Grape Nobility

Did you know that there are more than 10,000 grape varieties that have been used to make wine around the world? Of these grapes, only a few stand out as ones that are relied on to produce what most consider to be the best and most delicious wines that you enjoy at the table. These varietals have been bestowed the title of “Noble Grapes” and have made people fall in love with wine for millenia.

It is often debated which grapes are worthy of the royal title; some say six, some seven, and some even say there are eighteen. However, all agree that Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon have earned the title.

Of these six, five originated in France and one in Germany (you guessed it – Riesling). These international varieties grow abundantly and consistently well in the major winemaking regions. They have widespread appeal and embody the complete range of flavors and aromas. Whether it’s a crisp and light Sauvignon Blanc, or robust and sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon that you crave, you can find them all at Uva, as well as many of the lesser known grapes that you can explore.

Uva is hosting a series of Noble Grapes Wine Tasting events throughout the year. The first one (Sauvignon Blanc) sold out quickly, but we hope you will mark your calendars and join us for the other tastings in 2020.

  • January 22, 2020 – Pinot Noir
  • February 26, 2020 – Merlot
  • March 25, 2020 – Cabernet Sauvignon
  • April 29, 2020 – Riesling
  • May 20, 2020 – Chardonnay

See you at the bar!

The Skinny on Sulfites

What are sulfites? Are they bad? Are they the cause of headaches and other post-consumption maladies?

Sulfites are a natural by-product of the fermentation process and serve as an antioxidant and preservative in wine. All wines have sulfites. The practice of adding sulfites has been a part of the winemaking process since ancient Rome and without it, wine is susceptible to dreaded oxidation and rapid spoilage. Sulfites are also widely used in the food industry and in much higher concentrations than found in wine. They are found in dried fruit, french fries, prepared soups and packaged meats and cheese. (Fun fact: dried fruit actually has ten times more sulfites than wine!)

When it comes to sulfites in wine, red wines typically contain less sulfites than white, and sweet wines typically have the highest level of sulfites.

Experts generally agree that sulfites are not harmful to the vast majority of people. However, approximately 1% of the population has a true allergy to the compound and those with severe asthma are more susceptible to a reaction.

So if it’s not sulfites, what’s the culprit of those rashes, stomachaches and headaches? Those in the industry feel that it’s either a reaction to other naturally occurring compounds such as histamines or tannins (from the skin, seeds and stems), or even more likely, the dehydration that comes with drinking alcohol.

Our advice? Sip slowly, savor the wine and drink plenty of H2O – that’s why we have a complimentary water station at Uva!

Meet Katy & Michelle, the founders of Uva

Uva is the brainchild of two local wine enthusiasts, Katy Gaenicke and Michelle Manware. Back in 2017, Katy and Michelle discovered self-serve WineStations at a bar while on vacation in Grand Cayman. That vacation turned out to be a pivotal moment in their lives as it sparked a brilliant new idea for the two South Shore moms – why not bring this unique concept back home?

Michelle has spent her professional career as a full time Physician Assistant working for several OB-Gyn practices on the South Shore. She is currently employed at BID-Plymouth Ob-Gyn & Midwifery and sees patients on the days she is not at Uva. Throughout her adult life, Michelle has also pursued her interest in learning about the pleasures of wine as a hobby. She has taken several wine education courses across the country, including Napa Valley, and most recently completed the first level certification course with the Court of Master Sommeliers so it is only natural that she is the designated “wine director” at Uva.

Katy’s background is in marketing and public relations. She has spent the past 20 years operating her own PR agency so her experience in media relations, social media branding and marketing has proven to be a valuable asset in creating Uva. Katy has always been interested in wine and learning about the different varietals and regions so the idea of starting a new business owning a wine bar was not totally out of left field for her. At Uva, Katy manages the day to day business operations, events and marketing efforts to help spread the word about the South Shore’s only self-serve wine bar.

Katy and Michelle also share one other thing in common – both are single moms. They both juggle their now part-time “day jobs,” are raising teenagers, and following their passion to create a fun place where others can taste and enjoy wines from around the world.

Next time you visit Uva and you see Katy or Michelle, introduce yourself; we love to get to know our customers!