Wine

fermented beverages made from grape juice

Where is your wine from? Or, Appelation Demystified

Where is your wine from? Or, Appelation Demystified

Wines are about where they come  from.  There is a critical piece of info on a wine label I’ve been overlooking.  When the label on a bottle of wine says “Cabernet Sauvignon”, I rarely get further than thinking that’s the kind of wine in the bottle.  I’m looking for a […]

Enjoying your trip to a winetasting room

Enjoying your trip to a winetasting room

So you’re about to walk into a wine tasting room.  Maybe you’ve never been, maybe you’ve done this before but never been quite sure how it’s supposed to go: do I have to swish and spit, or what?  It’s kind of overwhelming.  There’s so much to know about wines, right? […]

Bud's Glögg (gløgg) (glug)

Bud’s Glögg (gløgg) (glug)

I guess it’s not too soon before Christmas to share the very best recipe for hot spiced wine I know. I make a single gallon of this at Christmastime every year, in honor of the man from whom my family got it.  We called him Bud; he was my sister’s […]

The Fascination of Ancient Beverages

The Fascination of Ancient Beverages

I have a desperate fascination for ancient wines, beers, and meads.  I love everything about them – trade patterns, methods of making and storing them, recipes, social usage, storage/presentation vessels, agricultural sources for ingredients – it just doesn’t end.  And when I say ancient, well, I’ve stopped using “historical” ’cause […]

Books for Brewers: Historical Primary Sources for Brewers

Books for Brewers: Historical Primary Sources for Brewers

Most recently updated August 18, 2015 I am chagrined each time I see someone online asking whether there are period sources.  You bet there are!  Here is a running list of historical primary sources for brewers. Secondary sources are on another blog post, yet another has modern how-to books,  and there’s one […]

Old Grapes, Lovely Wines: Muller-Thurgau and Tempranillo

Old Grapes, Lovely Wines: Muller-Thurgau and Tempranillo

All right, I need a break from writing about beer… so I’ll move over to something I honestly enjoy – wine.  Muller-Thurgau is a lovely German white flavored with elderflowers.  Tempranillo is Spain’s ‘noble grape’.  Both turn out to have fairly old, interesting histories, going back further in time than you […]

Passover:  Are honey and grape wine kosher?

Passover: Are honey and grape wine kosher?

Talking with Lori Titus at The Bee Folks this morning (as I was picking up thirty pounds of buckwheat honey) she mentioned that their honey had been Star-K certified, and have been since 2009 – and I realized there’s a whole world out there I know nothing about.  Not that that’s […]

Wine (history) - so old school

Wine (history) – so old school

I’ve been researching the history of alcoholic beverages in the Middle East.  Here’s a snippet of what I’ve found so far: Brewing as we enjoy it in the West originated in the Middle East – all of it: wines, beers, and distilled beverages all came to Europe from the Middle […]

Riesling - an historical grape

Riesling – an historical grape

DNA studies by Ferdinand Regner indicates that one parent of the modern Riesling vine is Gouais Blanc, known in Germany as Weißer Heunisch , brought to Burgundy from Croatia by the Romans[1].  This was widely grown by French and German peasantry in the Middle Ages.  The other parent is a […]

Tempranillo Wine, the rich Spanish red

Tempranillo Wine, the rich Spanish red

Tempranillo is a variety of black grape native to Spain.  It is called Spain’s “noble grape”, and is the main variety used in Rioja[1].  Spanish cultivation of vitis vinifera, the ancestor common to wine grapes, began in earnest in classical times with Phoenician settlement in the southern provinces.  Later, according […]

Müller-Thurgau : the perfect German table wine

Müller-Thurgau : the perfect German table wine

Müller-Thurgau is a white grape created by Hermann Muller from the Swiss canton of Thurgau in 1882.  However, it is a cross of Riesling with Madeleine Royale[1], which is a Chasselas seedling, and both Riesling and Chasselas are very old vines. There are several written references to Riesling as a […]