The Norman Transcript

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September 27, 2013

Pop your cork

NORMAN — Are you an oenophile?

Even if you happen to be part of the strictly beer aficionado group, be open minded and give wine a taste test. Who knows if you find that you like it, someday Hollywood could make you famous by dedicating a corker of a movie to you: “Dr. Beerlove or How I Learned to Love the Fruit of the Vine.”

If you do not know whether you are a wine lover or not, there is no better place to find out than at a local wine festival, and this is the time to do so. The grapes have been harvested. They have been crushed, squeezed and bottled. Now it is time to enjoy the fruits of the vintners’ labor by attending a wine festival near you. The taste testing is in full swing.

According to Wikipedia, this country has been producing wine for more than 300 years. Today, there are wineries in all 50 states, “with California producing 89 percent of all US wine. The United States is the fourth largest wine producing country in the world after France, Italy and Spain.”

So, what was once a local novelty, has multiplied into countless thriving family businesses. The back stories are different for each vintner. For example, the owner of a Texas winery Hubby and I discovered on our travels to the Hill Country used to be a pharmacist. He went from mixing potions to make people well to mixing potions to please their taste buds and make them feel good. The owner/vintner of another winery closer to home can trace his wine making roots back to 15th century Spain.

As the owner of the Canadian River Winery in Oklahoma explained, there is something indescribably satisfying about the whole process. “You are there from the moment you plant that first stick in the ground to the end when we cork the bottle.”

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