Monthly Archives: March 2013

2013 Cornell Law Squash Tournment

photo 3

On March 30, the Society of Wine & Jurisprudence and CLSA co-hosted the 2013 Cornell Law School Squash Tournament. The competition was held at the Grumman courts on the Cornell campus. The event had a great turnout of about thirty players with a variety of skill levels, ranging from beginners to veteran squash players. After a first round of group play, the finalists were announced while attendees were provided lunch by CLSA. Continue reading

Vegan Wine


Posted by Michael Dorf on March 28, 2013.

As an ethical vegan, I am often asked strange questions.  “Would you eat roadkill?”  “If you were in a lifeboat with a cow, a chicken and Dick Cheney, which one would you eat first?”  Etc.

These questions are not silly merely because they are hypothetical.  Lord knows that as a law professor, much of what I do is ask my students hypothetical questions, often quite bizarre ones.  I do so to test the principle that a court or a student has espoused (e.g., “the federal government lacks the power to regulate inactivity”) by exploring circumstances in which the intuition underlying the principle appears to break down (e.g., “can federal labor law forbid secondary boycotts?”). Continue reading

The Veuve Clicquot

veuveCC image courtesy of firepile.

Posted by Carlisle Overbey on March 25, 2013.

Champagne brings many things to mind: bubbles, celebration, luxury.  This post has another quality to add to the list: feminism.  One of the most famous brands of champagne, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin, was brought into prominence in the nineteenth century by a woman, and the brand bears her name to this day.  The Widow Clicquot (Veuve is French for widow) used her business acumens and political ties to promote and distribute the brand widely within Europe despite significant obstacles and restrictive expectations of women in the Napoleonic era.1

Philippe Clicquot founded Veuve Clicquot in 1772.2  Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin married Philippe Clicquot in 1798.3  Both her family and his family invested in the business.4  Sadly, Philippe died in 1805 (either of typhoid or suicide—history is unclear on this point).5 Continue reading

The New Face of Japanese Wine

japanese wineCC image courtesy of CLF.

Posted by Andrew Maharajh on March 14, 2013.

If you’re anything like me, a reference to Japan inspires thoughts of sushi, skulking ninjas, and giggling schoolgirls.  But wine?  No way.  Who hears Japan and thinks wine?  Well, we’d be misguided to overlook the prospect of Japanese wine.

First, Japan has been producing fruit wine for about a thousand years.1  Traditional Japanese wines are produced from a variety of fruits, from apricot plums2 to yuzu3 (a sour Japanese citrus fruit) to pineapples.4  Plum wine, or Umeshu [梅酒] in Japanese, is the most common.  Umeshu is a staple in Japan, found in almost all Japanese liquor stores, convenience stores, and alcohol-serving restaurants—some vending machines even carry cans of it!  The plums themselves are grown across Japan, from northern regions like Hokkaido5 to more southern regions like Wakayama.6  Most forms of Umeshu are very sweet, but different variations bring out dry, smoky, and bitter undertones that can create relatively complex tastes.7 Continue reading

Just a Taste: A Sample of American Wine Tasting Laws


Posted by Els Baum on March 11, 2013.

Here at Cornell, we’re lucky enough to be smack-dab in the middle of New York’s Finger Lakes wine country, where dozens of small local wineries sit along the shores of the long, thin lakes that give the region its name.  We’re luckier still that almost all of these wineries have tasting rooms.  There, for just a few dollars, anyone of legal drinking age can sample six or seven different wines, chat with an expert about the latest growing season or a particularly good vintage, and even decide on a nice bottle to take home.

Wine tastings, be they at festivals, fairs, charity events, or competitions, have long been a treasured part of wine culture.  Particularly for farm wineries (a class of winery where the fruit used in the wine is grown—and the final product is sold—on-site), tastings also serve the important functions of promoting the winery and drawing in new customers through agritourism. Continue reading

2nd Annual Cornell Law School Wine Tasting

Stella's Tasting Flyer

In the spring of 2013, the Society of Wine and Jurisprudence had the pleasure of hosting it’s 2nd annual law school wine tasting at Stella’s Restaurant, Bar, & Café in Ithaca. We had a fantastic turnout, with over 40 students and guests attending. The eight wines of the evening–4 reds, 3 whites, and a sparkler–were presented by Theresa Cederoth, Byron Crowe, Carlisle Overbey and Jon Underwood. We would like to extend a special thanks to Kelsey Gardner, Stella’s catering manager, who did a tremendous job in helping us put the event together. The full wine list is below along with a few photos from the evening.

1)     Atwater, “Bubbles,” sparkling Riesling (Finger Lakes, NY, non-vintage)
2)     Domaine Fournier, Sauvignon Blanc (France, 2011)
3)     Vinosia, Falanghina (Italy, 2011)
4)     Herman J. Wiemer, Chardonnay (Finger Lakes, NY, 2011)
5)     Herman J. Wiemer, Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes, NY, 2009)
6)     Bourgeois Family, Cuvee Stephi, Pinot Noir (Languedoc-Roussillon, FR, 2010)
7)     Quattro Mani, Barbera (Piedmont, IT, 2010)
8)     Domini Castellare di Castellina, “Poggio alla Guardia” Super Tuscan (Tuscany, IT 2009) Continue reading

Round Ten: South America


2/15/2013 @ Casey’s place

1) Natura, Sauvignon Blanc; Valle de Casablanca, Chile, 2012
2) Frontera, Sauvignon Blanc; Valle Central, Chile 2012
3) Alto Tierruca, Sauvignon Blanc; Curico Valley, Chile, 2012
4) Estival, blend (Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Moscato Bianco); Atlantida, Uruguay, 2008
5) Estampa, blend (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier); Valle de Casablanca, Chile, 2010
6) Broke Ass, red blend; Argentina, 2011
7) Escudo Rojo, red blend; Valle Central, Chile, 2008
8) Calina, Carmenere; Valle del Maule, Chile, 2009
9) Xplorador, Merlot; Valle Central, 2011
10) Frontera, Cabernet Sauvigon/Merlot; Valle Central, Chile, 2011
11) Gascon, Malbec; Mendoza, Argentina, 2011
12) Juan Benegas, Malbec; Mendoza, Argentina, 2009
13) Jelu, Syrah; San Juan, Argentina, 2009
14) Frontera, Cabernet Sauvignon; Valle Central, Chile, 2011
15) Trader Joes, Vinas Chilenas, Cabernet Sauvignon; Valle Central, Chile, 2012
16) Natura, Cabernet Sauvignon; Valle Central, Chile, 2011
17) Walnut Crest, Cabernet Sauvignon; Valle Central, Chile, 2011

New Hampshire’s Nano Brewery Law Supports Local Craft Brews

Five Squam Beers

Posted by Peter Raymond on March 7, 2013.

The availability of craft beers has seen a dramatic rise in in the United States in recent years.  Thirty years ago there were less than 100 breweries throughout the United States, while today there are over 2,000.1  Many of these new breweries are centered in microbrew friendly areas such as the Northeast and Northwest.  While craft brewing currently accounts for only about five percent of the market share of national beer sales, this number is growing.  Threatened by the rising popularity of independent breweries, the largest beer producers in the U.S., AB Inbev (Budweiser) and SABMiller (MillerCoors), have attempted to recapture some of the craft brew market by producing their own pseudo-craft beer, like Budweiser’s Shock Top and Coor’s Blue Moon.  The beer giants have also bought smaller breweries, such as Henry Weinhard2 and Goose Island, and operate them under their original label.  But despite misleading marketing by these beverage giants, truly independent craft breweries continue to see an increased following.3

New Hampshire, a state known for its cheap alcohol and state-run liquor stores on its highways,4 has enacted legislation aimed to encourage development of small scale brewing.  In 2011 the legislature passed the nation’s first nano brewery law, recognizing nano breweries as a separate class and providing several exemptions from the standard brewery requirements.5  Before this law, all brewers in the state, regardless of their size, had to apply for a beverage manufacturer license. Continue reading

Check Out Those Legs: The Science behind Wine Tears

26546970_53ab2f1c08_zCC Image courtesy of Kalense Kid.

Posted by Lauren Thomas on March 4, 2013.

If you enjoy a glass of wine while reading this blog, this is a perfect opportunity to perform a quick chemistry experiment.  (And if you don’t have a glass of wine at hand, here’s a great reason to go pour one!)  Either take a sip of wine or swirl your glass, then check out the surface on the inside of the glass.  You should notice a thin film of wine, which will drip down the sides of the glass back to the surface of the wine.  The descending film is referred to as wine “tears” or “legs.”  This phenomenon is easy to create, but how does it happen, and can it tell us anything about the wine?

How it happens has a beautifully scientific explanation.  Wine is made up of minerals, polyphenols, sugars, acids, glycerol, ethanol (alcohol), and, mostly, water.1  These last two components are especially important in the formation of wine tears due to their different chemical properties.  Wine tears are formed because ethanol evaporates more quickly and is more non-polar than water.  Ethanol is also surface-active in wine; this results in a higher concentration of ethanol molecules than water molecules at the surface of wine.  Ethanol’s ability to evaporate more quickly than water, particularly at the thinnest part of the film (on the sides of the glass), will leave behind more watery wine in that area.  Then, surface tension starts to come into play.  Continue reading