April Fools for Wine Lovers – Or Not?
April is for Wine Fools…or not? Is it just coincidence that my fellow Diploma of Wine tasting group member and wine professor, Cal Poly’s, Dr. Terry Lease, brought several new products to my attention? After wondering whether he was pulling an April Fool’s joke on me or not, I dug into some new alcohol beverage industry offerings that go into the “Off the Wall in Wine” category. Can you handle the truth?
Wine Recommendations Below: There are freaky wine labels in the industry, however our selections below are no wine joke.
“Keeping up with the wine industry news…..reader beware,” Dr. Terry Lease, Ph.D., Cal Poly, warns.
Petit Insane: Virginia Wine and Hawaiian Cannabis
Yes, you are reading this correctly. Petit Insane: This wine features Petit manseng grapes co-fermented with natural Cannabinoids (think Maui Wowie.) The vintner in the video above suggests that you might want to binge on pizza, Fritos, Pink Floyd, and Oreos while drinking this wine. Is this crazy insane or crazy smart? Time will tell. As the video notes, the product is pending approval of the Virginia ABC - Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.
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Alcohol Made from Cheese Waste Could Help Fix Dairy’s Whey Problem
CNN Business has reported news featuring Wheyward Spirit, a California distillery that has partnered with Ben & Jerry’s, to replace alcohol in the Irish cream liqueur that is Ben & Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide flavor with a whey-based alcohol. This is not the only company transforming whey into alcohol. Bertha’s Revenge Irish Milk Gin hails from county Cork, Ireland, and produces a hand-crafted gin. Whey-based alcohol production is in the early stages, but may solve a problem for small-batch cheese makers who have byproducts and “way too much whey on their hands.”
Terroir Gum – Chewing Gum for the Discerning Wine Drinker
Joe Wagner, a 5th generation winemaker, has introduced Böen Terroir Gum, an expressive gum varietal that evokes a “sense of place,” much like your favorite wine AVA – American Viticultural Area. In the video Joe Wagner asks, “Are you a fan of dirt? Then we have the bubblegum for you.” This bubblegum showcases the cool-climate terroir* of the California Central Coast on the nose and with each bite…clay, loam, with a dirty texture. Will this gum “blow up” the market? Available for a limited time starting April 2, 2022. See Below. “What is Terroir.”
101 Point Wine Rating System
Just when you thought you were starting to understand the 100-Point Wine Spectator ratings or the Jancis Robinson or UC Davis 20-point scale, Nevah Herdaheem, has devised the 101 Point Rating System. All wines receive scores of either 100 or 101 points. Curated by Nevah Herdaheem you must submit each bottle for scoring with either $100 or $101 per bottle. Cash and cryptocurrency are accepted. “What could be higher than 101 Points? wine critic Nevah Herdaheem asks.
** “What is Terroir?” Terroir is a French term representing the special combination of climate, soil, latitude, rain, sun, geography, elevation and aspect, and growing conditions that are unique to a vineyard or viticulture region. It evokes a “Sense of Place.” It only took 37 English words for me to describe terroir. That is why the French term terroir is such a useful term for winemakers, viticulturists, and wine writers! Ask yourself, does this wine express the aromas, body, and flavor of its terroir? The great ones often do. Tricia Conover, DipWSET®, CSS
Great Wine - Unbelievable Labels
Funny, crazy, or offensive? These are real wines with some decent ratings. No April Fool’s here.
The Freakshow, 2019 Michael David Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi, Ca $20
2017 Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points.
Notes: Sporting one of the first unique and fun labels produced, this wine has bold plum and vanilla flavors and aromas. Dark fruit taste and a hints of floral character contribute to this wine’s complexity. The Phillips family has farmed the Lodi, CA region since the 1850’s.
Plungerhead Zinfandel, 2018 Lodi, California $14
89 Points, Wine Spectator
Notes: Plum and raspberry burst from this glass of wine. This Zinfandel really delivers flavor.
Tait the Ball Buster, 2018, Barossa Valley, Red Blend $18
91 Points, Robert Parker
Notes: Deeply purple in color with plum and chocolate aromas, this is a bold red blend of old-vine Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
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