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To Cork or Not to Cork: Part 2

Who doesn’t love the pop of a cork at the beginning of a dinner with friends or a New Years Eve celebration? The history of cork usage for wine bottles goes back millenia. The natural cork is punched from the bark of the Quercus Suber or cork oak tree, grown primarily in Portugal (50%) and…

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March 9, 2022

The Story of Sulfites and “Natural” Winemaking

As I sit in my office/dining room on a typical rainy Portland day in March, I am clearly reminded that weather has a huge impact on wine making. As everyone knows, Portland has a reputation for rain, which I can confirm in my short time here. It seems 3 out of every 4 days has…

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March 2, 2022

Wine Faults and Wine Storage

How do you know if a wine is bad and what to do? You are in a restaurant and the waiter pours you a taste of the wine you chose. You take a sniff and recoil at the odor. What do you do? a) Pretend it’s fine. It must be me  b) Look quizzically at…

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February 23, 2022

Cabernet Sauvignon and Chianti and Merlot Oh My! On Grape Varietals and Wine Regions

What do Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir and Merlot have in common? They are types of wine grapes. What do Chianti and Rioja and Bordeaux have in common? They are regions that describe types of wine. If you have ever confused the two categories, you’re not alone.   Though there are over 10,000 wine grape…

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January 26, 2022

Phylloxera: The Scourge of the Wine World

Leaf grapes phylloxera Phylloxera: The Scourge of the Wine World or How a Louse Almost Killed Wine “Scourge: a person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering” (Oxford Languages) So maybe you are reading this post as a result of the teaser from my post on AVAs? If so thank you, science is fun…

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January 21, 2022

What is an AVA and Why Do I Care?

Do you want to become an educated consumer of wine? Then knowing your AVAs is a great first step: AVA stands for American Viticultural Area and defines the geographic region where a specific vineyard is planted. Geek out on the details below, so you can make sense of the hundreds of wines on the store…

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January 11, 2022

Where Does Wine Start? In the Earth!

The Dirt on Oregon Wine “The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care…

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January 3, 2022

Let’s Talk Terroir

Wine is an expression of a place and time, and when combined with the natural aspects of the vineyard such as water, sunlight, soil, and climate, we begin to understand a wine’s terroir.  To understand terroir we have to go beyond the grape variety or the viticulture (farming) practice and recognize the unique environmental conditions…

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August 2, 2019

The Components of Wine

So, what is wine? We know it is a lovely juice from fermented fruit, but what components help to create this magical liquid? Just think WAASP… Water, Alcohol, Acid, Sugar and Phenolic compounds. Now, let’s chat more…. Water Wine is usually 80-9o% water. It usually comes mostly from the grapes, but water can be added…

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June 28, 2019