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Monday, July 26, 2010

Romancing Wine Country

Do you love a glass of fine wine with a meal? Whether you imbibe or not, you might agree that the idea of wine, wineries and vineyards conjure up images of romance and love. Two of my favorite movies are set on vineyards. I’ll never pass up a chance to watch FRENCH KISS or A WALK IN THE CLOUDS. Both movies bring the setting directly into the romance and create the tone for love and happily ever after.

Have you ever gone wine tasting? I’ve only done it a few times myself in California’s famous wine country during the summer months. If you get really good at wine tasting, you can actually tell what blends were used in the making of the wine, from berries to the kind of wood used for the barrels. I’m not that good but I’m willing to learn. And I’m told that at harvest time in September and October a fruity sultry sweetness flavors the air for miles and miles.

Since researching and writing the Napa Valley Vows series, centered on three brothers who run the Carlino Wines empire, I’ve actually acquired a taste for deep red wine, Merlot and the lighter, Zinfandel. I learned so much about making wine and vineyards that I thought I’d share this list with you.


The corkscrew was invented in 1860.

While it can vary with white and red wines the average number of grapes to make one bottle of wine is 600.

An irrational fear of or aversion to wine is called Oenophobia (who knew!)

According to scientist Bill Lembeck there are approximately 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne. (no wonder it tickles our noses!)

Thomas Jefferson built a wine cellar under the White House and bought more than 20,000 bottles of European wine.

Greece makes fine wine but also produces 2/3 of the world’s olive oil
About 800 gallons of wine are produced from one acre of grapevines.

There are 60 gallons of wine in a single barrel.

I’m hoping to visit Napa again soon. We had a wonderful time on the Wine Train that took us on a leisurely ride through the hills and vineyards as we dined on lunch served in a dining car and of course, our choice of yummy California wine. Now, that’s romantic!
Napa Valley

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