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Pinot Briefs —Newsletter 6.46

Pinot a Perfect Choice at Thanksgiving The California Wine Club conducted a survey and found that most of its club members preferred to serve Pinot Noir on Thanksgiving. Pinot Noir received 34% of the total votes, followed by Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Champagne/ Sparkling Wine.

Pinot Noir Going to the Dogs Carivintas Winery works with well-known winemakers in California to produce special bottlings with dog photo labels. Carivintas is derived from the word caritas (charity) and vin (wine) - blending wine with philanthropy. The sales of the wines generate donations to sponsored organizations. One of the newest releases is Resilient Pups Pinot Noir, a 2005 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($40). Proceeds from the sale of this wine directly supports the Louisiana SPCA. For this and other wines, go to www.dogloverswineclub.com.

Device to Avoid Wine Headaches University of Berkeley chemistry professor Richard Mathies, who has long had wine-induced headaches, has developed a sensor-filled chip that can measure the amount of amines in a wine. Some amines, such as tyramine, can cause headaches in wine drinkers by elevating the heart rate and blood pressure. Tyramine is more often found in red wines that have undergone MLF. There are plans to produce the device commercially. ((Source: www.decanter.com).

Wine on Broadway “WINE LOVERS, The Wine Tasting Musical” will premiere with six show performances at the Triad Theatre on Broadway from December 1st to the 10th, 2007. The musical tells the story of two mismatched students attending a wine class led by an effervescent teacher and their journey of discovery. The audience participates in enjoying six wines along with the class and “everyone learns a little about wine… .and love.” The score is written by wine expert and Gourmet Magazine wine consultant Michael Green and award-winning composer Gary Negbaur. Green noted that, “The original concept for WINE LOVERS came out of the inherent theatricality of wine classes and the fascinating reasons why people are driven to attend a class in the first place.” Wine Lovers is directed by Holly-Anne Ruggiero (Jersey Boys, 700 Sundays). The musicals tagline is: “See, swirl, smell, sip, and savor WINE LOVERS - a romance in six glasses. For information and tickets: www.wineloversthemusical.com.

“Pastiches” Wine Poster Calendar Noted French wine posterist, Jean-Pierre Got, has published a 13-month 2008 wall calendar featuring a selection of 13 graphic art posters that Got created for French and California wineries and vineyards. Retail price is $14.99. Available in the USA from GottUSA@yahoo.com, 209-772-1303.

Wine-Flavored Desserts Popular Mercer’s Dairy in Boonville, New York is producing wineflavored ice creams. The ice creams won best new product in the Small Bite, Big Taste Competition at The Great American Dessert Expo in 2007. The grapes come from the oldest winery in the United States, Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, New York. Each pint of ice cream contains 5% alcohol or the equivalent of one glass of wine. Flavors include Ala Port, Peach White Zinfandel, Red Raspberry Chardonnay, and Royal White Riesling. For information, go to www.mercersdairy.com. David Zablocki and Bret Birnbaum, childhood friends from Queens, New York and both wine lovers, have developed a line of wine sorbets. The Pinot Noir is the most popular of the six flavors which also include Champagne, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Rosé and Sangria Rojo. The website is www.winecellarsorbet.com. You will need an ID to buy either of these desserts!

Pinot Noir Soda A company in Berkeley, California has introduced sodas made from Central Coast and Northern California grapes, labeled Vignette. The sodas are sweetened with varietal wine grape juice and have the flavors of the grapes (ie Pinot Noir tastes like cherries and violets), but none of the alcohol, tannins or oak. The two flavors are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The sodas are available in restaurants and at specialty food stores. For a complete list of sources, go to the company’s website, www.winecountrysoda.com.

Final Harvest Reports According to WineBusiness.com, the 2007 Sonoma County harvest was smaller than average, but of very high quality. Steve Dutton summarized the vintage well when he said, “The crop size was down, but we harvested beautiful, beautiful fruit this year. If someone’s not making great wine from this vintage, they’re in the wrong business.” Reports from the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County were similar: potentially “best ever” quality with lower than normal yields. Gary Pisoni noted, “Low winter rainfall left the grapes screaming for water. That early season stress kept yields very low. The 2007 Pinot Noirs from Pisoni and the Santa Lucia Highlands will be fantastic. They are dark, intense, and have great acidity.”

Ambullneo Vineyards Solomon Hills Pinot Noir Greg Linn, proprietor of Ambullneo Vineyards, is a proponent of blended wines. However, when the selection process of barrels for blending resulted in discovering certain barrels from a single vineyard with highly unique features, Greg was forced to bottle them separately. The 2006 Solomon Hills Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir is being sold now as futures for a spring, 2008 release ($95). Greg notes, “The wine is reminiscent of a great Grands Echezeaux with Asian spice, soy sauce, truffles, earth and cola. The finish is amazing and will reward you with an endless loop that has a hard time finishing.” 70% whole cluster fermentation, aging in 60% new French oak. For details and ordering consult the website at www.ambullneovineyards.com.

Spiegelau Has the Curves The new Venus line of wine glasses and decanter are said to have the shape of a well-proportioned woman’s body. The company says, “No shame on him, when he thinks of a beautifully curved leg when looking at elegant stems of the high glasses from the Venus series.” Check them out at www.spiegelau.com

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