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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

THE STORY OF STANFORD WINES


Thirty five years ago, the Stanford Alumni Association (SFA) launched the Stanford Wine Program.  More than a million bottles have now been sold.  Each spring alumni (21 this year, with names like Mondavi) working in the wine industry sample a wide variety of wines submitted by West Coast wineries.  This past year five wines were offered to members of the SFA.  I ordered a case of each, as I've been doing for the past quarter century, and they arrived yesterday, in time for Christmas gifts, I guess:
  • Hunt & Harvest Winery, 2014 Cardinal Classic, Sauvignon Blanc (13% ethanol)
  • J. Lohr Winery 2013 Cardinal Classic, Pinot Noir (13.7%)
  • Summerland Winery 2013 Governor's Selection, Chardonnay (14.1%)
  • Haywood Estate Winery 2013 Governor's Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon (14.6%)
  • Staglin Family Vineyards 2013 Collectors Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon (14.7%)
Actually, the Staglin was sold as a six-pack, for how many can afford $75/bottle?

The label this year features illustrations from the 1929 Quad:


While I'm on the subject of Stanford University,  Money  Magazine's College Planner issue selected Stanford #1 as Best School for Your Money.  High marks were indicated for graduation rate, affordability, alumni earnings and education quality.  Affordability?  A sticker price of $63,835 was shown.  This was for the school year, so if you are a freshman and costs stay the same for four years, that would be $255,340, more than a quarter million dollars.  

For this current freshman class, the average SAT was 1475 and ACT 32 (98 percentile).  Something is wrong here, for SAT once had a max of 1600, and is now up to 2400, and another source had Stanford at 1680, which, really, is not all that fabulous (71 percentile), as the admission process eliminates a bunch of students with perfect SAT scores, but accepts others with "high potential," whatever that means.  Well, All-American quarterback and a student who attained multi-millionaire status in high school get special points.

However, try to get admitted.  The most selective were:
  • Curtis Institute of Music (4.8%)
  • Stanford University (5.1%)
  • Harvard University (6%)
  • Yale University (6.3%)
  • Columbia University (7.1%)
  • Alice Lloyd College (7.1%)
  • Princeton University (7.4%)
  • MIT (7.9%)
  • U.S. Naval Academy (7.9%)
  • College of the Ozarks (8.3%)
  • Juilliard School (8.4%)
I might add that Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts was #2.  Also, I long wondered what this was, but the graduation rate at Stanford:   96%.  So that's why I graduated.

Curtis Institute of Music?
  • Wikipedia says 3.2%, actually
  • conservatory in Philadelphia
  • 150 - 170 students, to form an orchestra and opera "company"
  • Pippa Passes, Kentucky
  • 95% of graduates are accepted into graduate and professional schools
  • there is a mandatory 160 hours/semester work-study program.
  • in 2009, the average graduate had a debt of $6,500, compared to the national average of $24,000.
  • students from 108 Appalachian Mountains counties pay no tuition.
  • all students must live in gender-separated dormitories, with serious room checks.
  • alcoholic beverages are prohibited
  • high emphasis on Christian values
  • Christian liberal-arts college near Branson, Missouri
  • no tuition
  • heavy on work-study
  • known as "Hard Work U"
  • emphasis on "character" education
  • in 2005-6, the men's basketball team won the NAIA Division II national championship, while the Lady Cats were runner up
I might add that MONEY also said:
  • Best Public College:  Maine Martime Academy, with early-career earnings averaging $67,600
  • College that Adds the Most Value:  Robert Morris University
  • Best College You can Actually Get into:  Texas A&M University, with a graduation rate of 79%
  • Best College of Merit Aid:  St John's College in Minnesota
Finally, there once was a Leland Stanford Winery, which was established in 1869 in Fremont.  It made the first sparkling wine in California.  The vineyard is now operated by Weibel Champagne Vineyards and here is the label from their champagne (only $11).  View from 1893.


Tomorrow, for sure, THE VENUS SYNDROME!

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