July 16th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • The London Review in 1864 had an ad from James L. Denman who was offering wines of Greece and Hungary.
  • The Mission of San Diego de Alcalá was founded in 1769 by Junipero Serra.  The Mission included 55,000 acres, and provided corn, wheat, barley, kidney beans, chick peas and other vegetables and vineyards to provide grapes for wine. 
  • The Dolcetto d'Alba DOC was created in 1974.  Alba is a city located in the Piedmont of Italy.

July 15th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Lisa del Giocondo died in 1542. She was the daughter of a Chianti vineyard owner and later married Florentine silk merchant.  She was the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous painting, The Mona Lisa.
  • James Busby, father of Australian wine industry died in 1871.  He brought the first grape root stock to Australia from France and Spain.
  • The Gabiano DOC was created in 1983.  These wines are made primarily (90-95%) of Barbera.
  • American wine critic, Jon Broneer died in 2006.

July 14th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Philip II, or Philip Augustus of France died in 1223.  He was known for the construction of Les Halles, the central market of Paris, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Louvre and the Sorbonne.  He was also known for commissioning a great wine tasting competition that was known as the Battle of the Wines.
  • Visitador General José de Gálvez sent the expedition of Junípero Serra and Gaspar de Portolà to found a mission at San Diego and presidio at Monterey in 1769. Fra. Serra planted to first vitis vinifera in Northern California as a result.
  • The Fête de la Fédération was a celebration of the unity of France after the revolution was occurred in 1790.  The day began with a mass and ended with a feast, fireworks, wine and running nude through the streets to show their freedom.
  • The Priestley Riots began in 1791 after a banquet to celebrate the French Revolution ran amuck.  Rioters fueled with wine from the banquet and liquor looted from destroyed buildings made their way to the house and church of Joseph Priestley who was driven from the city of Birmingham.
  • Happy Bastille Day!  Enjoy some French wine!

July 13th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Thomas Rowlandson, British artist known for his caricature and satire was born in 1756.  Many of his works involved the street life of his fellow countrymen including, “With Women and Wine I Defy Every Care,” and a Bacchanalian.
  • The Wine License Office, of Lincoln’s Inn in 1761 issued multiple notices requesting that people who had retail wine licenses that expired midsummer to renew those licenses.
  • Bulgaria was divided in five wine producing regions in 1960 (Danube River Plains, Black Sea Coastal, Valley of the Roses, Thracian Valley, Struma River Valley).
  • The AOC Côtes du Rhone Villages was named in 1951.

July 12th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Erasmus died in 1536.  He was known to suffer from gallstones and complained that Queens’ College, Cambridge could not supply him with enough decent wine which was used to treat the illness.
  • Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk was born in 1628.  His second wife was Jane Bickerton, daughter of Robert Bickerton, Gentleman of the Wine Cellar for Charles II.
  • Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817. He once wrote, "I would fain keep sober always.... I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor.... Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?” (crazy talk!)
  • The City of Montreal left the Port of Liverpool bound for NYC loaded with wine. It was the ship’s last successful trip to NY.
  • California's Red Hills Lake County AVA was designated in 2004.

Qorkz Kitchen - String Bean Salad with Shrimp

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This is a variation on my husband's Luxembourgish grandmother's summer salad.  I turned it into a complete meal with the addition of the shrimp and some additional veg.  It serves 2 as a main and 4 as a side dish.

  • 1 lb Green beans - frenched*
  • 1/2 Shrimp -cooked
  • 2 Green onions, chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks chopped
  • 1 Medium tomato diced
  • 1/2 Cucumber chopped
  • 1/4 cup Vinaigrette 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*The green beans are the star of this dish.  In fact, it is universally referred to as "String Bean Salad" in the family.  Traditionally, you start with beans you prep yourself.  Frenching the beans requires a little device referred to as a frencher which is a couple of bucks.  Boma used to use a knife to do this.  But she was from the Old Country and survived the Nazis, so she was more hardcore than myself.  After the beans are prepped you drop them into a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes and dunk them in ice water immediately afterwards to maintain their crispness and color and then strain to remove excess water.

or

Buy a bag of frozen frenched beans and let them thaw.  The freezing and thawing creates the same effect.  Just drain them well after they are thawed.

Mix the drained beans with the other ingredients and shrimp together in a bowl.  Toss with the vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.  We like to let the salad marinate for at least 1/2 hour in the refrigerator to make sure the flavors blend and to cool. 

This is a perfect dish for a hot summer night.  Light and crispy.  

July 11th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Eugénie de Montijo died in 1920.  She was married to Napoleon III who was both President and Emperor of France (sadly, in that order) and was the last empress of France.  She was the grand-daughter of a Scottish wine merchant.
  • Hans Irvine, Australian politician and vigneron who recommended using American rootstock to combat Phylloxera in Australia died in 1922.
  • It is the feast day of St. Savin of Vienne.  There is a French saying, “Rosée du jour de Saint-Savin, est, dit-on, rosée de vin” which translates (roughly) to “Dew on Saint Savin’s day is said to be the dew of wine”.
  • It is also the feast day of St. Benoît of Nursia, he is the patron of Europe, monks, scouts, architects, equestrians, machine operators, refugees and spelunkers.  Oh, and farmers.  And as we know.. No farmers?  No wine.  At one point in his life, the monks under his charge tried to poison his wine.  When the saint made the sign of the cross over his cup, the cup broke.

July 10th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Camille Pissarro was born in 1830.  He was a Danish-French painter who is known for still life paintings such as Still Life with Apples and Pitcher.
  • The Chemical News of 1874 has a report from the Committee on Adulteration who reports that “The man who sells us a blanket got up with a deliquescent salt, like chloride of magnesiums, imperils our health just as decidedly as if he had put  amylic or petroleum products in our wine, or red lead in our chocolate.”
  • The Black Hawk left Bremen in 1887 bound for NYC loaded with wine.
  • Madiran and Pacherenc of Vic-Bilh are awarded AOC status in 1948.  Both AOCs are for wines produced in the  town of Madiran in Gascony, France. The Madiran wines are made of Tannat and the Pacherenc of Vic-Bilh of Petit Manseng and Corbu.

July 9th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Stephen Báncsa, a Hungarian cardinal died in 1270.  As Archbishop of Esztergom, he donated a tithe of wine to the canons of St. Adelbert Cathedral.
  • The SS Gellert left Le Havre in 1887 bound for NYC with a shipment of wine.
  • The Carema and Sangiovese di Romagna DOC were created in 1967.
  • The Austrian government issued a health warning regarding diethylene glycol contaminated wines in 1985.
  • The Belgian AOC Hagelandse wijn was designated in 1997.

July 6th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • In 1714, Rev. Jonathan Swift received a letter from John Barber who arranged for Lord Bolingbroke to send Swift 2 cases of French red wine and a single case of strong Aaziana white wine.
  • Agoston Haraszthy, the "Father of California Viticulture" and founder of Buena Vista Vineyards died in 1869.
  • The Langhe Dolcetto Monregalesi DOC was created in 1974.
  • The Matera DOC was created in 2006.
  • It is the feast day of Saint Goar of Aquitaine.  He is the patron saint of innkeepers, potters and vine growers.

July 5th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • In 1709, the Earl of Seafield submitted the concerns of wine merchants to the Lord High Treasurer about the amount of Spanish wine flooding the British Market.
  • Sylvester Graham was born in 1794.  An itinerant preacher, he believed in vegetarianism and temperance to cure cholera when the accepted belief was eating plenty of meat, few veggies and drinking port.   He also believed that who grain crackers (Graham crackers) would prevent ‘self-pollution (masturbation).
  • The Everyday Book of 1838 relays a story about Swan-hopping in the City (London) where a group of gentlemen were scammed out of the cost of lunch for a group of ladies (and their servants) during an expedition up river to watch the ceremony to mark the swans of London.  The gentlemen in question found that they had been left with bill by the ladies who claimed that “their husbands” would cover the costs  of their dinner, dessert, wine,tea etc.  7£ 10 shilling.  By the way, London swans are still marked in London and are considered to be owned by the Queen, the dyers guild and the vintners guild.
  • French eonologist, Alfred de Vergnette de Lamotte was born in 1806. He is best know for his work on wine preservation.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Wrattonbully" was registered in 2005.

July 4th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • In 1660, Samuel Pepys met with Mr. Butler and William Bowyer at Westminster Hall and took them to the Sun Tavern where he gave them lobster and wine.
  • Founding father's toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence with a glass (or more) or Madeira.
  • Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and wine lover died in 1826. John Adams did as well but he didn't supply the government with wine from his own collection.
  • It is the feast day of Blessed Catherine Jarrige.  She helped priests escape the French Revolution providing vestments, wine and wafers for mass.  She also disguised a priest as a peasant and poured wine on him to make it look like he was drunk.  When encountering a soldier, she began to berate her “husband” the soldier said, “Citizen if I had a wife like that I’d drown her in the nearest river” to which the priest responded, “Citizen so would I!”
  • Happy 4th of July from Qorkz!

July 3rd - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Louis XI was born in 1423. He negotiated the Treaty of Picquigny ending the Hundred Years’ War bragging that his father had driven the English out by force of arms while he had driven them out by force of pâté, venison and good French wine.
  • Mr. Blakeman, a visiting preacher to Rotherham was paid a pint of Sack (sherry) in 1688.
  • Werlé & Co. received a patent for their champagne in 1877.  The company was the successor of Veuve Clicquot.
  • Idaho was admitted to the union in 1890.  It is home to the Eagle Foothills, Lewis-Clark Valley and Snake River Valley viticultural areas.
  • MFK Fisher was born in 1908.  She was a pre-eminent food writer and also founder of the Napa Valley Wine Library.
  • New York's Seneca Lake AVA was designated in 2003.

July 2nd - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Flemish painter, Theodoor Rombouts was born in 1637.  He created paintings such as Musical Company with Bacchus shown above.  Many of his paintings show card playing and drinking.
  • Nathaniel de Rothschild, founder of the French wine-making branch of the Rothschild family was born in 1812. 
  • The Chianti Classico DOCG designation was established in 1984.
  • The Ozark Mountain AVA was designated in 1986. 
  • California's Oakville AVA  and Rutherford AVA were designated in 1993.

July 1st - This Date in Wine History

 Image courtesy of the Walter Clore Center

Image courtesy of the Walter Clore Center

Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Dr. Walter Clore, father of Washington State wines was born in 1911. 
  • Dan Aykroyd was born in 1952.  As well as being a Ghostbuster he is also owner of Dan Ackroyd Wines.
  • France’s Coteaux de Pierrevert AOC was created in 1998.
  • Italy’s Lago di Corbara DOC was established in 1998.
  • California's High Valley AVA, Minnesota’s Alexandria Lakes AVA,  Red Hill Douglas County, Oregon AVA and Washington's Horse Heaven Hills AVA were designated in 2005.

June 30th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • John Gay, English poet and dramatist most known for The Beggar’s Opera was born in 1685.  He also wrote the poem, Wine as an homage.
  • Philip J. K. James, founder of Snooth was born in 1978.
  • Spain's Tierra de León DO was created in 2005.   Red wines are produced with Prieto Picudo and Mencía although Garnacha and Tempranillo are allowed as well.  White wines are produced with Albarin blanco, Godello although Malvasia and Palomino are allowed.
  • Spain's Valles de Benavente DO was created in 2005.  Red wines are produced with Tempranillo, Prieto Picudo and Mencía although Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon are allowed as well.  White wines are produced with Verdejo and Malvasia.
  • It is the feast day as Saint Theobald of Provins.  He is the patron saint of the town of Provins, Champagne, France, farmers, winegrowers, shoemakers, belt makers charcoal burners, single dudes, and invoked against feast, eye problems, dry cough, infertility and panic attacks.  Busy dude.

July 29th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Peter Agricola, a German humanist was born in 1525.  Despite wishing to become a clergy, he went on to have a secular career and went to the imperial court to advise Duke Henry XI who was the wine waiter of Ferdinand I.
  • French oenologist, Émile Peynaud was born in 1912. 
  • California's San Bernabe AVA was designated in 2004.
  • The Lavaux, Switzerland Vineyard Terraces was named a United Nations World Heritage Site in 2007. 
  • The Batalla de vino takes place in Haro, Spain.  It is part of the festivities for Feast of San Pedro.

June 28th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Alboin, King of the Lombards was killed in 572.  His wife Rosamund aided the assassins when he made her drink wine from the cup made of her father, Cunimund’s skull. 
  • King Edward IV of England was crowned in 1461.  He was captured by rebellious lords aided by his brother, George, Duke of Clarence.  For his part in the plot, Clarence was “drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine”.
  • The Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC was created in 1972.
  • The French have a saying, « S'il pleut la veille de la Saint-Pierre, la vigne est réduite au tiers. » or “If it rains the eve of St. Peter, the vines are are reduced to a third.

June 27th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Charles II of Navarre, known as Charles the Bad was crowned in 1350.  At the end of his life he was so decrepit that his doctor order him wrapped like a mummy in linen soaked in brandy (aqua vitae).  A maid dropped a candle and WHOOSH! This was seen as a sign of God’s justice.
  • Maximilian, Prince of Dietrichstein was born in 1596.  In 1643 he placed 2,000 barrels of wine at Nikolsburg Castle.
  • The American brig, Friendship  that was laden with wine and salt from Cadiz to Charlestown was taken by Captain Hope of the Kent in 1800.
  • Diethylene glycol was discovered in a bottle of 1983 Rüster Auslese from a Stuttgart supermarket in 1985.
  • Ycoden-Daute-Isora DO was created in 1994.

June 26th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Roman Emperor Julian was wounded in 363 during the Battle of Sammara.  He was treated by his physician who treated the wound with dark wine.  He died 3 days later.
  • Louis Bignon, French chef and agriculturist and Legion of Honour recipient was born in 1816.  He was known for the high quality of wine in his restaurant as well as investing in research on the phylloxera.
  • The Moscato di Siracusa DOC was created in 1973. 
  • The Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC, the Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC and the Rosso di Cerignola DOC were established in 1974.
  • The Tokay Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape and the Upper Middle Rhine Valley were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.