Tag: chardonnay

The Best Wine Choices For Christmas Dinner

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Yes, it is that time of year … Christmas is on our doorsteps and time has come to choose the best wines to drink and offer as gifts for Christmas. However, finding the most appropriate red, white or rosé is not the easiest undertaking considering the growing number of options.

If you need to give wine as a Christmas gift, you might want to take into consideration the personality of the person, and, obviously, their tastes and preferences. You could opt for a specific DO (Denomination de Origen), as your loved one could have a personal relationship with a region or as a way to remember a shared memory. It is also a possibility to let someone discover your own homeland through its terroir.

If you know the person well, don’t hesitate to be daring and score wine cellars for unusual combinations, exotic locations or audacious looks. On the other hand, if you want to impress your family-in-law, you might want to invest in a classic from a traditional country. 

Pairing Wines for Christmas Dinner

If in addition to wine as a gift, you need something that goes with dinner. Once you have a clear menu in mind, you can start looking for the appropriate wines to serve with the dishes. However, you may be wondering what type of wine to drink with fish dishes, or how to wine with lamb the best.

The key to pairing wine with dishes lies in the type of grape. The varietals will guide you through choosing one type of wine or another. The red wines are traditionally associated with the meat and the main dish. For instance, the Cabernet Sauvignon is ideal to accompany heavier dishes rich in fat and umami while the Merlot is softer and nicely complements traditional Italian cuisine like pasta or lasagna. You can also choose wines with several varietals to enjoy a richer and more complex experience. 

On the other hand, sparklings and white wines are often drunk with seafood and fish. Indeed, Cavas and Proseccos have a light, cheerful and fruity character which are infallible. You can also choose mineral white wines, which tend to be fruity, fresh and with a good acidity. Here again, the varietals’ features will help you make the best choice. For example, Chardonnay grapes are wide, versatile and refreshing whereas Riesling is aromatic, delicate, and expressive.

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Terras de Alleu 2013, a red wine from the Douro Region that contains Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca.

 

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José Pariente Verdejo 2016, a white wine with the best Verdejo grapes from the 2016 vintage.

 

Portugal as a land of wine: the wine regions of Lisboa and Ribatejo

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The district of Lisbon has always been present in the history of wine culture of Portugal. Much of the production of white wines of Bucelas (Denomination of Origin region from 1911 until today) regularly travelled to English court.

In Colares (near Sintra), there are the country’s oldest vines. After several decades falling into oblivion, the Adega Cooperativa de Colares has developed and boosted its production. Here there are produced “crianzas” (4 years required), open coloured and approximately 12.5% alcohol content. The main grapes are Ramisco, in red wines, and the delicate Malvasia, in white wines. Anyone who has had the opportunity to taste the wines from this area certainly have noticed that they are a little jewel in terms of body and very special aroma.

Another wine region that shares territory with the Tagus river is Ribatejo, known for its generous wine production for the domestic market, thanks to large areas of flat terrain and temperate climate, which once supplied the Portuguese colonies in Africa.

From the 80s the Ribatejo vineyards have undergone major restructuring, coming from its cellars themselves, now with stainless steel tanks -before concrete-, oak barrels for aged wines, and even the production legislation of regional wines, which allows the use of strains not admitted by the DO, which consequently opens a wide range of possibilities to create new wines.
The traditional strains are many: Periquita and Castelão Nacional are the queens of the reds, while for the whites they usually use Fernão Pires and Arinto, among others. But the vineyard restructuring has allowed the introduction of international strains such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah, with excellent results. Their white wines are fruity and with floral aromas, and reds are aromatic with soft tannins.

Also in Lisbon there is a great wine production with the strain Periquita, in addition to Touriga Nacional and others. The Lourinhã region develops excellent aged spirits and just off, in Óbidos (Leiria district) they produce a very aromatic liqueur, garnet red, called Ginginha de Óbidos, and some varieties have aromas of cinnamon or vanilla. Carcavelos wines, the smallest Portuguese wine region, are syrupy, age very well and have a topaz colour and aroma of almonds.

Arruda dos Vinhos – Lisbon (also called “Ruta de vinos” or wine route) produce some of the best wines in the region, maintaining its quality for over 50 years. The reds are robust, garnet red and whites are light, straw or citrine coloured.

Since the choice is difficult… our recommendations for today are more than two : )

From the Lisbon district:

From Ribatejo we offer a white wine and a red wine. The first is the result of the union between the traditional Fernão Pires with Sauvignon Blanc; the second is born from Touriga Nacional and Syrah.

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Chocapalha 2010: a red wine with this DO: Lisbon with a blend based on the 2010 grapes and 13º of alcohol strength.

 

 

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Casal Santa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2014: a white wine Lisbon based on sauvignon blanc of 2014 and has a volume of alcohol of 13º. 

 

 

*Article originally published by Rita Bonet at O Blog de Uvinum

Good, nice, cheap and white

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The new year has brought with it very promising white wines. Today we want to share with you the major novelties which, with its vintage 2014, are coming with great force.They will not let you down!

El Perro Verde 2014

El Perro Verde is a wine as original as its label. Made from 100% Verdejo grape, is a wine with good structure and a long, pleasant aftertaste. Perfect for those who like white wines with more travel and… irreverent wines. 

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From the Bodegas Félix Lorenzo Cachazo cellar (Rueda) we received a El Perro Verde 2014.

 

 

Jean Leon 3055 Chardonnay 2014

Jean Leon 3055 Chardonnay 2014 has been made from 2014 chardonnay strains. You’ll enjoy it with light dishes such as rice salad with pineapple and shrimp; natural clams or razor clams; or with a soft risotto with mushrooms and green asparagus.

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Jean Leon 3055 Chardonnay 2014 is a white wine with DO Penedes made with chardonnay of 2014.

 

 

Marqués de Riscal Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Herederos del Marqués de Riscal elaborates this Marqués de Riscal Sauvignon Blanc 2014. It is a white from the DO Rueda, based on sauvignon and sauvignon blanc strains 2014. Great for pairing with soups and paellas.

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Herederos del Marqués de Riscal is the maker of this Marqués de Riscal Sauvignon Blanc 2014.

 

 

Montes Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Casablanca Valley 2014

Montes Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Casablanca Valley 2014 is a fresh, youthful, fruity wine… A lovely wine from Chile’s Casablanca Valley region.

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Montes Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Casablanca Valley 2014 is a s a white wine with DO Casablanca Valley from the Montes cellar made with sauvignon Blanc of 2014.

 

Enate Chardonnay 234 2014

Enate Chardonnay 234 2014 is a white wine that will delight those who prefer greasy and complex white wines. Its aroma has notes of green apple, fennel, exotic fruits and peach. Ideal for fish and seafood.

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Enate Chardonnay 234 2014 is a a white wine with Somontano DO.

 

 

 

Afortunado 2014

Afortunado 2014 is a vivacious and citric wine that teams up well with white meats and rice. It also has a very original label that worth it to get one of these bottles, right?

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Afortunado 2014: of Viñedos Singulares cellar: a white wine from Rueda DO with the best bunches of verdejo from the 2014 vintage and 13º of alcohol.

 

 

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014

The cellars Villa Maria are responsible for this Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014, a white wine from DO Marlborough based on sauvignon blanc and pinot gris. In nose, dominate notes of passion fruit, melon and honeysuckle, and in mouth is smooth and pleasant. A safe bet.

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Villa Maria is the maker of this Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014.

 

 

 

Infraganti 2014

With such a suggestive name, Infraganti 2014 can not be overlooked in any way. This cool and jovial Verdejo will remind you of white flowers and ripe fruit.

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Miravinos is the maker of this Infraganti 2014, a white wine from Rueda with a blend based on verdejo of 2014

 

 

Mestizaje Blanco 2014

Mestizaje Blanco 2014 is made from Merseguera grape, a Valencian native variety which Bodegas Mustiguillo has harvested from organic farming. It is a fresh and sweet wine with a long finish that will leave you a nice mouthfeel.

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Mestizaje Blanco 2014

 

 

 

Castell Raimat Chardonnay 2014

With intense aromas of tropical fruits and other more subtle, such as pineapple or melon, it is a balanced wine that brings a refreshing acidity. Pair it with a salad, seafood and white meats and you will savor it more and better.

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Castell Raimat Chardonnay 2014: a white wine from Costers del Segre DO of Raimat cellar with the best bunches of chardonnay from the 2014 vintage.

 

 

Viñas del Vero Chardonnay Collección 2014

Viñas del Vero Chardonnay Collección 2014 is a wine made in the DO Somontano through a process of cold maceration of freshly harvested grapes. This means that it is a distinctive wine with very good national references in previous vintages.

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From the Viñas del Vero cellar we received Viñas del Vero Chardonnay Colección 2014.

 

 

Parvus White 2014

Parvus White 2014 is an organic crop wine from DO Alella, made from chardonnay. The palate is fruity, greasy and oily, so it will go very well fish, both grilled and breaded.

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Parvus Blanco 2014 is a white wine from the Alta Alella winery.

 

 

 

Viña Esmeralda 2014

Viña Esmeralda is probably one of the most famous wines from this list, and it’s a safe bet especially to enjoy with a relaxed meal with friends. If you’ve tried it, you will surely repeat this year. And if you have not, you will surely do it next year.

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Viña Esmeralda 2014

 

 

Images: Uvinum and Wikipedia.

Winebeer, what a mix!

 TAGS:To me this new invention: the winebeer sounds quite weird. Just hearing its name I start getting all kinds of flashbacks as: cherrycoke, this drink with cherry and coke mixed together (puaghhhh!) about which it was nothing good except for the melody of its ad (mostly because it was catchy) and K2, and I?m not talking about the mountain but about that invention that some enlightened mind had of mixing dark and Virginia tobacco in one cigarette … (no comment).

Luckily the ideologues who have taken this step have not gone further than white wine so we will not have to hear about a grotesque mix of red wine with beer. To mix red wine with something we already have the Coke which also originates such a social, cheap and rooted in popular culture drink as the ?calimocho?, which even has its name in Spanish and all. That?s quality.

We must try to understand these brave Americans who invented the name winebeer (even though they did not have to think much to get it). If you go to a bar and ask for it they will do a visual inspection all over your person before they serve anything else, in case you already had too much to drink.

It is said that the original idea combined Chardonnay with lager. But now they are beginning to dare doing the mix using Sauvignon Blanc as well (whaaaaat!!?????). That’s what white wine has, it inspires: sometimes too much. In northern Europe they have combined the white wine with water for years. A light chic plan for those endless days of sunshine that summer gives to you when living in those lands. Days are endless long, although very few a year.

Regarding beer there is many more people who dares to try all kinds of mix. Beer with lemon, also known as Shandy, is the star of the bar at any time during the summer. For those who like it, of course, because I prefer it solo.

However, although its short lifetime, winebeer has already been successful in some contests and beer awards. Minimum we can do is to taste it before keep on speaking about it (or criticizing it). And if anyone has already tasted it, please give us your feedback and tell us what kind of food goes better with … because I can imagine that the food pairing will be quite challenging.

Synonyms for grape names

Uvas

Bastardo (Bastard), Periquita (lovebird), Rabigato (tailed cat) … we are speaking, of course, of the names of grapes.

There are plenty of vines to make wine, many of which are very popular in the world. But these grapes have more than just one name, usually due to their areas of origin where they are called by different names. That’s why we have compiled for you the most famous grapes and their other names.

  • Tempranillo – This grape of Spanish origin, receives some similar name and some additions such as Tempranillo Rioja, Tempranillo from Rioja, Tempranillo from Perralta, Tempranillo from Rioza and the feminine form would be Tempranilla, synonym of Tempranillo. But undoubtedly the most popular synonyms are Tinto Fino (Ribera Del Duero), Tinta del Pais (in Rioja and Ribera del Duero) and Tinta de Toro (Toro). In Catalonia the name is Ull de Llebre, and in Portugal is used with the name of Tinta Roriz, eing an important part of the usual mix of Porto wine. It is Less frequently called Cencibel de la Mancha, Tinto de Toro, and Tinto de Madrid, Aragonese Tinta, Arganda, Cencibel Chinchillana, Escobera, Garnacho, Foño, Jaciuera, Black of Mesa, Grenache Logroño, Arinha Tinto, Tinta Santiago, Montereiro Tinta, Riojano Tinto, Valdepeñas, Verdiell and Vid de Aranda.
  • GarnachaGarnacha of Spanish origin, called “Garnacha tintorera” is also known as Alicante, Alicante Bouschet, Moratón, Negral, Tinto basto, and just as a Tintorera. The Garnacha Tinta, also receives many synonyms as: carignan rouge, Carignane rosso, rosso carinagne, elegant, francese, black garnaccho, common Garnacha, Grenache black alloying, alloying di Rivalto, alloying poggiarelli, Grenache common Black Grenache, Garnacha black, Grenache Grenache red or gray Garnache in Castilla y Leon and Catalonia, garnatxa black garnatxa country, or garnatjo or Garnatxo, in the Maresme (Catalonia) and at the north of Catalonia, Giró or Gironet in Mallorca, Granaccia, toccai rosso and grape from Spain ‘uva di spagna’, among others.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Undoubtedly one of the grapes most commonly used in winemaking, this popularity gives it many synonyms such as bordeaux, sauvignon rouge, petit Bouchet, Carbonet, marchoupet, Vaucluse, carmenet, burgundy red, castet, Verona, board Breton, Cabernet sovinjon, bidure, Navarre, lafet, petit cabernet and petit Vidure among others.
  • Syrah – In other countries outside of France, country of origin of this grape it is also called Shiraz (Australia and New Zealand). But in France it is given names like: Candive Noir, Entournerein, Hignin Noir, Plan de la Biaune, Schiraz, Sérine, Séräne, Sirac, Syra and Syrac.
  • Macabeo – Is a grape of Spanish origin, also called: Alcañol, Alcañón, Blanca de Daroca, Charas Blanc, Forcalla, Gredelín, Lardot, Maccabeu, Perpignan, la cola de Renard, Rossan, Viuna or Viura, being the last two the most popular synonyms together with Alcañol.
  • AirenIs the more cultivated white grape in Spain, and there gets names like Lairén, mantuo laeren, valdepeñas, laeren del rye, valdepenero, aidén, manchega, forcallada, forcallat, and lairén.
  • Chardonnay – This grape originated in Burgundy goes by many names, among them are: ardone, klevanjka biela, chatey petit, sainte marie petite, chaudenet, rousseau, rouci bile, bargeois blanc, arboisier, chardennet, arnaison blanc, luisant, aubaine, auvernat blanc, epinette blanche, moulon, plant de tonnerre, maconnais, auxois blanc, noirien blanc, melon blanc, gentil blanc, chablis, arnoison, beaumois, pinot chardonnay, clevner weiss, auvernas blanc, auxerrois blanc, petit chatey, petite saint-marie, pinot blanc a cramant, melon d’arbois, gelber weissburgunder, feinburgunder, roussot, blanc de champagne, breisgauer sussling, romeret, morillon blanc, feherburgundi, pinot blanc chardonnay, weissedler, auvergnat blanc, epinette de champagne, ericey blanc, grosse bourgogne, lisant, luizant, luizannais, luzannois, maurillon blanc, moreau blanc, romere, burgundi feher, claevner, klawner, weiss silber, rulander weiss, feher chardonnay, shardone, and pino shardone.
  • Bonarda – This grape is called in France: Fouce noir. And in Italy: Dolcetto Nero.

Shall we drink a few wines? We recommend you some wines with a mixture of grapes (blend or coupage) among the tastiest on the market: 

 

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The most typical blend from Rioja is Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo, combined in this wine to create a fantastic range of aromas and flavour.

Buy Viña Albina Reserva 2004 8,95

 

 

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Pago de Carraovejas is one of the mythical wineries of Ribera del Duero. This great wine is made from a mixture in which the protagonist is the Tempranillo, accompanied by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

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Napa Valley, the beautiful valley of California

Napa Valley

California is a U.S. state known for being home of the film Industry, Hollywood, for its beaches, for Los Angeles, San Francisco, …and also as a region that produces some of the best wines in the world.

The most famous wine region of California is Napa Valley, Napa Valley, ancient region of the Wappo Indians. It is believed that the name of Wappa was gaven to them by the Spanish, so the Napa Valley would actually be “beautiful valley”.

The Wine production in Napa Valley took place during the nineteenth century, though a plague of phylloxera, first, and the US Dry Law and the Great Depression later made the success of the wines from Napa Valley to wait more than 100 years.

Here were 2 events that have consolidated Napa Valley as the premier wine area in the U.S.:

  • In 1962, Robert Mondavi started to grow vines in Napa Valley. Mondavi has been the most important wine producer in the US, so his interest in Napa Valley made many other producers also settle in the area, until the present time, in the one you can count more than 300 wineries in this small valley .
  • In 1976, in Paris, there was a famous blind tasting where, over French wines, the big winners were the Chardonnay wines from Napa Valley, followed by the famous wines of Napa Valley, made with Cabernet Sauvignon. The outcome of this competition helped to break the prejudices that were on the US wine and definitely helped to promote the production of wine in the area.

Since then, the success of the wines from Napa Valley has not only grown, they are also an example and that has led to the development of many other denominations of origin in the area: Sonoma County, Carneros or Russian River Valley are some of the designations or AVAS, as they are called there, which have grown in prestige in the shadow of Napa Valley.

The famous Tuscany Valley of Falcon Crest was precisely inspired in Napa Valley, how the style of California has managed to use, like nowhere else in the world, the benefits of marketing, since many of the wineries operating here get as much or even more benefits from wine tourism than from wine production. 

Is estimated that than 8 million people prefers to visit wineries, rather than Disneyland each year Do you Feel like trying wines from Napa Valley? Then let us recommend a few: 

  • Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay 2007: Merryville was the first winery built in Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition. An elegant wine, matured in barrels, with floral and vanilla notes. 
  • Merryvale Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Lots of fruit, especially cherry and raspberry, with fine notes of wood that gives it a fresh flavor and a long and soft aftertaste. Wonderful.

White grapes’ aromas

Classic questions in those who approach to the world of wine tasting are on the aromas. How does this wine smell? What should you smell? The smell of one thing or another, is it good or bad?
White Wine GlassIf you’ve ever seen in movies the classic sketch in which an expert is able to reveal the vintage, type of grape, the origin, the make and even if the keeper of the wine cellar had cached a cold in October, you cannot help feeling frustrated, when then you go and smell a wine and you?re not able to identify any does things. However, it is normal at first not to know how does the wine you taste exactly smells. 

In my case, the transition has been far more natural than that. I tasted a wine, and if I liked it I would look at the label and tried to remember the name. Later, what type of grape was? In varietal wines, went gradually finding matches between a Chardonnay, for example, and a different grape. So I learned the aromas given off by each grape.
I could not name the aromas, but I knew the difference between a Macabeo and Riesling.
I always recommend start on tasting white wine, because the range of aromas are much different between each other (floral, fruit, herbs, honey ,…) than red wines, which can also include aromas of barrel aging .

Finally, in a tasting course they gave me the proper names for the impressions perceived. And so I began to be considered as an assessor, but I like to think I’m just a wine lover.
“Do grapes smell different? Yes, as you know a cherry tomato is different form a pear tomato. But if you make a gazpacho mixing these two varieties, it would be difficult to distinguish them. So If you’re interested in learning how to taste wines start with varietals in order to recognize each grape individually.

The smell of one thing or another, is it good or bad? Depends on whether you like the scent or not. There are very faithful to the generic flavor of the grape wines, because the grape winery that wants to take his best, but some wineries (or winemakers) make completely different wines, in which you can hardly recognize the grapes, because they want to emphasize that their vineyards are unique and different, or are able to obtain new flavors in this variety. Everything is ok if you like the result.
What should a white wine smell like? Who knows. Throughout history a standard of aromas have been established, which are the aromas that are usually present in each type of grape. But it is not the same a Gewürztraminer grown in La Mancha than in Austria.Even with a particular wine, as the vineyard ages or external factors change (global warming, new pressing and lift, winemakers contributions), the resulting wine might have change its aromas.
Finally, we must consider that it will not smell the same when wine grapes are collected green, from those collected mellow. It is Logical, right?

Albariño GrapesThe standard of white grapes are more or less, the following:

? Chardonnay: Green apple, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, melon, banana, …
? Riesling: Green apple, citrus, quince, smoked, spicy, petroleum, …
? Gewürztraminer: rose, gardenia, lychee, mango, peach, …
? Macabeo / Viura: green fruit, apple, white flowers, wine, …
Muscat: There are as many varieties of Muscat as aromas. Also, when it comes to wine varietal it overripe grapes are often used: candied fruits, honey, dried rose petals, orange blossom, peaches in syrup, …
Sauvignon Blanc: ripe fruit, smoke, asparagus, green pepper, passion fruit, …
Albariño: golden apple, honey, apricot, floral, …
Airen: banana, pineapple, hay, barley, lavender, …
Malmsey: white fruit, lemon, peach, plum, …
Palomino: Lima, bitter almonds, aniseed, salt, balsamic, …
Verdejo: White fruit, green grass, mango, melon, fennel, …
Can a wine made from these grapes smell like something else? Yes, of course. Additionally, the name of the aroma must be named after whatever that aroma reminds you. In some tasting notes can be read: aromas “dew of a morning in October,” “recently changed sheets”, “red apple cut in two”,? bakery working full time “,… seem absurd, but if you read carefully that would bring up to your mind some aroma.
How do we know if a wine that smells like apple is a Chardonnay, Riesling, Macabeo, Albariño or any other grape? Well, the aromas are not exclusive. The same wine has several flavors at once, so try to identify other aromas in the glass to help you to decide. More than a recommendation it is an obligation for those who like wine: try, try, try and try …

Twitter’s Fledgling Wine launches

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In an exciting convergence of technology, CSR, and wine, yesterday Twitter launched it’s first wine, called Fledgling Wine. The 2009 vintage includes a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, sourced from “top-flight California vineyards”, crushed at San Francisco’s DIY custom crush facility Crushpad, and on sale on $25 a bottle, but probably the most interesting thing about the wine is where your money goes. $5 from every bottle will be used to promote literacy in Uttarakhand, India through the non-profit Room to Read organization. It’s part of Twitter’s declared larger effort to increase access to information and use open communication to bring about positive change, and as the company points out, ” if you can’t read you can’t Tweet!” In true Twitter style the winemaking process has been shared with users along the way, allowing them to participate in the process. 

Supporting educational efforts simply by enjoying your wine seems like an attractive idea to me…find out more about Fledgling Wine or buy a bottle here

The Arrival of Wine-in-a-glass

Wine-in-a-glass

The introduction at Marks & Spencer of Le Froglet’s Wine-in-a-glass, an individual serving of either Chardonnay, Rosé, or Shiraz in a covered plastic glass has spurred a great deal of online discussion. Part of the story is the owner of the idea, Mr. James Nash, had his vision unkindly shot down by the BBC’s Dragon’s Den panel, who have been evidentially been proven wrong as Marks & Spencer reportedly cannot keep the glasses in stock.

However, some commenters have decried the environmental impact of the single use glasses, which is valid, but why should wine not be permitted in single use containers when so many other beverages are? (Target in the US offers more environmentally friendly single use wine tetrapacks, kind of like grown up juice boxes, but that concept hasn’t taken off yet.) And some seem offended by the very idea, that it’s déclassé and  “unromantic”.

Wine has survived the introduction of wine cooler and white zinfandel, so I doubt it will suffer at the hand of a plastic glass. If anything, it’s one more way for wine lovers to enjoy the product– and what’s wrong with that?