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The term "bottle sickness" refers to what?

"Bottle sickness" occurs in some wines immediately after opening and dissipates within minutes. This off-odor is a result of compounds such as suffer dioxide and mercaptans, which may form by molds embedded in corks, or by a small amount of wine with has escaped through the cork or capsule and then becomes acetic and spoiled. This is one reason it is advisable to let the wine breath before serving. It is also a good idea to wipe clean the top of an opened bottle. Bottle sickness is also sometimes referred to as "bottle stink".

What is the most widely planted grape in California?

By far the most widely planted grape in California is Thompson Seedless. It is the common name for the white grape variety, Sultana. It was named after William Thompson of Yuba City, an early grower of the variety. Thomason Seedless is found primarily in the hot, dry San Joaquin Valley and grow mostly for the production of raisins. The amount of acreage far exceeds California's second most popular grape, Chardonnay, by a 4 to 1 margin.

What is the most widely planted grape in the world?

A grape called, Airén, is the world's most planted variety. Vinified mostly as a white wine, it is a low-density producing vine which covers over 1.2 million acres worldwide. It is Spain's most planted variety accounting for almost one-third of that country's population and is the major ingredient in Spanish Brandy. Airén vines are trained into low bushes and have great resistance to droughts.

Originally published in our Gold Wine Club's The Wine Press, Husch Vineyards edition featured in 1995.