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Osama bin Laden was the world's most wanted terrorist, with a $25-million bounty on his head. Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1870 is one of the world's most celebrated wines, costing $10,000 a bottle and more. What did the two have in common? CIA director Leon Panetta was promised that if he killed the first, he'd get a bit of the second.
Not all wines benefit form herbaceous flavors, especially when they come from insects rather than plant material. Alkyl-methoxypyrazines create a problem for wines when they build up too much from both the grapes that made the wines as well as ladybugs caught in the grapes when crushed — thus the name "ladybug taint." Since the problem is created before the wine is even bottled, how can it be prevented? One solution is to change the packaging.
Some people think that wine grapes grow better and produce better wine when they are grown biodynamically. I thought that was a low point until I read about how some UK retailers are now trying to serve wine according to biodynamic principles — specifically, only serving wines for taste tests during certain evenings when the wine is supposed to taste better.
Morocco produces today nearly 35 million bottles of wine, all of which is supposed to be sold to non-Muslims. Despite this, Moroccans consume, on average, one liter of wine every year. That might not sound like a lot to western wine drinkers, but it's an amazing amount for a nation where alcohol consumption is forbidden. Most Moroccans probably don't drink any wine, so those who do drink probably drink a fair amount. There is strong support in Morocco for Islamist politicians, but there also appears to be strong, traditional support for tolerance of un-Islamic behavior.
In every place where I've read someone describing their experiences comparing wine in the appropriate Riedel glasses with other glasses and even other Riedel glasses, they've reported that it does make a difference — sometimes a dramatic difference. It's little wonder that Riedel hosts tasting events all over the country to demonstrate that, yes, their glasses make a difference. That sounds very compelling, doesn't it?
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