Monthly Archives: January 2011

Wine Quote du Jour

“The best kind of wine is that which is most pleasant to him who drinks it.” ~ Pliny the Elder

Amen to that!

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Wine Trivia du Jour

Pinot_gris

Did you know that the ever-popular Pinot Grigio is a mutation of Pinot Noir?
 
Yup! When a box of Pinot Grigio arrives at the crush pad, what you see, mainly, are pinky-gray clusters but there are also a few white clusters that look a lot lik Chardonnay and some that are black, like Pinot Noir mixed in. Ain't nature amazing? Cheers!
 
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Do They Add the Blueberries?

Question from Bob V: You know how the back label says “fragrance of blueberries” or “hints of vanilla”? Do they add that stuff or ?

Reply: Hi, Bob! Thanks for writing. If they added blueberries or vanilla the label would have to say “Bluebery-flavored Zinfandel” or “Vanilla-flavored Chardonnay”. Regulation-wise, wine is 100% grape juice with a kick!

So, how does that stuff get in there?

Sometimes it’s just that the fragrance or flavor of the wine reminds us of tobacco or spice. It’s just the best language we have to put across our impressions. Many of the characteristics, especially those derived of fermentation and aging, are not well understood.

And, sometimes we think we know the source of specific characteristics. For instance when your Sauvignon Blanc smells like green bell pepper Continue reading

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Get Zap’d!

Speaking of Zinfandel, I hope to see y’all at the ZAP Grand Tasting this Saturday, the 29th! ZAP is short for “Zinfandel Advocates and Producers” and this annual tasting is what many people look forward to as the greatest tasing event of the year! The President of ZAP told me that Primitivo and Zin-based field blends will be allowed this year! Yum! BE THERE!

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Wine Trivia du Jour

Did you know that Zinfandel and Primitivo are the same variety? True! A few years back it was discovered that they have the same DNA (Your tax $ at work ;-). As with any variety, there may be clonal differences. Zinfandel was the most popular variety in California before prohibition and is the #3 grape today! Primitivo is beginning to travel these days, but is found primarily in Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot.) Cheers!

Send me your wine question and I’ll get back to you in a jiffy!

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Wine Quote du Jour

A man after my own heart 😉

“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.”  ~ W.C. Fields

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Do Old Vines Make Better Wine?

So, yesterday there was a wine-trivia tease: “Did you know that ‘Old Vine’ isn’t a regulated term in the US?” Thought I’d better follow up with a little more substance! So, do old vines make better wine?

The short answer is “we don’t know.” There’s no real evidence that old vines produce wine of greater depth or complexity. Yet, the Europeans put a lot of stock in it (or, at least they use it as a marketing tool – how cynical of me!) But, do they think old vines matter just because Grandpa said they matter? A lot of the European school still relieas on what Dad and Grand-dad did, which is kinda nice…

I like to ask winemakers this very question whenever I get the chance. One common response is “Maybe it’s not so much the fact that the vineyard is older. The most likely reason a vineyard survives into old age is that it’s a really good one. No one’s going to hang on to a mediocre vineyard for 80 years, right?” Makes sense, doesn’t it? Continue reading

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