From the Top: Talk from the Top 100 Wine Blogs with a Texas Perspective – July 31, 2010

From the Top: Talk from the Top 100 Wine Blogs with a Texas Perspective – July 31, 2010

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THE POUR – 12 Reasons to Look Beyond the Usual Wine Selections

By Eric Asimov

Either way, here are a dozen obscure grapes that are the foundation of some wonderful wines and will reward intrepid explorers.

ASSYRTIKO, from the volcanic island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea.

BLAUFRÄNKISCH, in the Burgenland region of eastern Austria,

FRAPPATO, from southeastern Sicily,

FUMIN from the Vallée d’Aoste, the peculiar Alpine

FURMINT, is the great white grape of Hungary.

GRIGNOLINO, mostly from the Piedmont region of Italy

LAGREIN from the Trentino-Alto-Adige region of northeastern Italy

MENCÍA from the regions of Ribeira Sacra and Bierzo in western Spain

PINEAU D’AUNIS, an ancient red grape from the Touraine region of the Loire Valley

ROMORANTIN, another ancient grape from the Touraine

TREIXADURA, from the Ribeiro region of Spain

TROUSSEAU, from the Jura region of France

VT Comment: Maybe one (or more) will find its way to Texas and become our “national” grape. One grape that didn’t make it on Eric’s List was Rkatsytli. I have been told that Les Constable at Brushy Creek Vineyards ( has a direct email link (and maybe Skype) going with a Georgian monk who gave him the inside poop on how to grow the Rkatsytli grape that derives from that wine region. Read more about these weird and wonderful grape varietals at:

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DR. VINO – Canadian cows drink red wine for better flavor

The world wine glut just found a new category of consumer: cows.

A farmer in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is feeding her cattle red wine for the 90 days before slaughter. According to the Vancouver Sun, Janice Ravndahl of Sezmu Meats stumbled on the idea while watching chef Gordon Ramsey feed beer to pigs on his show, The F Word. Because she thought her Angus would get bloated from the carbonation in beer, she started feeding her cows a liter of local red wine a day, sometimes mixed in with their food, sometimes straight. Here’s how the cows reacted: “When the cows first drink the wine, it’s like ‘what is this?’” says Ravndahl.

“But once they have it, they’re happy to have it again. They moo at one another a little more and seem more relaxed.”

VT Comment: This year is a great one for Texas grapes, probably the largest wine grape harvest on record. Hopefully, we won’t have to make wine and feed it to the cattle. Do your share to create space for the 2010 harvest on your wine shop shelves. Go out today and buy a bottle of Texas wine (bonified Texas Appellation, not the counterfeit “For Sale in Texas Only” stuff)

More at:

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VINOGRAPHY – This Wine Designed by the Government Just For You

I’m one of the last people you’ll see jumping on the Mondovino bandwagon to bemoan the homogeneity of the world’s wines thanks to the evils of globalization. But nonetheless a recent announcement from New Zealand, definitely has me a little queasy.

You can read the story yourself, but here’s the gist of it: the New Zealand government is spending $12 million dollars to improve and bolster the market performance of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Not a bad idea on its face, right? Nice to see a government backing its wine industry and helping it continue to succeed in the marketplace.

But here’s how they’re going to do it according to project leader Roger Harker: “They want to create a pipeline of New Zealand-centric flavour styles that will generate excitement in the marketplace and further stimulate demand.” And according to the New Zealand Herald: “The signature herbaceous, grassy style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc could be played with “at the edges” to create a diversity of tastes at the upper end of the market.”

VT Comment: Maybe the Texas state government could promote a “Texas-Styled Wine”. The only problem is that we really haven’t figured out what in the hell it is yet! More at:

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