Through The Grapevine

Lauren weighs in on things she’s heard…

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“Licking the rim of your wine glass eliminates lipstick marks.”

When I first heard this, I was very skeptical. Then, being a woman who loves to wear lipstick, I was overjoyed that there was a solution to the inevitable pink pout that signifies my wine glass. Finally, I was a bit grossed out/embarrassed. French kissing my glass at the bar would probably raise a few eyebrows. So, I tested out this theory at my apartment with a tube of Mac ‘Snob’ lipstick and a glass of Pinot Noir. As gross as it may sound, the saliva created a barrier between the lip color and the glass. In short, my lip color stayed in tact longer and the glass remained clean. If I do decide to do this in public, I’ll try to make it as quick and discrete as possible.


“Wine is coming to Barnes & Noble.”

I’m not sure how I’m just reading about this, but on June 23, 2016, Chief Executive Ron Boire announced the retailer “would open four new concept stores in Fiscal 2017, complete with a new restaurant featuring an expanded menu along with a beer and wine offering.” Beginning this fall, four B&N stores located in New York, Minnesota, California and Virginia will be the guinea pigs of the operation. Step aside, coffee. There’s a new sheriff in town!


“Cabernet and chocolate are a match made in hell.”

Wait, what? There’s literally a Ghirardelli chocolate bar called “Cabernet Matinee!” Valentine’s Day is perhaps the main culprit for marrying these two together, but according to award-winning wine author Karen MacNeil, this pairing is not as romantic as it sounds. She explains that because chocolate boasts such complex and powerful flavors, its bitterness emphasizes the tannin in Cabernet Sauvignon, the result being more severe than intended. Furthermore, chocolate and cabernet have unequal fruity qualities, the former being more rich; this imbalance overpowers Cabernet’s delicate nuances, altering the wine’s taste drastically. When I think of the times that I’ve eaten chocolate and Cabernet together, I can remember the wine tasting more sour. MacNeil suggests “the would-be dominatrix chocolate needs a partner more powerful and sweeter than herself” (The Wine Bible, 57), mentioning Port as a much better candidate.


“If anybody drinks Merlot, I’m leaving. I’m not drinking any f****** Merlot!”

Leave it to screenwriters and the talented Paul Giamatti to be the nail in the coffin for the Merlot market. This line from the 2004 film Sideways drastically effected Merlot sales; however many suggest the market for this grape was already falling prior to the film’s release. This isn’t new news, but it’s 12 years later and people are still letting the film’s opinion of Merlot keep them from buying a glass! Interestingly enough, guess what people most often confuse Merlot with at blind tastings? Cabernet Sauvignon – a wine drinkers dub the “King of the Red Grapes.” So why do people hate on a varietal that shares similarities with one they idolize? It could be the name and its ties to the Sideways affect, but more than likely it’s the Merlot and Cabernets they’re buying. Wine drinkers will buy bland, inexpensive Merlot and then compare it with expensive Cabernet. In my opinion, Merlot should be given a second chance. Look at the comeback rosé made after having the White Zin reputation!


“No more drinking alone. Your pets can drink wine with you.”

When I first heard about wine for dogs and cats, I was admittedly surprised there was even a market for it. I know people love their pets and practically treat them like human beings, including me, but why do they need wine? Denver-based pet wine company Apollo Peak introduced ZinFanTAIL and CharDOGNay, labels which are now available for preorder online. Don’t freak: these $17 bottles don’t contain any alcohol or grapes, both of which are dangerous for your pets, and they get their wine-coloring from beet juice. While the feline wine contains catnip (woohoo party!), the canine version is intended to be a relaxant, made with brewed peppermint and chamomile. Furthermore, the ingredients in  ZinfanTail are meant to help alleviate upset stomachs, reduce gas and nausea, and aid with travel sickness. My black lab Charlie is twenty-one in human years, so it would be festive to clink my glass to his bowl!