Missouri Grows Wine Grapes You’ve Never Heard Of

Well-known wine grape varieties don’t hold up well in Missouri weather, so vineyards are harvesting little known varietals like Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc and Vignoles.

Never heard of those varietals? If you plan to pick up a bottle of Midwestern wine, you’d better familiarize yourself with these strange yet tasty grapes. Read more.

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Summer Bounty

It seems like everyone is overheated right now, especially as we move into the long month of August. The fantastic thing about summer is the opportunity to eat so many wonderful fruits and vegetables that are in season at the moment! In the heat, a heavy meal sounds unappealing, so I am taking advantage of all the amazing produce to enjoy light, cooling and healthy salads.

After our trip to the produce market today, I decided to throw together this salad of mixed greens, cantaloupe, blackberries, nectarine and some slivered almonds. Topped off with a touch of ginger dressing and accompanied by a lovely glass of Prosecco, it made for a perfect late afternoon lunch. The added benefit of making salads for meals is not having to turn on the oven and heat up the house.

So keep it made in the shade everyone, and enjoy all the wondrous treats summer produce has in store!

Cheers!

Drones Are Winemakers’ New Best Friends

A growing number of wineries are using aerial drones to aid in crop analysis, utilizing them to survey everything from water levels to leaf quality to vineyard security.

They’re saving a lot of time and manpower, but some purists aren’t sold on the idea and instead claim the new technology is robbing winemaking of its traditions and romance.

Check out the article about this new trend in Wine Enthusiast.

Can Humans Smell Wine Better Than Dogs?

I may not share my life with a dog (I have rescued cats), but I love animals even more than I love a good wine. It’s a well known fact that most canines have far superior noses to humans and can pick up on scents from far away. Right? Well, that assumption may be wrong when it comes to wine!

A top researcher has argued that, contrary to popular belief, humans have “excellent olfactory abilities” and can smell scents such as wine and bananas better than dogs.

Read more about our superior sniffing capabilities when it comes to picking up scents in relation to our four legged friends.

Noble Rot Makes A Tastier Wine

A group of German scientists compared how different fungi affect a wine’s bouquet, and found that noble rot results in a peachier, tastier white wine.

Vintners have known about and used noble rot to their advantage for centuries, but until now it hasn’t been known exactly how the fungus impacts the resulting vintage. A recent study published in Frontiers in Chemistry tracked wine made from grapes affected by noble rot and another fungus, powdery mildew.

Want to know what else the researchers discovered? Read more.

Centuries Old Wine Collection Discovered

Museum workers in New Jersey broke through a Prohibition-era wall and a locked wooden cage to discover over 50 bottles and 42 demijohns of rare Madeira wine dating back as early as 1769. This wine discovery yields the oldest known collection of Madeira in the United States.

The six-month renovation also led to discoveries of more wine in the attic, where demijohns of wine were found buried beneath piles of straw. Demijohns, or large glass vats, commonly held spirits in transit and for storage.

Bottles of Madeira created for the personal use of Robert Lenox, a millionaire and major wine importer from New York City, were among the bottles discovered in the renovation. Lenox died in 1839, according to the New York Historical Society.

During the renovation, the wine cellar’s wooden shelves were repaired and reinforced with brick. The display is now open to the public, and employees say that one of the original two-century old bottles may be opened when the President of Portugal visits the museum at a later date.

Screwcaps Allow Wine to Age Gracefully

Screwcaps, the oft-maligned wine enclosure, actually allow fine wine to age gracefully. At first I’ll admit that I was on the fence about buying a pricey bottle of California cab with a screwcap instead of the more traditional cork. Although personally I think it’s too early to tell how non-cork bottles will age, I’m onboard with the new wine enclosure!

Get ready to wave goodbye to the cork: screwcaps are the wave of the future. Read more.