Behind the scenes of the wine phenom nick-named in a Internet chat room raged an epic battle over the value of brand, and California’s quintessential spirit exclaimed by its own state motto: Eureka!
Down to our DNA we Californians hold triumphal belief in Gold Rush riches from supernatural pluck: A guy comes to LA with two Jefferson’s in his pocket and immortalizes his name on dream machine Disney studios. A billionaire-in-training collects bottles to eat, and starts Apple computers in a garage. California’s governor was an immigrant weight-builder turned Hollywood action hero. Even the sporting event of the 20th century happened right here when ‘milk-cart pony’ Seabiscuit obliterated every record and left Eastern aristocratic champ, War Admiral, in his dust.
And even though California is a relatively new entrant to the 8,000 year old craft of winemaking in just the last 31-years California vintners have caused the three most spectacular upsets in all of wine’s illustrious, long history:
At the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris blind taste-testing then upstart Napa winemakers challenged the presumed superior–and slightly amused–French vintners. Noble France was handed its head on a plate and Napa was elevated as le monde de vin’s shimmering Camelot. Then in 2006, on the 30-year anniversary of France’s stunning rout, the Gauls expected to slap-down the Americans in a rematch to select the Big Ten Wines. They received a second beret-twirling shock when Napa won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 10th places which cemented California vintners’ collective derriere firmly to the world’s wine throne.
But in July 2007 it was the Napa winemakers who felt a stinging blow when $1.99 a bottle bargain vintage, Charles Shaw Chardonnay, affectionately or derisively known as Two-Buck Chuck depending on your point of view, won the double Gold Medal at the prestigious California State Fair Commercial Wine competition. Two-Buck bested 350 labels many from Napa’s premier wineries.
A bit of extra sea-salt in the wounds was that Fred Franzia, Two-Buck’s Dad, and owner of Bronco Wines headquartered in Ceres, in California’s Central Valley, spent not a dime marketing his value-priced brew. It sold itself in the Internet firestorm ignited by its nickname. Seems the Millennial Generation bite on snappy wine labels. And though it sells only through one vendor, California’s Trader Joe’s stores, it is the fastest growing wine brand in U.S. history and the hottest seller ever out of Napa.
Oh, and there’s the rub. “Out of Napa.”
Franzia’s Bronco Wines’ empire stretches over 35,000 acres from Sacramento to an hour above LA along the Tehachapi range. He owns more of those pristinely neat, green running rows than anyone in California. But the catch is that he trucks the juice from his grape crush and processing operations in Ceres to be bottled and distributed, also by his own companies, in Napa. Portly Franzia says he is a Robin Hood Crusader bringing good cheap wine to the overeducated, underpaid Gen Xs and their aging Yuppie folks, and to the aforementioned Millennials, too.
The Princes of Napa have sued him for being a pirating knave.
Here in California, the inborn archetype of fables like Zoro and the Lone Ranger emotionally resonate. They’re our life-blood and we crave the fix of a fresh infusion. So when a strategic renegade snickers as he cleverly defeats his foes to benefit the oppressed people–we get a little misty in the eye.
But the Napa winemakers say, hold the phone, kiddies, let’s review Ethics 102.
It was we who built this dream, and made Napa into that glistening Eden that’s California’s second tourist destination after Disneyland. And by slapping the Napa appellation on his cheap grapes carted in from Ceres, Franzia is like Time’s Square street hawkers peddling knock-off bags. He’s diminishing our world-class brand.
Hmm. Oh, yeah. There’s that, too.
After a six-year legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court corks popped in Napa’s palatial showcases. The Napanistas finally beat the guy who they regard as a philistine at their verdant, glammy chateaux gates. But hey, my only horse in this race is California wines. I send spiritual bouquets to them all.
By herself, California is the 4th largest wine producer in the world. Bottom line is that winemaking is civilizing, it’s ancient, it’s hip, it’s cool, it changes culture and it heightens life and the spirit and the romance of California. And for that we owe all vintners a debt of thanks for adding luster to California’s fame.
Franzia, a third-generation Italian-American from an illustrious winemaking family, sits in his Ceres shack of a trailer office at the center of his 30-label domain. He’s no frills kind of guy, who drives a dusty jeep, eats at low-end diners, is a hell of a businessman and philosophical about his court loss.
But just remember, folks. Ceres was the Goddess of agriculture and fertility. And Horace, the greatest of Latin poets from the Augustan times who wrote phrases like carpe diem-seize the day–said that he would not abide sailing in this fragile skiff of life with any man who’d divulge the secrets of Ceres. Whatever next surprise is coming from Fred Franzia, is bound to have ‘Eureka!’ at the end and the blood’s rushing to my head right now imagining it.
© 2008-2012 Suzanne de Cornelia-All copyrights apply. This article may be reprinted on websites as long as the entire article, including the website link and resource box below are included and unchanged.
All wine connoisseurs know that drinking wine isn’t simply an activity done for the purpose of rehydration – it is a pleasure and an activity meant to stimulate the taste buds. This means that there is an art to appreciating good wine and to being able to enjoy the different, yet subtle, variations and flavors that each individual bottle of wine should offer. In fact, tasting wine is closer to eating fine food than taking a drink of any other beverage.
The art of wine tasting is a massive factor in the enjoyment of this drink. Not only will it allow one to properly appreciate the different nuances and complexities of every bottle, but will also lead to a greater understanding of the craftsmanship and skill that goes into creating the world’s best wines. Only once one has gained a true respect and affinity with the wine making process can one truly declare that they are a wine expert.
There are four essential steps when tasting wine – four steps that everyone has probably seen various wine experts go through on television or at wine shows. But why are these four steps so important and how should they be carried out?
The first step that any good wine taster will go through involves simply looking at the wine after it has been poured; something that will reveal a lot about the taste that is shortly going to hit the palette. Holding it up against the light and looking at the different colors and the depth of the wine will give an insight into the process that has gone into the production and will also provide information about the wine’s ingredients and quality. Look especially for streaks of color or subtle variations in the depth, before moving on to the second step…
The second step still doesn’t see the taster actually being allowed to let the wine touch their lips! It is though perhaps the most recognizable feature of a wine expert – the swirling of the wine around the glass and therefore getting the wine to coat the inside of the glass in a thin veneer of liquid. After this is done, one should look at the wine closely again. Should it have changed color or lost some of the subtle dashes of color, it means that the bottle of wine being tasted is a more complex one. No change lends itself to the conclusion that a more basic wine is being drunk. Swirling allows oxygen to get into the wine and truly release the aroma of the wine.
Next up is the opportunity to smell the wine and allow the beautiful intermingling aromas to float up the nostrils. Most wine experts try to pick out familiar smells, such as the strong smell of cinnamon, so that they can have a good idea of what they are about to taste. As their knowledge of wine becomes greater, people will be able to seek out more and more exotic smells in their glass.
The final step means that the taster finally gets to taste the wine – which is undoubtedly the most eagerly anticipated moment of the whole process! It is important that one doesn’t simply drink it down though – instead it should be swilled around the mouth, engulfing the different taste buds and setting off a number of flavorsome sensations. During this process it should be possible to taste the ingredients that have already been identified when smelling, as well as some other components too. After swallowing ensure that the aftertaste is considered as well.
I’ve included a link to a site that suggests 7 great wine blogs. All seven offer great specifics to accompany the basics offered in this article. The other link is a great site for wine storage products. Enjoy!
A few years back only dentists could whiten your teeth.This was done by calling you for one or more sittings with a long process of applying the teeth whitening gel on your teeth. You would have to give a lot of time and money for the purpose, but now the case is not the same with the outburst of various teeth whitening toothpaste in the market. Teeth whitening products are now accessible and affordable for anyone. Whitening toothpastes actually work and shows results that are positive and give you whitening improvement up to 1.5 shades in a month’s use.
You must be practical and need to maintain the whiteness of your teeth once you achieve them. You must avoid drinking coffee, soda, red wine, or smoking for these are factors that affect the color of your teeth. The whitening effect of the product also depends upon the type of your teeth, and the basic and natural color of your teeth.
Teeth whitening toothpaste will definitely help you whiten your teeth, but you need to follow the instructions of the product. There are some medicines that discolors the teeth in prolong use. If this is the case you can use the whitening toothpaste after the medication is complete. Go through the instructions and see if there is any restriction for using the toothpaste, or consult your dentist. Also beware that fluoride, which is in drinking water in some cities, can effect the color of your teeth.
There are lots of factors that discolor teeth, and one of them is ageing. As your age increases, the color of the teeth darken, and the color of the gum deepen. However, the whitening toothpaste will bring some improvement depending upon your type of teeth and your habits. While using a teeth whitening toothpaste be conscious of sensitive teeth or irritation in your gums and enamel. Discontinue the use of the toothpaste for some time if this occurs.
Constipation is one topic that makes everyone uncomfortable, especially if you are suffering from it. Constipation, a common disturbance of the digestive system, is something that most of us have suffered from or will at some point in our life. For those that have yet experienced this, it is when the bowels do not move regularly or empty completely even when they do move.
Your stool may become very hard, which makes it very difficult to eliminate and causing you to strain, which then causes even more discomfort. The causes of constipation vary and most are not a sign of anything serious unless your constipation is chronic.
Some causes include changing your diet, changing your physical activity and not consuming adequate fluids or the wrong fluids. If the constipation does not go away, it is possible that it can progress to other health problems as the toxins in your body get backed up. So to prevent this, there are some home remedies that can be done with no to very minimal side effects.
Drink Away Your Worries
One home treatment that I have tried is red wine. Not that we are advocating alcohol use, but red wine does have a cleansing property to it. Another very simple yet effective home remedy for constipation is something that is similar to what they use to use in the hospital – soap. The recommended application can be done in the shower, during washing you lather the appropriate area and then wait to rise off for a minute or two. You should discover that after leaving the shower, you should have a bowel movement and it should be much easier with less strain.
The Power of Fruit
There are other natural or herbal treatments that are also very effective. Pears are very good at treating constipation. If you are a chronic sufferer, consider adding pears to your daily diet. For the occasional sufferer, one medium sized pear after dinner or breakfast will help get the bowels moving along.
Grapes and prunes are also very beneficial in alleviating constipation. They create a laxative effect due to the combination of cellulose, sugar and organic acid found in these fruits. Not only will they help with treating constipation but they also help tone up the stomach and intestine to help alleviate chronic constipation. Papaya and figs are fruits that are also wonderful home remedy choices for constipation. It takes just a half a papaya eaten with breakfast to work as a laxative. Both fresh and dried figs also work as a laxative.
You Want Me To Drink What?
Of course, we cannot forget the infamous home remedy for constipation that is even used with infants. That would be castor oil in warm milk. Or I have also found that adding a little karo syrup to warm milk will also help get the bowels moving and it taste better. Two teaspoons of aloe can also be consumed per day as a home remedy to relieve constipation.
Pound The Pavement
If none of these sound appealing to you, there is really no replacement for drinking a couple glasses of water and getting yourself out the door to go for a walk. One of the number one causes of constipation is immobility and the other dehydration. Your body needs fluids and movement to remain healthy. That includes our bowels.
It is easy to be tricked into the trap of exercising too often only to forget the amount of calories you are ingesting. With a good 2 hours at the gym under your belt, the seduction to give yourself a treat can often enter into your thoughts hindering the whole purpose of why you went to the gym in originally.
If any segment of this overview sounds like you, then the upcoming theories can help you overcome this.
First of all track your calorie intake during a week where you exercised excessively. Next repeat this same process but this time without working out. More than likely when you compare your calorie intake over these 4 weeks you will notice that you ingested less during the non-workout period than when you worked out.
Yet before you decide to get ride of exercise from your weight loss system, monitoring your eating habits isn’t enough for guaranteeing successful weight loss. Exercise is essential too. The key to getting it right is getting the right balance between your calories eaten and your calories out.
To help you maintain a balanced diet, free from the influences of eating snacks when you workout, we recommend adding the following into your diet:
Oatmeal – this high fibre food is low in calories and sugar, making it an optimal meal to ease your appetite between the morning and lunch.
Eggs – eggs are one of the few food options in your diet that include Vitamin D as well as minute calories. Enriched in protein as well, eggs are a fantastic way to fill up quickly.
Blueberries – a great source of fibre, blueberries include no fat and are an excellent source for Vitamin C. Plus renowned for containing antioxidants, these toxin fighters have been proven to burn fat for fuel.
Brown rice and whole grain pasta – these include loads of fibre and little sugar. The perfect tea fill up.
Ground turkey breast – the great thing about ground turkey is that you can use it to make lots of meals whilst benefiting from its low fat and large protein content.
Heated apples – nutritional foods doesn’t have to be uneventful. By removing the centre, slicing the apple and heating it up with cinnamon and sugar on top, this can make a great nutritional dessert.
Red wine – whilst you should always drink red wine moderately a study by Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital has revealed that dieters who drink 2 glasses of wine per day are 30 percent less likely to become obese.