name or they are attracted by the packaging. Not Beekman’s customers!
ñ Portugal has 1/3 of the world's cork forests and supplies 85-90% of the cork used in the U.S.
ñ There are only three legal categories of wine in the U.S.: table, dessert, and sparkling. In the early 1950s, 82% of the wine Americans drank was classified as dessert wines. These included Sherry, Port, and Madeira. I don’t have current national figures, but  Beekman’s sales of wine today are 90% table wine, 7% sparkling wine, and only 3% dessert wine!
ñ Until 1970, Bordeaux produced more white wine than red. Today red wine represents about 84% of the total crop.
ñ California produces approximately 77% of the U.S. wine grape crop
ñ There is at least one commercial winery in every state of the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska!

ñ Putting ice and kosher salt in a bucket will chill white wine or Champagne faster.

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