A Taste of Food & Beverage August 2014

What Makes August Special

August?  Does anything memorable ever happen in August?  Summer is winding down, Fourth of July has passed and Labor Day weekend is in September?  Hmmm…what then?  I will tell you…It’s time to start harvesting grapes!  Mid August is typically about the time wineries all over California go into all-out-panic mode!  Eighteen hour days, little sleep and no family time becomes the norm.  Truly, this can be considered a love for their art form.

Grapes pile in by the truck load awaiting their fate.  They have no idea that while they are basking all summer in the warm California sun that they will soon be picked, tossed and squashed all so we can enjoy them in the coming years on our patios hundreds of miles away.  Some life for the grape, huh?  On second thought, maybe they do know, like when a dog knows the storm is coming, or a new mother knows exactly why the little one is crying.  Maybe they are the most selfless of all organisms on the planet.  Would you let me pinch and squish you until tears came out so I could tell you “I know it hurts, but I am really going to enjoy this later”?  That’s what the grape does for us, and they don’t even complain about it.  They know what their purpose is.  Why else would they continue to grow every year?  They love it as much as we do.  What a wonderful little berry!

Next time you are wine shopping and see a bottle and think, “Wow, that seems expensive,” think of the grape and all of its struggles.  Think of the long months for winemakers and their families.  Think about the coopers in France and Hungary and right here in the United States who spend all year making oak barrels.  Think of all the effort it takes to make ‘grape juice’ and how without that, we would never be able to enjoy that glass of vino on the patio.

Besides, we pay pennies for our grapes compared to what some folks pay. The most expensive grape in the world? How about $4,500 for a bunch with just 30 berries on it! Click here to learn which country sells these pricey bunches. 

-Chris Sarten Food & Beverage Director

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