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    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Ten things I learned in wine country

    1. Most Americans drink their white wine too cold and their red wine too warm.
    2. Wine makers are taxed at a higher rate if their product exceeds 14% alcohol by volume. So they play with the allowed margin of error to get it at 13.9% or lower when they can.
    3. Twist-off caps are the wave of the future because they ensure the best wine protection.
    4. Merlot was called Claret before it became popular and... well... was renamed Merlot.
    5. Fungus on the grape can improve the quality of the wine, especially dessert wines.
    6. Cabernet is the new Merlot. Or, wait, maybe it's that Pinot Noir is the new Cabernet?
    7. Winery owner and film director Francis Ford Coppola likes to cash in on overpriced merchandise at his gift shop.
    8. White Zinfandel was born from a worker's error during the early 20th century, but it's now the most popular wine purchased in the US.
    9. To start your own winery in Napa, the cost of land alone will run you 12 million dollars at the very minimum.
    10. Turducken is best served with a blend. Naturally.