March 25th - 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.

  • Greece declared its independence from Turkey in 1821 freeing wine production from the onerous taxes of the Ottoman Turks.

  • French winemaker, Jean-Michel Cazes was born in 1935.

  • New York's Cayuga Lake AVA was designated in 1988.

  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Clare Valley" was registered in 1999.

  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Perricoota" was registered in 1999.

  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Adelaide Plains" was registered in 2002.

  • The French have a saying, « S'il gèle le 25 mars, pas de grain ni de vin. » or “If it freezes on March 25th, there will be no grain nor wine”.

March 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.

  • The final assault in the Surge of Chandax occurred in 961.  Previously, a  Byzantine forces had scoured the countryside in search of supplies which them to become drunk only to be attacked by the Emir’s troops.  The final sign on modern Heraklion was a success for the Byzantine forces.

  • Australian viticulturist, Dr. Richard Smart was born in 1945 .

  • Max Schubert, Australian winemaker responsible for Penfolds Grange Hermitage died in 1994.

  • Colorado's West Elks AVA was designated in 2001.

  • Ernest Gallo died in 2007.

March 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.

  • The Roman Emperor Julian began the military campaign that led to his death when he moved his army from Antioch to the Sasanian Empire This was a very bad idea. He was speared in his abdomen which damaged his liver, peritoneum and intestines.  He was treated with stitches and the irrigation of the would with “dark wine” but he died.

  • Lisa Gherardini married Francesco del Gioconda in 1495. 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.

  • Henry VI of England issued letters of patent to John Cabot for exploration.  The following year he landed in what is now known as Newfoundland in 1497.  He was the first European to to explore the region since the Vikings landed there and called it Vinland.

  • Frederick S. Cozzens publisher of Cozzens' Wine Press was born in 1818.

  • It is the feast day of Saint Ciarán of Saigir the first saint born in Ireland. Legend has it that he blessed a well that the tasted of wine and honey.

  • It is also the feast day of St. Thietmar of Minden (Bavaria).  He requested water from a servant who brought him wine.  After being brought wine several times by the same servant, he eventually followed the servant and watched as the water gathered by the servant transform into wine.

March 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.

  • Frederick I Barbarossa was elected King of Germany in 1152.  He died during  a swim in the Saleph River during the third Crusade and his soldiers tried to preserve his body in a cask of vinegar.  It didn’t work.

  • Charles Dibdin, a British composer, musician, writer and actor was born in 1745.  He is famous for the song and pantomine, The vineyard revels.

  • Vermont was admitted to the union in 1791.  It’s first commercial winery opened in 1997. (there are currently 68 wineries in the state) 

  • Oh, the humanity!  The Hindenberg had its maiden voyage in 1936.  Before the famous crash that ended zeppelin flights the Zeppelin Company provided food and drinks for the passengers including Zeltinger Rothlay Auslese, Moulin à Vent and Mumm, Cordon Rouge.

  • The V. Sattui Winery in Napa Valley was opened to the public in 1976.

February 1st - 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.

  •  "He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored" The Battle Hymn of the Republic is first published in 1862.

  • In 1888, New York City Excise Board Commissioner revoked licenses for individuals with licenses to sell beer, ale and wine for selling “spirituous liquors”.

  • The California Agricultural Experiment Station reports that the wine from Ploussard grapes from J.T. Doyle’s experimental plot in Cupertino was checked.  The lees were found to contain much lactic ferment in 1890.

  • It is the feast day of Saint Tryphon. He was from Campsada in Phrygia (Turkey) and is the Eastern Orthodox patron saint of gardeners and winegrowers. His head is located in the Cathedral of St. Tryphon in Kotor, Montenegro.

December 17th - 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 first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in 497 BC.

  • Jamal ad-Din Rumi, Muslim poet, jurist, scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic died in 1273.  He wrote:

On the seeker’s path, wise men and fools are one.

In His love, brothers and strangers are one.

Go on! Drink the wine of the Beloved!

In that faith, Muslims and pagans are one. -Quatrain 305

  • Humphry Davy was born in 1778.  He was a chemist known for isolating potassium, calcium and strontium among others.  He is also known for experiments with nitrous oxide which he mixed with wine and tried as a hangover cure (his notes said it worked).

  • This day in 1794 would have been the 27th day of the month Frimaire under the French Revolutionary Calendar. The day of the month was respresented by the Cork Oak Tree (Liège) and the month by Frost (Frimaire).

  • 50 Alsatian Grand Crus were established in 1992.

September 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.

  • Jamal ad-Din Rumi, Muslim poet, jurist, scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic was born in 1207.  He wrote:

On the seeker’s path, wise men and fools are one.

In His love, brothers and strangers are one. 

Go on! Drink the wine of the Beloved!

In that faith, Muslims and pagans are one.

-Quatrain 305

  • Henry IV was proclaimed King of England in 1399.  His coronation banquet began with two wine based soups: Braun en peuerarde (made with spiced wine) and Viaund Ryal (made of almond milk and wine).

  • Marie Antonia Siegelinda Martha Seubert, better known as Lil Dagover, a German actress was born in 1887.  Her career ranged from silent films to the late 1970s and included the movie, Red Roses, Red Lips, Red Wine.

  • Sauternes AOC was created in 1936.

  • Happy California Wine Month!

September 23rd - 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.

  • Suzanne Valadon, artist model and painter was born in 1865.  She was the subject of the Toulouse Lautrec painting, The Hangover.

  • Cotes-du-Vivarais AOC was named in 1999.  These wines are produced in the French department of the Ardéche.

  • Juniperro Serra who brought the first cuttings of vitis vinifera to Northern California was canonized in 2015.

  • It is the feast of St. Thecla.  A disciple of St. Paul, Thecla was repeatedly imprisoned for refusing the advances of various men she encountered as she followed Paul.  Eventually, she retreated to cave and was known as a healer. Doctors nearby, drunk on wine tried to rape her but she was saved as the cave sealed itself protecting her from a fate worse than death.

  • Happy California Wine Month!

September 22nd - This Date in Wine History

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.

  • Anne of Cleves was born in 1515.  An episode of Blackadder, Lord Blackadder notes that his father ran through the family fortune on "... on wine, women and amateur dramatics until he had to make out a living by doing humorous impressions of Anne of Cleves”.

  • In 1598 Playwright Ben Johnson killed actor Gabriel Spencer in a duel and was indicted for manslaughter.  He was acquitted. Ben Jonson, the English poet was born in 1572.  After the death of Henry IV of France, Jonson decided to re-join the Church of England and showed his renunciation of the Catholic faith by drinking a full chalice of Communion wine which at the time was supposed to only be drunk by the priests.  Also Drink to me only with thy eye and I will drink with mine… Or leave a kiss within the cup and I’ll not ask for wine.  To Celia…

  • In 1794 this was the first day of the month of Vendémiaire in the French Revolutionary calendar. The day translates as grape day during the grape harvest month.

  • It is one of the 3 feast days for Saint Phocas, the patron saint of farmers.

  • Happy California Wine Month!

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.

June 18th - 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 Battle of Civitate took place in 1053.  A battle between the Normans and a Papal Coalition, the Pope Leo himself was taken prisoner.  He was treated as an honored (albeit a prisoner) and was continually provided bread, wine, protection and other necessities.
  • Frederick I Barbarossa crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in 1155.  He died during the third Crusade and his soldiers tried to preserve his body in a cask of vinegar.  It didn’t work.
  • The Ship La Bourgogne left Le Havre in 1887 with a shipment of wine bound for NYC.
  • Robert Mondavi was born in 1913. 
  • The Greco di Bianco DOC was created in 1980.

June 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 968, Liudprand of Cremona in reporting to his King, Berengar II of Lombard, complains about the quality of the wine in Constantinople which is still made in the manner of the Roman Empire.
  • The Pollino DOC was created in 1975. 
  • The Gravina DOC was created in 1983
  • It is the feast day of Saint Saturnina, patron saint of farmers and wine merchants.  Her relics were returned to Saxony to the Stiftskirche in Neuenheerse, now part of Bad Driburg.
  • It is National Cognac Day!

March 25th - 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. 

  • Greece declared its independence from Turkey in 1821 freeing wine production from the onerous taxes of the Ottoman Turks.
  • French winemaker, Jean-Michel Cazes was born in 1935.
  • New York's Cayuga Lake AVA was designated in 1988.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Clare Valley" was registered in 1999.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Perricoota" was registered in 1999.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Adelaide Plains" was registered in 2002.
  • The French have a saying, « S'il gèle le 25 mars, pas de grain ni de vin. » or “If it freezes on March 25th, there will be no grain nor wine”.

February 1st - This Date in Wine History

Tryphon_of_Campsada.jpg

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.

  •  "He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored" The Battle Hymn of the Republic is first published in 1862.
  • In 1888, New York City Excise Board Commissioner revoked licenses for individuals with licenses to sell beer, ale and wine for selling “spirituous liquors”.
  • The California Agricultural Experiment Station reports that the wine from Ploussard grapes from J.T. Doyle’s experimental plot in Cupertino was checked.  The lees were found to contain much lactic ferment in 1890.
  • It is the feast day of Saint Tryphon. He was from Campsada in Phrygia (Turkey) and is the Eastern Orthodox patron saint of gardeners and winegrowers. His head is located in the Cathedral of St. Tryphon in Kotor, Montenegro.

January 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.

  • Michigan was admitted to the Union in 1837.  It is home to the Fennville, Lake Michigan Shore, Leelanau Peninsula, Old Mission Peninsula and Tip of the Mitt viticultural areas.
  • Paul Newman, founder of Newman's Own which included a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon was born in 1925.
  • It is the feast day of St. Alberic of Cîteaux who founded the Cistercian Order of Monks.  Cistercians are known to support their abbeys through making products for sale.  St. Alberic arranged a donation of a vineyard to support his abbey.  That vineyard is known today as Meursault.
  • It is the feast day of Saint Timothy.  He was an evangelist in Turkey and Greece.  He was also known to be sickly and is the patron of gastrointestinal disorders.   In letters, St. Paul urges Timothy to  "use a little wine for your stomach's sake".

January 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.

  • Saint Nino, Patron Saint of Georgia has her feast day. She arrived in Georgia after fleeing Cappadocia bearing a cross of vinewood and bound with her hair.
  • The Council of Troye approves the creation of the Knights Templar in 1129. The Knights grew wealthy by purchasing land and vineyards through out the Christian world (including the entire island of Cyprus) by protecting pilgrims to the Holy Land.
  • Napoleon III died in 1873.  He was both President and Emperor of France (sadly, in that order) who was married to  Eugénie de Montijo, grand-daughter of a Scottish wine merchant.
  • California Grape Grower printed a letter dated 1922 from W.H. Harrison rebutted the assertion that Black Hamburg grapes were the most common variety grown in British hothouses.

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

March 25th - This Date in Wine History


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.


  • Greece declared its independence from Turkey in 1821 freeing wine production from the onerous taxes of the Ottoman Turks .
  • French winemaker, Jean-Michel Cazes was born in 1935.
  • New York's Cayuga Lake AVA was designated in 1988.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Clare Valley" was registered in 1999.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Perricoota" was registered in 1999.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Adelaide Plains" was registered in 2002.

 

Qorkzgiving Turkey

Photo of brined Qorkzgiving Turkey by Gretchen Miller Neuman for Qorkz.

The turkey is the centerpiece to the feast.  You know that, I know that.  Peppermint Patty from a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving knew that.  But how should you cook your bird?  We at Qorkz have tried almost all of the modern methods.  We have deep fried, roasted, injecteddeboned and basted turkeys for almost two decades… and yes.. that’sa lot of fowl.  We have tried almost everything to keep our turkey moist.  Then we found brining.  When you brine, you create a chemical reaction that pulls water out of the meat then sucks in flavor.  So the key is to make your brine as flavorful as possible.  I like to use apple cider because it is a seasonal flavor and stout provides a sugar that coats the skin and makes the turkey roast with a nice browned color.  

Qorkzgiving Turkey

  • Turkey 
  • Butter
  • Brine

Turkey brine: 

  • 1/2 Gallon of apple cider
  • 2 cups Dragons Milk Stout
  • 1/2 C of Kosher salt
  • 1Tablespoon Coriander seed
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 small or 1 large shallot whole
  • 3 bay leaves
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary (my piece was about 6 inches)
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 Quarts of ice or more.

Put first nine ingredients in a pot, stirring occasionally.  Bring to boil.  Turn off an add ice.  Bring to room temperature.  Again, stirring periodically.  When at room temperature add turkey.  Put in fridge for up to 24 hours.  I used stout in this brine instead of a sherry because the malt will add color to the bird later on.  Though I guess a cream sherry or Marsala would do the trick as well.  I like to mix it up occasionally.

After brining turkey for up to 24 hours, remove the bird from the savory liquid.  Rinse the bird under running water and pat dry.  Place on rack on a baking sheet (or roasting pan) and rub with softened butter.  Roast in an pre-heated 350 degree oven for twenty minutes per pound.  Baste periodically.  Cook until an internal temperature of 165. Remove the turkey from the oven and rest for 30 minutes.  Also, I abide by the Alton Brown theory that stuffing = death.  If your bird is moist then your stuffing is undercooked infecting your nearest and dearest with any number deadly bacteria.  Don’t do that.  Cook that stuff in a separate pan covered in tin foil to give that slightly steamed quality without salmonella and that would make your fowl foul.

Wine Pairing:  During prep?  Have a beer.  It is said that it takes a lot of bad beer to make a good wine... I think that is equivalent for a turkey.

At the Feast:  An unoaked Chardonnay for a full fruit flavor or a cool climate Pinot Noir.