Uncorkings 12.26.11

News and notes from the world of wine.

Last week, on Sunday, December 18, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian was crowned Iron Chef on the Food Network’s hit show “The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs.” Zakarian will join the Iron Chefs of America roster, which includes celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon.

The Federal Tobacco, Tax & Trade Bureau has approved the Coombsville American Viticultural Area as the 16th appellation of the Napa Valley. The newly minted AVA is distinguished by its eastern mountains, which provide shelter from the wind and fog common in southern Napa. Coombsville includes a total of 11,075 acres, with 1,360 acres currently under vine, planted mostly with Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties.

Dogfish Head Brewery is slated to release a gluten-free beer, Tweason’ale, in January 2012. The new product will be available in four packs of 12-ounce bottles and will be released four times a year across the U.S.

According to predictions made by the Cava Regulatory Board, the Spanish are expected to consume about 37 million bottles of Cava over the holiday season. The calculation is based on sales data collected from the first nine months of the year and the fourth quarter thus far. If this year’s forecast proves correct, the total bottles consumed will trump last year’s total by one million bottles.

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