If  I was back behind a desk/computer 24-7 this week, I'd likely be following the latest about the market's ups and downs and supplementing with check-ins at ESPN.com to see what's being said about this weekend's football match-ups and how the baseball standings are evolving.  To add a little something different to your news feed, I can't help but share two completely unrelated, wine-related news stories that caught my attention. First, if you're local to the Greater/Boston area you may be happy (and pleasantly surprised) to learn Jewell Towne Vineyards in New Hampshire recently won accolades from Joel Stein at Time Magazine. On learning each of the fifty states produces wine, Stein apparently couldn't help himself. He set out to taste wines from each state (and clarify for the American masses whether "terroir" matters. Incidentally, he did not come to any great revelations on the terroir topic - and we all know I have my own opinion...). He learned there are some good wines out there from some unsuspecting states - and some truly horrific ones. Case in point: while Jewell Towne might have figured out a thing or two regarding their Muscat, Cape Cod Winery needs to keep at it (receiving an "undrinkable" rating for their Nobska Red).

In his tongue-in-cheek review, Stein writes  the Jewell Towne's Valvin Muscat is: sweet but balanced, with some nice mineral on the finish, like a good riesling. It's not a wine that's trying too hard or is too proud of itself. It just gets the job done right. This is one of the very few wines we drank the whole bottle of. Who knew New Hampshire was better at picking grapes than Democratic nominees?

NOTE: While I don't subscribe to rating systems per se, I DO subscribe to the idea of tasting even the most unsuspecting wines, as Stein did. Only by tasting as many different wines as possible from as many different locations around the world will you learn what you do and don't prefer. This is an important process that takes time. So have at it!

Switching gears, if you're curious about the constantly evolving wine packaging/storing world and which technologies are at play, I've found another little something for you to keep an eye out. Decanter reported an Idaho company called PakSense has developed a wine label that changes color with temperature variation. This little gizmo has been adopted by folks in WTN Services in California to prevent "cooked" wine from landing in the marketplace. I can't imagine it is a perfect system given all of the moving parts involved from wine bottling initially to actually getting the wine on shelves. But it might help.

So! Here are my questions of the day for you:

Are you from a lesser-known wine-producing state? Have you tried the local offerings?

Do you think the PakSense label is worth the extra expense?