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Raise your glass to Oenococcus oeni, a real wine bug

Chateau Paradise or Chateau Rotgut? Why is it that one wine can be exquisitely smooth, and another stomach-turningly tart? Oenologists say the answers are many, but one factor is a germ that helps to lower a wine's acidity. Known by its Latin name of Oenococcus oeni, the useful bug is a so-called lactic acid bacterium. It is widely involved in the second fermentation stage in red wines, and in some white and sparking ones too, after a first fermentation -- turning grape sugar into wine -- has taken place.

New Zealand looks to uncork 'lifestyle' wine niche

New Zealand winegrowers launched a $14 million research project Wednesday aimed at capitalising on growth in demand for so-called "lifestyle" wines, with low calories and less alcohol. The Lifestyle Wines initiative, jointly funded by industry and government, is the country's largest ever wine research project, reflecting the belief that it can significantly lift exports currently worth NZ$1.2 billion ($1.0 billion) annually.

Beaujolais on the way, Burgundy on the way up

It's that time of year again. At one minute past midnight on Thursday, wine buffs and fun lovers all over the world will raise a class of slightly lurid purple liquid to the heavens and declare: "Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive" (literally, The new Beaujolais has arrived, although the only official English slogan is It's Beaujolais Nouveau Time! for the US market).

Hungarian winemaker charged over deadly antifreeze wine

A Hungarian winemaker who admitted putting antifreeze in his wine to poison thieves was charged Thursday with manslaughter after one man died and five were hospitalised, police said. The 37 year-old from a town 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Budapest, told police that people regularly stole from his cellar so he contaminated the barrels to "teach them a lesson". He denied intending to kill anyone, however, saying he only wanted to make the thieves ill.

Champagne's Bouzy little secret

If ever there was a place destined to produce a cheeky tipple, it has to be the village of Bouzy in the champagne country of northern France. Yes, it really is pronounced "boozy" and that is not the only thing that stands out about this charming little corner of the wine world. All around stretch vineyards that produce the grapes to make the world's most prestigious sparkling wine. For as far as the eye can see, bubbles are the business, and a lucrative one at that.

Champagne's Bouzy little secret

If ever there was a place destined to produce a cheeky tipple, it has to be the village of Bouzy in the champagne country of northern France. Yes, it really is pronounced "boozy" and that is not the only thing that stands out about this charming little corner of the wine world. All around stretch vineyards that produce the grapes to make the world's most prestigious sparkling wine. For as far as the eye can see, bubbles are the business, and a lucrative one at that.

Winemakers in Southern Oregon celebrate early grape harvest

ROSEBURG, Ore. - Winemakers in Southern Oregon are celebrating one of their earliest harvests in years with harvest parties and grape stomps. The early harvest has vintners working for weeks straight, from the amateur hobbyist with a couple acres to the owner of the full-blown, staffed industrial operation, the Roseburg News-Review reported (http://bit.ly/19olXLV ).

Rain, hail, tempests, plague Europe grape harvests but wine will flow

By Leslie Gevirtz NEW YORK (Reuters) - Many of Europe's grape growers have been hit by hail, windstorms, heavy rains, cold and clouds resulting in one of the worst harvests in decades. From France, the world's biggest wine producer, to Austria and Greece and across the Atlantic in the United States, winemakers say this has been an unusual year.

Six Chinese students in France attacked in 'xenophobic' act

Six Chinese oenology students were attacked in the early hours of Saturday in France's wine-producing southwest region of Bordeaux, the interior ministry said, describing the violence as an act of xenophobia. The students, who had arrived in France only two months ago, were "violently attacked" by three locals who were visibly drunk and previously known to the police, a ministry statement said. A female student was seriously hurt in the face by a glass bottle which was thrown at her. Two of the attackers have been detained and are now in police custody.

Rising alcohol levels give wine lovers a headache

Do those New World Cabernets and Zinfandels make your head spin? Fed up with having to stop drinking after just one glass? Plenty of wine lovers around the world will have noticed their favourite tipples are getting stronger, and many of them are unhappy about the hangovers that come with increased alcohol levels. But it seems they have only themselves to blame as experts say that changing consumer tastes are mainly responsible for driving the trend.
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