Tag Archives: wine

Europe’s Booze Belts

I discovered the Strange Maps blog a few weeks ago and just can’t get enough of it. Here’s the latest post, which breaks down Europe into three alcohol belts. As you might suspect, there’s three of them: wine, beer, and vodka, which get progressively cooler. Identifying more with the British/Scottish culture, and living in the microbrew capital of the United States (Portland, Oregon!), I’m all about the beer belt. So, this probably is my favorite part of the post:

For cultural reasons, however, the Vodka Belt has been losing ground to the Beer Belt. Scandinavians tend to drink more beer than before (although possibly this doesn’t mean they drink less wodka). Maybe this is due to the perception of beer correlating more with ‘core European’ behaviour (as it is the preferred alcoholic beverage of Britain, Germany and other influential and centrally positioned countries). That might explain the emergence in Poland, some years ago, of a Beer-Lovers’ Party (which actually won seats in the Polish Parliament in the early 1990s). Beer has since surpassed wodka as the most consumed type of alcohol in Poland.

That’s what we need in the USA! A Beer-Lover’s Party! It does sound much more fun that the Tea Party, doesn’t it?

The New York Times Travel Blog Meets Columbia Gorge Wineries

It’s always pretty cool, if you’re from a small town, to see the area you were raised in mentioned in a national rag. So, imagine my surprise and  happiness when my Google Alert for White Salmon told me about an article in the New York Times Travel blogs (the Frugal Traveler) where the writer biked from White Salmon to Lyle and did a little wine tasting. Pretty neat.

Then, after I had picked as my base the town of Hood River, Ore., I discovered that bicycles were banned from the bridge over the Columbia. Oops!

Yeah dude, it’s a bit narrow for bicycles. And yes, Syncline does make some fine vino. My wife and I purchased a few bottles there last year, as a matter of fact.