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Wine Along with Me

Columnist

Norman Rosinski
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Columnist: Norman Rosinski
October, 2014 Issue


Welcome to the annual Wine/Harvest Fair issue of NorthBay biz magazine. This special issue is one of our favorites. That’s probably not too surprising, as it’s a sentiment that’s long been echoed by both our readers and advertisers. This is the 18th year that NorthBay biz has been the official print publication of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Here, you’ll find the 2016 Harvest Fair guide and schedule of events to help you navigate your way around the fun. If you’ve never attended or haven’t gone in a while, make sure to attend this year. It’s a guaranteed good time.
 
As is our habit, this Wine/Harvest Fair issue is filled with fun, facts, figures and fancy. Beginning with a profile story on the Cline family and on through a romp in the fields in Vineyard Vignettes, as well as reviews of outstanding wineries in Great Tastes, you’ll be informed while being entertained. Taken together, this issue explores both the lighter and more serious sides of growing grapes and making world-class wines right here in our own backyard. So, sit back, relax, pour yourself a glass of your favorite local wine and enjoy this special issue of NorthBay biz. Then go out and enjoy the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.
 
In my younger days, I remember enjoying delicious meals prepared from scratch by my Italian aunts—every meal a masterpiece. Recently, as I was recalling those days, I thought, “How did they manage to never serve a disappointing meal?” Then I remembered a secret one of my aunts shared: She always cooked her meals with wine. Thinking back now, I believe that sometimes she even put some in the food she was serving.
 
Given that this issue is dedicated to all things wine, I thought it appropriate to share some random facts and trivia on the subject, though I’m guessing most of this information won’t surprise our wine-savvy readers.
 
 
 
Random facts and trivia about wine
 
There are more than 10,000 wine grapes varieties worldwide.
 
The calorie count in a 4-ounce glass of wine ranges from 80 to 100 calories. It has no fat and no cholesterol.
 
People sensitive to histamines can often get headaches after drinking wine.
 
Most wines do not improve with age.
 
Wine corks were introduced in the mid-17th century. Before that, Italian and French winemakers used oil soaked rags stuffed in the neck of bottles.
 
Wine is mentioned 512 times in the Bible.
 
The oldest glass wine bottle to-date was found in Speyer, Germany. It was found in an ancient Roman chest and is dated to 325 AD.
 
30 million gallons of wine was destroyed during 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
 
The United States has 905,000 acres of land dedicated to vineyard (90% of them are in California), worldwide numbers are speculated to be around 20 million acres.
 
Oenophobia is an intense fear or hatred of wine.
 
The first record of specific wine vintage was from Roman historian Pliny the Elder who rated 121 BC as a vintage “of highest excellence.”
 
More than 200 wine bars were preserved when volcanic lava covered ancient Roman city of Pompeii.
 
The largest wine-drinking holiday in United States is Thanksgiving.
 
The oldest California winery was built in 1855.
 
90% of wine corks come from Portugal.
 
Greek philosopher and mathematician Plato argued that wine must be drank only after age 18, moderately until 31, and after 40 in as large quantities as the man wants.
 
The country of Turkey has almost twice as much acreage set aside for winegrapes as does the United States.
 
Thomas Jefferson’s salary was $25,000 per year. In 1801, Jefferson spent $6,500 for provisions and groceries, $2,700 for servants and $3,000 for wine.
 
The Napa Valley crop described in 1889 newspapers as the finest of its kind in the U.S. was…hops.
 
The shallow champagne glass originated with Marie Antoinette. It was first formed from wax molds made of her breasts.
 
During World War II, a group of Alpine soldiers who were stranded in mountain snows survived for a month on nothing but a cask of Sherry.
 
It’s impossible to create a beverage of more than 18% alcohol by fermentation alone.
 
White wine gets darker as it ages while red wine gets lighter.
 
The pressure in a bottle of Champagne is about 90 pounds per square inch. That’s about three times the pressure in automobile tires.
 
The soil of one famous vineyard in France is considered so precious that vineyard workers are required to scrape it from their shoes before they leave each night.
 
Let’s close with this wine and spirit related fact, more in keeping with the normal tone of this column: It’s estimated that the federal government takes in 14 times more in taxes on distilled spirits than producers of the products earn making them. That doesn’t include what states and localities additionally take in taxes on the same products.
 
 
 
That’s it for now. Enjoy this special issue of NorthBay biz.


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