Category Archives: Wine News

News about making and marketing wines

Stackable, Prefilled Wine Glasses

Stacked Wines MerlotWine merchants are always trying to come up with novel and convenient packages, and Stacked Wines has done just that: a 187ml container that is shaped like a stemless wine glass. The containers stack securely, and four of them are equivalent to a standard 750 ml bottle of wine. That’s a slightly larger pour than you’d get at your local restaurant, but I suspect they’ll get few complaints.

Stacked describes their container, dubbed Vinoware: Continue reading

Buying Wine at Sam’s Club

Sam's ClubI’ve always found Sam’s Club to be a good place to buy wine. They have an interesting, if limited, selection ranging from inexpensive, mass-market wines to pricier fare. Some of their best offerings are inexpensive wines that are hard to find elsewhere. For example, after trying one bottle of the rather amazing Cameron Hughes Lot 250 Meritage 2009 that cost a mere $8, I hustled back for another half-dozen bottles. That wine is a one-shot deal – when it’s gone, it’s gone. Continue reading

Wine Gift Ideas

Wine Cellar Wine Glass Charms (Set of 6)I love this season, because all sorts of wonderful wine accessories pop up in stores.  Plus, it’s a time of year when you can get something a little odd or extravagant.  I searched my own accessories plus a variety of sites to come up with some clever ideas for a few wine-lover oriented gifts! Continue reading

How Long is Boxed Wine Good?

Bota BoxHow long does box wine last?

One of the huge advantages of boxed wine is that it lasts for a month or even more after being opened. This makes it very practical for glass-a-day drinkers who would find storing partially opened bottle wine problematic or wasteful. But, box wines aren’t perfect – it turns out that the bag-in-box packaging is very slightly permeable to oxygen, and after a period of time the wine will oxidize and darken. Continue reading

Electronic Tongue Analyzes Wine

tongueSommeliers don’t need to worry about their jobs yet, but researchers at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona have developed a device that is capable of identifying types of cava, a sparkling wine from Spain. The device “combines chemical measurement systems and advanced mathematical procedures, including an “artificial neural network,” that mimics the human tongue and brain to parse levels of sweetness.” Continue reading

Oops! $1 Million in Fancy Shiraz Lost

What’s one advantage of inexpensive wines? Well, if a forklift driver drops a load, you won’t be out a million bucks. That’s exactly what happened in Australia. 462 cases of 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove shiraz — worth about $200 for each and every bottle — were smashed while being loaded onto a ship in Adelaide. The bottles fell about 20 feet, which was enough to ensure total destruction.

The lost wine was about a third of the year’s production for that winery. (More.) It’s hard to imagine one forklift load of wine being worth $1 million, but those $200 bottles add up quickly. And, one assumes, it must have been a big forklift to lift 462 cases at once. Or perhaps not big enough.

Boxxle: Elegant Box Wine Dispenser

Boxxle boxed wine dispenser

Boxxle for boxed wine

We box wine enthusiasts love the good parts of boxed wines: freshness for weeks after opening, minimal storage space, low environmental impact, and better-than-bottle pricing. But we have to admit there are a few annoyances (beyond lacking the satisfaction of extracting a cork). For one, getting the last glass or so out of the box requires extracting the inner bag and squeezing it into a glass. Second, since the wine is dispensed by gravity, the spigot is at the bottom of the box – you either have to set the box on the edge of your counter or table or place it on some kind of platform to pour into a glass. Boxxle may be the answer!

The idea behind Boxxle is simple enough – here’s a video from Kickstarter, where Boxxle founder Tripp Middleton is seeking enough orders to fund their production: Continue reading

A History of Zinfandel

Zinfandels

Zinfandels are perhaps my favorite reds – particularly the big, bold, not overly sweet Zins that combine rich complexity with plenty of fruit. I enjoy Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chianti, Bordeaux, and many other red wines, but somehow Zins are special. I was delighted to run across a wonderful chronicle of Zinfandel history at the Times & Transcript. I was surprised to learn that its American origins trace to New England before being transported to California in the 1850s. Although its origins seem to trace to Italy’s Primotivo grapes, it is considered an American varietal. Continue reading

Asparagus Wine?

asparagusWine makers have experimented with different wines for millennia, but to our knowledge this is the first example of making wine from asparagus. A small Michigan winery, Fox Barn Market & Winery in Shelby, is producing small quantities of wine from the smelly vegetable. Kelly Fox, one of the owners, said the idea came to her when her handed her a tub of mashed asparagus. She added water, sugar, and yeast, and it started fermenting. Fox noted, “It did not smell great.”

After 24 weeks of fermentation and periodic clarification, the asparagus wine is ready to drink. According to Fox, it is very clear and has a “mild asparagus aroma and flavor with a little hint of sweetness.” The story in the Chicago Tribune gives no indication as to whether the mercaptans, the compounds responsible for asparagus’s stinky reputation, are removed during the fermentation process or whether they stay with the wine. Continue reading