While most of us don’t need an excuse to pop open a good bottle of wine, May 25th provides a surefire reason to do just that. That’s right, an entire day dedicated to the pleasures of wine and all of its splendor. In order to fully appreciate this fine wine holiday, let’s touch on the wine grape itself. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite Ponte wine, and read on!
About Wine Grapes
The most commonly grown grapevines are classified as Vitis Vinifera, native to the Mediterranean, but grown worldwide today. This species includes wine grapes you’ve probably enjoyed by now such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir. Not all varieties are used for winemaking—some are used for raisins and other food production—but there are 5,000 to 10,000 different types of Vitis Vinifera out there!
Other Vitis designations include two American species: Vitis Aestivalis (aka summer or pigeon grapes) which includes the Norton grape and Vitis Labrusca (aka fox grapes), which is made up of varieties such as Catawba and Concord. The Norton grape produces a dry red wine, while Catawba yields pink wines similar to White Zinfandels. If you’ve ever had toast and jam, you’ve tasted Concord grapes, which are used to produce juices, cobblers, and shrubs (the beverage, not the plant).
Now that you have a bit of wine trivia under your belt, why not read on for some inspiration as to how you can celebrate National Wine Day, the Ponte way!
Ways to Celebrate National Wine Day
- Make a reservation to taste at Ponte. Surrounded by nearly 300 acres of mature vineyards, replete with views of rolling hills, we are a short drive from most of Southern California.
- Order up a few bottles of our 2019 Vermentino. It’s medium-bodied and crisp, with a pronounced acidity, notes of lemon-lime, guava, and orange blossom. Add a cheese board, and you’ll be ready for an at-home tasting party. While you’re at it, join our Ponte Wine Club so you’ll never miss out on our most current wine offerings.
- Do some “blind-tasting” and start a wine journal. You can keep it simple by setting out two reds alongside two whites, for starters. Cover the labels with brown paper bags, pour a few samples, then see if you can guess which varietals you’re tasting. This is a great solo exercise for jotting down tasting notes, but it’s also fun to share with a pal or loved one.
- Shop for fun wine books and start a book club dedicated to all things wine. A few of my faves are Wine Folly, The Wine Bible, and What to Drink with What You Eat. Virtual meetings allow for an easy way to enjoy a book club, so pull up a seat and get your vino read on!
- Plant a grapevine. Fret not, no vineyard acreage needed. . . You can try your hand with a small container. I live in wine country, surrounded by vineyards, but my home has just a small concrete patio. I’ll be trying my hand at container vines this summer, so stay tuned for more on that.
- Check out my favorite wine education program, V is for Vino, to learn a bit more about wine. Their approachable, informative episodes will whisk you away to taste Prosecco in Italy, try upstate NY state wines in the Finger Lakes AVA, and check out Walla Walla, Washington’s winemaking region.
Visit us for some of the best Temecula wine tasting soon, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Better yet, join our wine club and take advantage of our member benefits today. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you enjoy wine tasting at our facility. We wish you a very Happy National Wine Day—stay tuned for our next post. Saluté!