Monthly Archives: March 2022

  1. Red Wine Headaches: Stalking the Causes With Dr. Waterhouse

    Red Wine Headaches: Stalking the Causes With Dr. Waterhouse

    A couple questions intrigued us in 2000 about the lack of progress in figuring out why some people suffered headaches after drinking wine. We were told then that there are dedicated opponents to alcohol consumption, no matter how moderate the consumption, inside and outside government. Modern prohibitionists are mounting efforts right now to further flag wine and other beverage alcohol as injurious to your health. 

  2. Bruce Schneider's Ukrainian Wine Odyssey

    Bruce Schneider's Ukrainian Wine Odyssey

    From owning a vineyard in Long Island to being one of the pioneers in the keg wine movement, Bruce Schneider may have one of the wine industry's most peripatetic careers. It should then be less of a surprise that a business trip to Germany in 2019 would lead to a side trip to explore his family roots in Ukraine and then eventually to becoming an importer of Ukrainian wine. Elijah's Fifth Cup, a kosher Cabernet Sauvignon made in western Ukraine, was born as an homage to his grandparents. In Judaism, Elijah's Cup is the fifth ceremonial cup of wine poured during the family seder dinner on Passover. It is left untouched in honor of Elijah, a prophet and miracle worker who ascended to heaven on a fiery chariot.

    With the tragedy in Ukraine ongoing, the fate of Elijah's Fifth Cup remains uncertain. Hugo Gutman, the founder of Chateau Chizay, the winery that partners with Bruce Schneider, has started a GoFundMe campaign to fund food, shelter, and logistics support that the winery is supplying to hundreds of refugees that are flooding into the region. Here is the link:

    Bruce Schneider talked to Grape Collective about the history of Ukrainian wine and his unique journey that led to him importing Elijah's Fifth Cup.


    Grape Collective: Bruce, you've had a very interesting career in the wine business. How did you get started?

    Bruce Schneider: I got started through my family. I'm third generation in my family to be in the business. My grandfather was a bootlegger during Prohibition. Then my grandparents owned a wine shop after Prohibition in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, and then my dad and my uncle got into the business through my grandfather. They were both working for import or distribution companies. So, in my childhood home, we regularly had winemakers coming through from all over the world. I would say it was mostly from Italy and France. And I just remember those stories of winemakers talking about where they were from and how the place they were from impacted the wines they were serving us at the table, and that stuck with me. And when I finished high school, I had the opportunity to do an apprenticeship in Burgundy that really made an impression on me. And so, I became the first one in my family to get involved with producing wine and importing wines.

    And you've also owned a vineyard?

    Yes, my wife and I started a vineyard out on the North Fork of Long Island. We started sort of as garagista producers in 1994, the brand was called Schneider Vineyards. From the beginning, we specialized in Cabernet Franc. And initially we bought grapes and had them produced at other production facilities. And then eventually, I went to Columbia Business School, and in my first year at the business school, I participated in a venture competition and I was...

  3. OTBN From El Salvador to the Alps to the USA: A Powerful Moment to Unite

    OTBN From El Salvador to the Alps to the USA: A Powerful Moment to Unite

    In January, Pedroncelli Winery in Sonoma was surprised to receive a bottle of its own wine in the mail. It was their 1974 Cabernet Sauvignon. The man who sent it, Daniel Nasman, 88, from Port Townsend, Wash., explained that he had bought the bottle at the winery many years ago, but radiation therapy for cancer had significantly impaired his ability to taste. So he asked the Pedroncellis if they would like to try it instead.

    Julie Pedroncelli St. John said she knew right away she wanted to save the wine for Open That Bottle Night. So on Saturday, Feb. 26 – at 3 p.m., so the entire staff could be there – she and her father, Jim, carefully opened it, toasted Nasman and let the memories flow.

    We created OTBN in 1999 because so many of us have that one bottle that is always too special to open. It’s celebrated on the last Saturday in February. This year, it seemed like even more people than usual opened that bottle, from El Salvador to the Italian Alps to San Francisco.

    We were concerned about the timing of OTBN this year. It took place just as Russia invaded Ukraine. But this horror seemed to make all of us even more aware how important it is to hold loved ones close and to support those in need. In Eagle, Colo., the Assembly Eagle restaurant donated a portion of all wine sales on OTBN to World Central Kitchen and Ukrainian refugees. Palmer Station in Antarctica combined its 16th OTBN with an art show, where Zenobia Evans, a longtime OTBN celebrant, painted a sunflower for Ukraine. In Me...

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