The media has, in general, done a poor job of reporting on studies regarding alcohol intake during pregnancy. When the media over-interprets some studies it sends an unwarranted message that "drinking during pregnancy might be beneficial." When the media over-interprets other studies it sends an unwarranted bit of hyperbole - some might say fear-mongering - that can lead pregnant women to consider abortion. More research can only help our understanding. No amount of research is likely to ever discover a "safe threshold", and therefore women looking for a green light to drink during pregnancy will not - and should not - receive one from the medical community.
Fans of Adam Sandler (yes, they still exist) will tell you that his films are not meant to be profound; they're meant to make you laugh. They're easily forgotten, but can provide a pleasant distraction for a short while. Fans of Dan Brown (I think they still exist) tend to concede that his books are meant to offer quick, easy reading, entertainment that doesn't probe too deeply.
Editors' note: To close 2011, Palate Press: The online wine magazine will be featuring some of our top stories from the past year. Our fourth piece comes from columnist Evan Dawson, reporting on the uproar over rumors that California Pinot Noir producers beef their wines up with Syrah.
A thick tome, 132 years old, has survived to tell the story of Piedmont's grape-growing past. That is, if you can decipher the flowery penmanship and wade through the anachronistic turns of phrase. There, in a section on grape varieties in the book called “Wine Production and Oenology in the Province of Cuneo, 1879”, lies both the question and, perhaps, the answer to one of the region's great mysteries.
It has not been a good month for Laike, the two-year-old mutt whose sole task is to identify the hidden locations of white truffles. Her handlers have trained her to identify the scent of the prized underground mushroom, and she has shown great promise. But October, like September, has largely been a bust in Piedmont.
No matter how good it is, a region cannot live by Riesling alone—at least, not in the context of North American wine production, where consumers sometimes seem disappointed if they cannot find every style in one place. What is clear, in any case, is that a region will not live by one color alone.
You will rarely, if ever, visit a wine region about which you know essentially nothing. That was the curious position in which I found myself as I arrived for TasteCamp North last weekend in Niagara, Canada.