The mission grape, the first wine grape to be planted in the US, is regaining popularity with some California winemakers who see the simple, thick-skinned red grape as an opportunity. Vintners are using the grape to produce casual table wines and angelica, a fortified wine similar to port.
Craft gin-makers are proliferating across the country, bringing unique local flavors to their products. The launch of new brands and crossover into the gin category by distillers of other spirits is likely to drive further growth of American gin, which holds appeal for "flavored vodka enthusiasts...who are looking for more complexity in their spirits," said Brady Konya, owner and general manager of Ohio's Middle West Spirits.
A loyal following in its native N.C. has helped 100-year-old brand Cheerwine see sales steadily increase, and parent company Carolina Beverage Corp. hopes to expand that fan base beyond the state's borders. The firm has forged distribution agreements with PepsiCo to help bring the soft drink into new regions, and licensing agreements with companies like Krispy Kreme have also boosted exposure.
With its purchase of Stagecoach Vineyard, E. & J. Gallo Winery acquired more than 600 acres of premium grapes in Napa County's Atlas Peak region. "This purchase affirms Gallo's commitment to compete in the luxury wine segment," said Roger Nabedian, senior vice president of Gallo's premium wine division.
When tasting craft sakes, it helps to understand the terms for such traits as the level of polish in the rice wine, according to sommelier Courtney Kaplan. She and her partner, chef Charles Namba, opened Tsubaki restaurant in Los Angeles with a broad list of sakes to show the wide variety that is available and help educate customers.
From juice bars to coffee bars to cocktail bars, the venues where Americans drink have become more diverse…and a lot more inventive. Chef Scott Samuel from The Culinary Institute of America shows us a new take on lemonade, flavored with sweet black grape juice, tangy tamarind and herbaceous mint. The black grapes make the lemonade a beautiful purple color. Watch this and many more grape recipes.
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