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Food & Wine — Patty Lyn Tweten

Wine Festivals: How the Rest of the World Celebrates Wine

Posted by Plume Ridge Bottle Shop on

Wine Festivals: How the Rest of the World Celebrates Wine

As Americans approach a wine-filled season of festivity, it might be interesting to learn how the rest of the world celebrates wine. Wine festivals date back to the Ancient Greeks’ celebration of Dionysis, the god of wine. The passage of time has led to many variations in these celebrations. Many are still centered around religious observations, but some have jumped into the new millennia with gusto. These observances run the gamut from religious themes to beauty pageants to Bacchanalian wine-soaked parties. But, they have one thing in common: reverence for the grape. This non-exhaustive list of festivals around the world...

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Message in your Bottle: What does the shape tell you?

Posted by Plume Ridge Bottle Shop on

Message in your Bottle: What does the shape tell you?

  Most wine drinkers know that wine bottle shapes are loosely related to the elixir inside, but the exact meaning behind that connection is rarely understood. Burgundy, Bordeaux or Alsace — the vessel shapes are familiar. How and why they became that way is less known. In ancient times, wine was fermented and stored in earthenware jugs coated in beeswax, or in amphorae. As the Roman empire expanded and amphorae proved too delicate to bounce in wagons over good Roman roads, wooden wine barrels were used both for the making and transport of wine. Thus it remained for millennia, until...

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The Original Solar-Powered Hybrid: The Noble Vitis Vinifera

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The Original Solar-Powered Hybrid: The Noble Vitis Vinifera

When travelers come to wine country, they are first greeted by neatly trellised vineyards repeating at various angles to the passing landscape. This topiary-like vision is not just for the delight of visitors. The method to this geometric madness originates from how a grapevine captures the sun’s energy. Left to its own devices, the vitis vinifera, or wine grape, grows and vines with reckless abandon, climbing over anything in its path to reach blessed sunlight. From rootstock to tendril, the plant has many essential structures. These are nurtured, controlled, enhanced, or tamed by skilled growers through vineyard row direction, pruning,...

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Bordeaux Reimagined: The New Bordeaux are anything but the stuffy cliché

Posted by Plume Ridge Bottle Shop on

Bordeaux Reimagined: The New Bordeaux are anything but the stuffy cliché

It’s time to set aside the image of French Bordeaux aficionados as cartoonish wine snobs, whose own age reflects the age of the wines in their cellars, and instead to embrace the new Bordeaux! If you enjoy world class wines of the highest quality, lovingly made by innovative winemakers, and averaging about $20-30 a bottle, you, too, can be a Bordeaux appreciator!  Historically, Bordeaux wines have consisted of six red grape varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Carménère and Malbec) and three white varieties (Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle). Red Bordeaux contain mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet...

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A Primer on Eco-Friendly Wine Labels

Posted by Plume Ridge Bottle Shop on

A Primer on Eco-Friendly Wine Labels

Winemaking is incredibly complex, yet wine labels are tiny. They read like coded messages because a lot of information is contained in a little piece of beautifully-designed real estate. Every single element must transmit a wealth of information. In this crowded landscape, the addition of eco-friendly jargon can become just another nugget of indecipherable information. Most consumers understand the health benefits of buying organic table grapes, but the benefits of organic grapes and organic wine are less clear. John Williams, founder of Frog’s Leap Winery, and pioneer of organic and biodynamic vineyard techniques, said it first (and probably best): “In...

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