WINE WORDS TO REMEMBER: Thief, Bung and Cooperage
On your next visit to wine country, why not ask for a chance to taste wine straight from the barrel? Though the tasting will be unlike anything you experience from a bottle, it will be fun and memorable.
Here are three words to know and help you sound like a pro:
Bung: That is the little stopper that sits on the barrel's side that allows you to add wine or siphon off wine as needed.
Thief: This is a tube made of glass or plastic that you can use to extract a sample of wine from the barrel.
Cooperage: The barrels or casks that hold the wine. It can also mean the place where those barrels were made, or, the storage capacity of a winery.
Shall we remove the bung and use a thief to empty the cooperage?
“A hands-on tasting experience in a winery’s Barrel Room is the perfect way to get up-close and personal with the winemaker. Tasting wine from a barrel also gives you some understanding, and appreciation, for the transformation it will go through before making it to the bottle!” ~ Bruce and Pam Boring, proprietors, The California Wine Club
WINE BY THE NUMBERS
Though wine drinkers now outnumber beer drinkers for the first time in U.S. history, winemakers take heed: our appreciation for wine lags far behind other countries.
1934: the year after Prohibition, just 0.26 gallons of wine were consumed per American.
1946: Consumption jumped to 1.00 gallons – but dropped back to 0.67 gallons the next year!
1967: Twenty-one years later, it reached 1 gallon again —1.03 gallons of wine per American. Maybe thank the hippies for that.
1980: We topped the 2 gallon mark at 2.11. During the decade, Americans went wild with 2.43 gallons of wine per year, but by 1989, dropped back down to the starting point, 2.11!
1990-1999: In 1990, we were each drinking 2.05 gallons, but kept drinking less through most of the decade. 1999 saw us drop to 2.02 gals.
2000-2004: The new century saw a steady uptick in wine consumption—in 2005, at 2.37 gallons. Still not as high as 1985, 1986, or 1987—but chugging along.
2005: We break the 3 gallon barrier weighing in at 3.09 gallons. Maybe thank the “Millennials” for that, those 20-29-year-olds who have embraced wine enthusiastically.
Our Yearly Consumption vs. Other Countries (per person, per capita)
"As wine consumption increases, so do wine choices. Facing the wall of wine at the local store is daunting for even the most seasoned of wine buyers! A wine club is just a fun and convenient way to experience quality wines." ~ Bruce & Pam Boring, The California Wine Club