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Fun Wine Facts (that won't make you drunk, although they might make you happy)

by Adriana Anders

I used to hate doing research… until I started writing romance. I’m pretty sure it’s because research isn’t a boring trip to the library anymore. It’s crazy internet searches on natural poisons and tattoo removal, hours-long conversations with hot Jiu-Jitsu instructors and trips to wineries (tastings included).

The third book in my Blank Canvas series, In His Hands, takes place on a winery in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The location is loosely based on Ankida Ridge, which is possibly the most beautiful winery around, and well-worth a visit. Oh, and the wine is fabulous. For this book, I spent a day with one of the lovely owner/winemakers at Ankida and learned a ton of useful things about wine. Here are just a few other things I've learned along the way: 
  • Grape juice is clear before skins and stems add color.
  • The hole used to take samples of wine from a barrel is called a bung-hole and the instrument used to take the sample is a thief.
  • Famous mathematician Pythagoras invented a gag wine cup meant to keep folks from over-imbibing. When overfilled, the contents are drained entirely.
  • During the Prohibition, California grape growers sold a grape concentrate, with the instructions, er, warning, "After dissolving the brick in a gallon of water, do not place the liquid in a jug away in the cupboard for twenty days, because then it would turn into wine.
  • Naked winemaking, anyone? Yes! In some places (although not at Ankida Ridge), people still perform pigeage by jumping into a vat of fermenting grape juice in the buff. Read more about it at Food and Wine.
  • In a pinch, you can always open a bottle of wine with your shoe. Here is the video showing how it’s done. 
  • Did you know there's a WineandMen Instagram account? Oh, yes there is.
  • A photo posted by Men & Wine (@menandwine) on

There's lots more winemaking fabulousness coming from Sourcebooks Casablanca in June 2017. In the meantime, Under Her Skin, the first book in the Blank Canvas series will be out in February! Here's a bit about the book:

Her Body is a Canvas

A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret—proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she’s survived.

Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma’s reluctant to bare herself to anyone…much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she can’t possibly understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma’s broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin.

Pre-order Under Her Skin

About Adriana:
Adriana has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small non-profits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children, and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, emotional love stories of her heart.
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  1. Good to know I can always use my shoe to open a bottle of wine in a pinch.

    1. It's probably best that I didn't know about that trick in my 20s! :-)


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