Wine Country: January 2008 Archives

Honing Your Wine Frequency at 32,000 Feet

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By Courtney Cochran

Admit it:  You're seriously considering packing a parachute if you have to watch another G-rated animated flick on your redeye to Boston.  

But don't bail out just yet, frequent flyer.  

When popular wine podcast Graperadio (graperadio.com ) becomes available to American Airlines' Business and First Class passengers beginning in February, it'll allow air travelers the unprecedented opportunity to bone up on interesting topics like wine history, wine drinking and wine etiquette courtesy of the airline's in-flight entertainment players.  And besides the usual "Wine 101"-type content, the 30- and 60-minute program segments will also feature interviews with high-profile wine industry luminaries such as Margrit Mondavi (telling the Mondavi story from her point of view, rather than that of a certain book author), Gaia Gaja of Piedmont's acclaimed Gaja family, and Frederick Paniotis of Champagne's venerable Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.  

Here's to Flying the Much Friendlier Skies
Together with the recent launch of the Vino Volo chain of airport wine bars, the high altitude debut of GrapeRadio signals a welcome new direction in air travel.  Thankfully, one that precludes packing a 'chute. 

Cold Therapy

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By Courtney Cochran

While contemplating the usual suspects in cold therapy at my local Safeway today it dawned on me that my choices couldn't seem less therapeutic.  Their weird, extraterrestrial sounding names - a sampling included oddities Mucinex, Drixoral and Zicam - were an affront to my already congested senses.  Even worse, their homogoneous, sterile-looking packaging only served to make me feel more sick than I already did.  So, in a rare moment of extra-viral clarity, I pulled myself together and hacked and sniffed my way over to a much more inviting place:  the wine aisle.  

In a perfect world, my doctor's prescription for cold relief would include the following:

* warm blanket
* lots of sleep
* sappy romantic comedies along the lines of When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail
* gigantic bottle of full-bodied, fruity red wine, preferably high in alcohol content to encourage aforementioned sleep

Now, I just got off the phone with my doctor and I'm pretty sure her cold season advice did not include the fourth item on my list.  Still, what she doesn't know won't kill her, and so I am, with an enormous smile on my face, currently enjoying a 2004 Ledson "Baldocchi Old Vine" Russian River Valley Zinfandel (ABV 14.9%, thank you very much).  

It may not be Mucinex, but I sure do feel better. 

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