Sunday, August 31, 2008

Making your own Wine

Did you ever wonder if you could make your own wine...and how you'd go about doing it? Chris Pearmund, a Virginia winemaker and former wine merchant, will walk you through the steps of turning grapes into delicious wine all in the comfort of your own home in the video below.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Drink for the Cure

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Fat Bastard wines are doing their part to cure this disease by donating 25 cents for every bottle sold in restaurants and retail stores, up to $75,000. This is the sixth year the company has run this program and to date, they have donated more than $250,000 to breast cancer research.

During October, Fat Bastard wines will be easy to spot on the shelf. They'll have a pink ribbon necker with an attached pin for consumers to wear. Fat Bastard's wine collection includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

(photo © istockphoto)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wine Pairings for Labor Day

Labor Day is next weekend and many of us will be grilling up hot dogs, bratwurst, and other traditional picnic fare that is difficult to pair with wine. In a recent article, Washington Post columnists, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg offer suggestions on what to serve with "dinner in a long bun." Among their suggestions are an Alsatian Riesling with bratwurst, a Rioja with a chili dog, and Chianti with Italian Sausage.

(photo © istockphoto)

Ohio's AVA Regions

The American Viticultural Area (AVA) system is a program administered by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Similar to Italy's Indicazione Geografica Tipica designation, it maintains the requirements for putting a place name on a wine label. For instance, in order to list an AVA name on the label, a wine must be made of 85 percent grapes grown in that area.

There are over 185 such designations in the United States, 95 percent of which are in California. However, Ohio has six AVAs. They are:

  • Lake Erie - The shoreline from Toledo to New York
  • Grand River Valley - The area surrounding Lake County's Grand River
  • Isle St. George - North and South Bass Islands in Lake Erie
  • Kanawha River Valley - Along the Kanawha River in South Central Ohio
  • Ohio River Valley - The largest AVA in the country, this area spans from Indiana to West Virginia, along the Ohio River.
  • Loramie Creek - In Shelby County, in West Central Ohio

(photo credit: peddle chen/cc license)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ohio Wine Grapes: Catawba

Catawba grapes, a purple-reddish grape found in the Great Lakes region and along the East Coast of the United Sites, was discovered by accident in North Carolina in the early 1800s. The Catawba grape first arrived in Ohio, in the Cincinnati area, which was once the center of Ohio wine-making. It made its way to Northern Ohio in the early 1900s and found a climate that suited it, protected by the waters of Lake Erie.

Catawba grapes are used to produce sweet sparkling and still wines. They are also commonly used for juices, jams, and jellies. Among Ohio wineries that produce Catawba wines are Mon Ami Winery in Port Clinton, Ferrante and the Old Firehouse Wineries in Geneva, and Heineman Winery on South Bass Island.

(photo credit: Flickr user: jolie jeanne/cc license)