To send you into the weekend with a lift, we thought you'd like to catch the results of Cornell University's quest to name two new wine grape cultivars. After all, NY 95 and NY76 are uncool and unsophisticated by global grape gauge. So, here's to you:
Last July, Cornell Viticulture Breeder Bruce Reisch popped a question to wine-makers and sippers everywhere. The contest drew more than 1,000 entries from wine lovers on every continent – except Antarctica.
After months of sifting through suggestions, Reisch revealed them yesterday at the Viticulture 2013 conference in Rochester, N.Y. Two of the losers – rather, runners-up – were revealed early: "Colbert Red" and "Stewart White." These two names, submitted to honor television personalities Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, didn't pass the judges' sniff test. And yes, the judges were withheld for security purposes.
Here are some names that came close, but didn't quite have the right bouquet:
•Most common: Big Red
•Most random: Floridian Dew
•Most fun to say: Zitrustaminer
•Most culturally relevant: Edehka Gakwa ("the sun" in the Native American Cayuga language) and Tkwëhtä'ë:' ("red" in Seneca)
•Best regional: Gorgess
•Most practical: Sensibility
•Best accent: Newyorka
•Best fashion sense: Leatherstocking Allure
•Worst fashion sense: Velour
•Most political: Obama White and Romney Red
•Most ambitious: Elderclimber
•Best wordplay: Berry My Heart
•Most appetizing: Confitnoir
•Least appetizing: Blue Puker
•Best suggestion inspired by a song: Red Toupee or Dark Side of the Wine
•Best suggestion inspired by an animal: Ghost Deer White
And the winners are…
Oh, almost forgot: The white grape cultivar is "Arandell', a mash-up of "arandano," the Spanish word for blueberry, and the "ell" from Cornell. It's the first grape released from The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station's "no-spray" vineyard.
Its hint of blueberry will attract wine lovers, hopes Reisch, while superior resistance to downy and powdery mildews will appeal to growers interested in more sustainable practices. Its name came from Juneau, Alaska.
The muscat white wine grape is 'Aromella' is an aromatic white wine grape named by a Californian winemaker and songwriter. It ranks high for winter hardiness and productivity. Reisch says its release is timely given the growing popularity of muscat wines.
Grape name-picking is serious business. With 7,000 plus existing varieties on the market, new grapes face an uphill battle. "You want something unique. But it has to be marketable, reasonably easy to pronounce and conjure positive connotations," explains Reisch.