On the serendipitous origin of wine bottle shapes

Written By Enrique del Barco On November 27, 2023

Wine bottle types
Enrique del Barco, academic director at Winedos.com

Have you ever wondered why wine bottles come in different shapes? Perhaps you have even heard their associated names, most of them French. The Bordeaux bottle, the Burgundian, the Alsatian. Actually, there is a reason behind each bottle shape and name, though not always associated to a functionality.

It all started in Burgundy, France, in the 19th century, where winemakers decided to use bottles with graceful, sloping shoulders. Interestingly, that was a thoughtful marketing decision designed to provide a recognizable visual packaging style to Burgundian wines, precisely when they had started gaining ample recognition by the international community. But that was an easy adoption as well, as such smooth bottle shapes were easier to fabricate. A win-win situation.

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Are you caught in the Napa cab trap?

Written By Enrique del Barco On September 12, 2023

Red wine glasses

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of columns from Enrique Del Barco, academic director of Winedos.com. See below for information about an upcoming wine tasting.

Enrique del Barco, academic director at Winedos.com

Are you someone who automatically asks for a Napa cabernet at a restaurant or who opens a cabernet sauvignon to accompany a nice dinner with friends because you need that wrapping sensation that inundates your mouth with concentration and elegance? This is the case of most wine consumers in the USA, and for a good reason – California produces wines that rank among the best in the world. But chances are that you are either paying a fortune for a premium Californian wine or simply drinking “just an ok” wine. If you lie in the former category and you can afford it, congratulations, I would do the same! If in the latter, you may want to hear about your options. In both cases, keep reading.

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On the House: Annie Oakley from The Whiskey

Written By Scott Joseph On November 22, 2021

Annie Oakley still

I know you’ve seen the beautiful burgers served at The Whiskey, the restaurant and lounge on Sand Lake Road, but you won’t be surprised to know that The Whiskey also specializes in cocktails.

Whiskey cocktails, at that. And one of its signature concoctions is the Annie Oakley, a straight shooter made with Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond with some blackberry puree.

Despite the puree, the cocktail isn’t sweet – that’s thanks to some chili bitters.

Watch the video with bartender Kelli Whitney, then give the cocktail a try.

Here’s the recipe:


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On the House: ILLUMination from Illume at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek

Written By Scott Joseph On September 19, 2021

Illume Cocktail thumb

When I first visited Illume, the rooftop venue at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek, I was taken in by the spectacular view and then by the excellent food.

But Illume also has a stellar cocktail program. Some are pretty elaborate, like Magritte’s Pipe, a sort of Japanese Old Fashion made with Hibiki Harmony Whiskey, Amaro Montenegro and tobacco bitters. It’s served in a pipe-shaped pitcher and poured into a smoked glass.

And the Firebird, with Haiku Vodka, sake and freshly juiced cantaloupe, served in a bird beaker with a feathers chaser.

But those aren’t cocktails you can easily prepare at home. So I asked Illume bartender Roberto Cruz for a cocktail recipe we can enjoy on the restaurant’s terrace or prepare ourselves at home. He recommended the ILLUMination, a variation of a margarita.

Watch the video then see the recipe below.



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Scott’s Kitchen: The Perfect Negroni

Written By Scott Joseph On April 8, 2021

The Perfect Negroni still

A while back the actor Stanley Tucci caused a sensation when he posted a video of himself making his wife a negroni.

I’m a fan of the Tooch, but he got some things wrong about my beloved negroni, so I decided to set things straight with this video.

In it, I tell you which gin and which sweet vermouth is best – Campari is a constant.

Take a look, then get out your cocktail glass – not a shaker – and mix yourself or your loved one the Perfect Negroni.


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Scott’s Kitchen: Blue Rebel cocktail from Soco Thornton Park

Written By Scott Joseph On March 29, 2021

Soco zoom still

Like a lot of people, I make my cocktails in my kitchen – everything’s that I need is there, why haul things out to the dry bar in the living room?

And it’s easy to grab a drink when I’m cooking.

Today I wanted something different, something refreshing, so I called on Tim Wilz, the bartender at Soco in Thornton Park, to see what he could come up with.

He made a delicious Blue Rebel, and he shares the recipe below. Click here to watch the video then give the recipe below a try.


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On the House: Proper Pineapple from American Social

Written By Scott Joseph On February 12, 2020

American Social Cocktail

In this episode of On the House, bartender Ashley Hutagalung demonstrates how to make a Proper Pineapple, one of the signature cocktails at American Social. Watch the video, give it a try, then stop by AmSo and have a proper Proper Pineapple.

American Social is big on its happy hour, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday with $4, $5 and $6 drink specials and and great deals on shareable plates.

American Social is at 7335 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando.


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On the House: PJ’s Poison from Raglan Road Irish Pub

Written By Scott Joseph On February 3, 2020

raglan pjs poison

Gin is really big in Ireland right now, maybe even more so than whiskey. In this episode of On the House, Alan Delahunt of Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs demonstrates how to make PJ’s Poison, a signature gin cocktail at the popular restaurant.

Watch the video below, then grab the ingredients and give it a try. Sláinte.


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Terroir and the Part it Plays in Wine

Written By Brittney Coutts On July 29, 2019


Vineyard France

This is the second in a series of columns by wine expert Brittney Coutts.

What is Terroir? It’s a simple yet so complex and so controversial idea. To understand the basics of it, you have to think all the way back to freshman year Biology class, and try to remember learning about Phenotype and Genotype.

The genotype is the genetic characteristics that the plant or animal carries from its parents responsible for one particular trait. Phenotype is all of the other observable characteristics, which are affected by both environment and those genetic characteristics.
According to Webster, the exact definition of terroir (pronounced Ter-Waar) is the completely natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. The characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced. So again, affecting the phenotype of the plant. Honestly, this is where it gets controversial. Why? Well, many wine scholars believe this theory of terroir to be true, but as much as they want to shun the non-believers, they make some pretty solid arguments.

Before we get into their arguments let’s breakdown what Terroir is as a whole. Terroir is four main components that interact with each other to create a sense of place.


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Venture Into the Unknown

Written By Brittney Coutts On July 15, 2019

Editor’s note: This is the first of a series of wine columns by Brittney Coutts, wine expert at Viines + Forks, the Wine Barn in Winter Park.

Brittney Coutts

As a very young person in the wine industry here in Orlando, I feel the demographics of most areas in Orlando follow the same trend. We have various subcultures that blend well together, but there is always the “pedestrian palate,” or so we call it on the sales side of things. People are attracted to what they know, and persuading them to venture out is not for the faint of heart. Being a twenty-five year old in this industry is difficult. I’m the youngest in every group and it’s just assumed by looking at me that I know absolutely nothing. I am well aware I am nowhere close to done with my learning, in this industry fads come and go like seasons and everyone is constantly learning, even your friendly neighborhood master sommelier and master of wine.


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