News, Notes and a Bad Wine Joke

Time for an end-of-the-month clearance of news, notes and a bad joke that have been gathering dust on the official Vinesse blog desk…

* On Tuesday we mentioned five states — Arizona, Michigan, New York, Texas and Virginia — that offer less-crowded alternatives to California wine country. To that list we can certainly add Idaho, which has an emerging wine scene in two regions: the Snake River Valley and the Lewis-Clark Valley. To date, the state’s five dozen wineries are finding success with the varieties typically associated with Washington state: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling.

* Speaking of Riesling, if you’re a fan of crab, that should be your go-to wine. Riesling’s fruit flavors and mineral notes elevate the sweet taste of pure crab. If you prefer to eat crab in a rich, buttery sauce, seek out a Chardonnay with only a hint of oak influence.

* We’ll be offering some wine pairing suggestions for specialty and regional hot dogs later on, but since hot dog season is upon us, let’s begin today with a simple plain dog. Whether it’s an all-beef dog or made with pork, it’s hard to go wrong with a fruit-forward Pinot Noir.

* Napa Valley has become the “capital” of American winemaking not just because it produces so many outstanding wines. Through the years, the wine industry has simply come to dominate the local economy. In the late 1800s, there were 142 wineries in the valley. In 1960, there were only 10, as they valley had not yet bounced back from the damage caused by Prohibition. But by 1996, the winery explosion was under way, with 202 estates calling Napa home. Today, Napa Valley has more than 500 wineries, about 375 of which are open to the public for tasting.

* Finally, we promised you a bad joke… and here it is: A neutron goes into a bar and asks the bartender, “How much for a glass of wine?” The bartender replies, “For you, no charge.”

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