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June 2015: Wine Buzz

Posted on  | May 27, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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Hold the Histamines, Please

While most people blame sulfites or even tannins for their red wine headaches, the real culprits are most likely histamines. Defined as “compounds that cause dilation of the blood vessels (flushing, rash, itching) and increased mucus production (runny nose, cough), and bronchoconstriction (wheezing, cough),” histamines are much more prevalent in red wines than white, and while there are 4.5 million people in the U.S. with histamine intolerance, the number of those who suffer from histamine sensitivity is far greater.

Osvaldo Veglio, current owner of Piedmont’s Veglio Michelino e Figlio, set out to research the role of histamines in red wine and, with the help of consultant Sebatiano Ramello, has created the first ever low-histamine wines. By avoiding all mold on grapes, hand-harvesting, using a special yeast selection, meticulously sterilizing the winery and using no oak, Veglio manages to craft a DOC Barbera and Dolcetto with a small fraction of histamines found in most red wines produced. “We hope that other wineries will reach out to learn from us, because it will enable a large group of people to be able to enjoy red wine,” says Veglio.


Stretching wings: Bertani, Anew, Vintage Point, Beringer

Perish any thoughts of the drumbeat of innovation parade in wine slowing down this summer; some serious expansion and extension is happening.

Anew Wines, hatched by Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2013 to showcase Columbia Valley wines, began with a solo Riesling; that’s now joined by a crisp Pinot Grigio and Rosé (Syrah-Sangiovese), line-priced at $12. The custom Anew bottle has a modern stylized floral label and screwcap. anewwine.com

In Italy, Casa Vinicola Bertani has spawned Bertani Domains, uniting Bertani’s original property in Veneto with Puiatti in Friuli, and Trerose and Val di Suga in Tuscany. Each winery will maintain individual styles and staff while benefiting from the guidance of the parent company. palmbay.com

Vintage Point’s luxury portfolio added a new brand—Higher Ground Monterey Pinot Noir (on-premise only)—and extended three others: Concrete Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel ($20); High Roller Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Paso Robles Cabernet (each $20); and Layer Cake California Sauvignon Blanc ($11.99). vintagepoint.com

And Beringer has added “Red Crush” for today’s red blend lover. The combo of Petite Sirah, Merlot and Muscat delivers floral notes around a ripe, juicy core of raspberry and strawberry, with a hint of oak and a smooth texture; SRP $5.99/750ml, $11.49/1.5L. beringer.com 



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