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Wine 2015 Fun


When Wine Enthusiast revealed its 2015 picks for America’s Best Wine Restaurants, no one ’round these parts should have been surprised by the inclusion of so many of our local favorites. A whopping 14 Bay Area dining establishments made the cut, with five North Bay establishments in the Top 14:
Bottega, Yountville (#4)
Press (St. Helena (#8)
Solbar, Calistoga (#12)
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena (#13)
Valette, Healdsburg (#14)

Off-The-Wall Wine Pairings

Our taste preferences are rapidly changing. It’s time to pair wine more intelligently with your evolving new diet. Try these suggestions:
Upscale comfort food with Cabernet Franc & Carménère: Both of these wines have a distinct bell pepper or green peppercorn flavor that will match surprisingly well with the cream and bitter greens in Southern cuisine. When matched with dishes such as creamed spinach, corn grits and collard greens, these wines taste incredibly fruity.
Vietnamese cuisine with sparkling Rosé: The use of exotic spices like star anise and richly sweet hoisin sauce make the ginger-like kick of sparkling wine a great choice, because it adds an additional flavor component to Southeast Asian foods and you’ll find Rosé wines tend to pair better with a wider variety of meats (or tofu).
Nuts (instead of bread, aka the gluten-free starter) with dry Sherry and Sercial Madeira: These wines might not be your usual main pick as an aperitif for dinner. However, if you start imagining them more like a fine whiskey, you’ll start to realize that Sherry and Madeira are amazing cocktail alternatives. These two wines pair up perfectly with roasted nuts and salty olives.
Perfect fried chicken with Brut Cava: Fried food and bone-dry sparkling wine is a match made in heaven. And Cava is so affordable that you might find it to be a easy replacement for an ice cold beer.
Fish tacos with Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo or Grüner Veltliner: All three of these wines have green herbaceous notes, which sometimes even taste of jalapeño. Because of their grassy, gooseberry and jalapeño flavors, they’re best friends with any fish or chicken taco. Keep your eyes peeled for a Spanish Verdejo or Sauvignon Blanc if you’re looking for a wine to match to the theme.

Hangovers in Other Languages

Some loose translations of how people around the globe refer to what we call a “hangover.”
• The French call it “wood mouth.”
• Germans refer to it as “wailing of the cats.”
• Italians call it “out of tune.”
• Malaysians call it “lo.”
• Norwegians identify it as “carpenters in the head.”
• Spaniards call it “backlash.”
• Swedes refer to it as “pain in the hair roots.”

Strange But True

Q. How do you open a wine bottle with a book? Please be sure you’re sober before trying this one.
A. This method actually works, insists Mark Levi in Why Cats Land on Their Feet and 76 Other Physical Paradoxes and Puzzles. “I tried this myself, having been stimulated by a combination of scientific curiosity and the lack of a corkscrew, not necessarily in that order,” he wrote.
Start by pressing a book against a wall, then strike the bottom of the bottle against the book while holding the bottle with a towel and wearing protective glasses in case of breakage. With repeated strikes, the cork will inch out bit by bit to the point that you can pull it out by hand.
What drives the cork out of the bottle, Levi explains, is “wine hammer,” similar to “water hammer” (in plumbing) or “hydraulic shock.” The bottle accelerating into the book causes compression of air inside the bottle that acts as a spring to slow the wine and drive it back into the cork. “In effect, we are hitting the cork from the inside, using wine as the hammer.”
Source: Bill Sones and Rich Sones, Ph.D.


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