Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Disgorged and severed: sparkling wines

This is a graphic video ... but in a good way.

Taken at Austrian family-owned winery Steininger, the video depicts the winemakers disgorging their Sekt.

Disgorging is the method of removing yeast from a bottle of sparkling wine bottle. sekt is the German/Austrian name for a Champagne-style wine. The video was taken by Seth Gross, the co-writer of Wine Authorities - Estate Grown Blog, during his trip to Austria in January of this year.

Did you catch the snippet of the theme music from the 19070s Laverne and Shirley television program near the end of the video? The pair worked at a ... brewery!

... And here, from August of 2007, is a (very) brief video showing the representative from Virginia winery Barboursville literally severing the bottle neck of his Sparkling with the blunt edge of his sword.

The Washington Post recently ran a story that showed the difficulty that Virginia wineries —and by extension, most lesser-known wines— have in the bigger world of wine-acceptance. Reported from the London International Wine Fair:
Lisa Abbott, a cork master at her English wine club (it's called the Wasters), took a sip of a Viognier from Virginia and declared with obvious surprise, "It's an absolute classic!

"I didn't know Virginia produced wine," she said, echoing a comment heard over and over

'Virginia Makes Wines?' Yes, and London Likes Them
By Mary Jordan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

As frustrating as that may be for purveyors of Virginia wines, the flip side is that there is a huge market yet to be filled.

That's a lesson also for the new breed of local and smaller US breweries. With their sales at only 5-6% of the beers sold, they have before them the remaining 95%, a large untapped market.

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