Da Vinci's Vineyard Code; Your Wine, Your DNA; 1914 Champagne & More News | Wine Enthusiast
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Da Vinci’s Vineyard Code; Your Wine, Your DNA; 1914 Champagne & More News

While creating The Last Supper, what was Leonardo da Vinci’s idea of a break from work? According to historian Jacopo Ghilardotti, he was thought to stroll through a nearby vineyard while working on the famous painting—a vineyard that would eventually become da Vinci’s as a gift after completing his work. To see the restored vineyard, head to Casa deli Atellani in Milan. Fox News details the story, and plans are in the pipeline for making new wine from da Vinci’s former grapes.

Pairing wine with…your DNA?

Are the perfect wines for you just a swab away? Vinome (that’s “vino” plus “genome”) purports to match your DNA to wine preferences. How does Vinome see a link between taste and genes? Their website explains, “Your wine palate is defined by your senses of taste and smell, and, in turn, your senses of taste and smell are largely defined by your genetics.” What do you think, is your taste in wine hard-coded into genes or formed over time by your experiences?

Making a strong case for Champagne Intern of the Year

If being an intern for Bollinger Champagne wasn’t cool enough, how about discovering a stash of over 600 bottles behind a sealed wall while on the job? This is exactly what happened at the historic house of bubbly when an unsuspecting employee was sent into the subterranean cellar tunnels to clean, finding a stash of bottles dating back to the early 1800s.

Champagne Bollinger 1914
Photo courtesy Champagne Bollinger

If you want to experience a piece of this historic discovery of old Champagne, there’s an auction for you. Forbes details Lot 40, where you can taste the 1914 vintage. It’s part of “The Bollinger 1914 Experience.” You can’t take the bottle home, but you can be among the four people in the world to taste that WWI vintage at Bollinger. A winery and vineyard visit plus dinner and accommodations are also included.

World’s Most Expensive Wine Book?

For $845, you can own a copy of “The Impossible Collection Of Wine” by Enrico Bernardo, the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale’s 2004 “World’s Best Sommelier.” Though the cost is steep, you’d easily add a few zeros to that price tag if you wanted to purchase all of the wines he recommends for a dream collection, from 1811 Château d’Yquem to 1992 Screaming Eagle.

In More News of the World’s Most Expensive Things: Potato Chips

What wine do you drink with chips that cost more than ten dollars each? Paste Magazine has the details and the photo. (Our opinion? Drink vintage Champagne.)

Ziggy, The Falcon that Helps Protect Wine Grapes

Here’s a unique job in Napa Valley: a falconer who keeps grape-gobbling birds at bay. Rachel Signer has the story in Munchies about falcon-enthusiast Rebecca Rosen and her uncommon vineyard job. Not only are there benefits of working in wine country, but there’s also a unique bond between each individual falcon and falconer. “The relationship with the birds is amazing. I’d compare it to people who ride horses,” says Rosen.

In the Trade

How dramatically has wine consumption dropped in France, Italy, and Spain?

Starting from 1835 up to 2015, see the graph put together by the American Association of Wine Economists detailing the decline in consumption.

Sommelier Daniel Johnnes has partnered with Grand Cru Selections 

In what Eater calls a move akin to “Keith Richards teaming up with Gucci Mane,” Burgundy proponent and James Beard Award-winning sommelier Daniel Johnnes has joined Grand Cru Selections as the company moves to cement it’s position as a top-tier player in French wine.

Out and About

The Wine Enthusiast Podcast is Here!

Our inaugural episode revolves around this question: How did you get into wine? Answering the question are Wine Enthusiast editors and two of our 2016 40 Under 40 tastemakers, Jordan Salcito and Brandon O’Daniel.


Wine Enthusiast Contributing Editor Paul Gregutt gave an interview to Washington Wine Blog.

In more audio news, Contributing Editor Matt Kettmann discusses the politics behind vineyards in Santa Barbara, while Executive Editor Susan Kosterzewa beats the drum for Greek wine and reveals her love for scuba diving and fear of spit buckets on this episode of Wine Two Five.

Digital Managing Editor Marina Vataj soaked in the New York City view at the Rainbow Room rooftop and sipped 19 Crimes wine at a screening of Marvel’s new superhero installation, “Doctor Strange,” hosted by Cinema Society. Celebrity guests of the event included Christian Slater, Gerard Butler and Dr. Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch.

The scene at 19 Crimes Wines' after-party for Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange"
The scene at 19 Crimes Wines’ after-party for Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange”

Kerin O’Keefe, Italian editor, had a once-in-a-lifetime experience tasting a complete vertical of a legendary Super Tuscan.

Senior Digital Editor Jameson Fink got a literal taste of his former home in Washington State.

Meanwhile, Assistant Digital Editor Dylan Garret and Tasting Coodinator Fiona Adams got a sneak taste of the 5th edition of Bruichladdich distillery’s rare Black Art 24-year single malt Scotch bottling.

Tasted the awesome new Black Art from #bruichladdich mysteriously delicious with their secret recipe.

A photo posted by Fiona Adams (@bkfiona) on