Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cool it!

It seems like I am not the only one trying to figure out how to store wine and what temperature is good for bringing out the flavors of the wine.

This participatory column (Hollister Free Lance -- Living) has now fielded more questions from the public. Two basic questions that keep arising are, “How should we store wine?” and “What temperature should wine be served?”

There are a few suggestions for those of us who cannot afford fancy wine storage devices (though Christmas is coming and you may want to put it on your wish list : ) )

Constant vibrations or machinery can disturb a wine much as it does our sleep. Do not store your wine on top of the refrigerator or in the garage.

Wine-related gift ideas for the holidays

A new game has appeared for the wine-lovers. "Wine Teasers is a complete wine course in an easy-to-play game!" says their site.

You can read all about their press release on the eMediaWire site.

The game has gone to market in fall, 2005 and is available at,, and at wine and grocery stores nationwide (see list at

Friday, November 11, 2005

Done with your Christmas shopping?

Do you know that as of today there's only 43 days until Christmas? Check out the Countdown to Christmas site, if you don't believe me.

If you have not done all your shopping done yet, here's the good news:

Le Vin Nouveau Wine Tasting of the Fresno State Winery is going to take place on November 17th, 5:30-8:30. It is open to the public and a good chance to try the new wines and purchase some for the holidays. I do believe there's a discount if you purchase on the day of the event.

Terroir is good?

Article from the Slowfood site, "World Wine? We Want Terroir! " is making a plea for not uniforming the taste of wines.

'Wines of the world, don’t unite, for pity’s sake!’ Maybe this should be the battle cry of those wine lovers who are tired of the uniform, one-dimensional taste of wines formatted for an international market. Fortunately, in the ‘old Europe’ so beloved of George Bush, there are ever-increasing numbers of forward-looking growers who are striking back at this dumbing-down and are nurturing differences. It is provenance that wins over internationalization.

On a related note, I would like to remind you of the event that's coming up:

9th Annual Central Coast Viticulture & Enology Conference in San Luis Obispo, February 23-24, titled "The Economics of Terroir -- Image is Everything".

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Time to pick the grapes?

"Harvest's over, let the grape 'hang time' debate begin" by Brett Ascarelli in The Napa Valley Register is discussing the pros and cons of the time the grapes are picked.
"Many vintners favor longer hang times, because they say the extra time grapes spend on the vine develops the full flavors that have lately been lauded by wine critics, whose opinions have had increasing influence over industry standards. However, longer hang times often translate into higher brix, or sugar, levels. When wine ferments, yeast processes the fruit sugars into alcohol, therefore fruit with more brix results in wines with high alcohol. Another side effect of high brix is "stuck fermentation," when the alcohol concentration of fermenting wine gets so high that it kills the yeast before it can convert the remaining sugar. Some winemakers add water to the wine when this happens to revive fermentation."
Nice article.

It is okay to cheat a little

Essential Wine Tasting Guide is a handy little tool for those of us who are not sure about our tasting abilities. Sandra Silfven has a nice column about it in The Wine News section of the The Detroit News, titled "Aussie's wine cheat sheet puts the right words in your mouth."
"Written for the American wine taster (though versions for six other world markets are available, and six more are in the works), it compiles standardized words to describe color (including a palette); tactile descriptors (acidity, tannins, etc.); flavor descriptors; wine faults; points for scoring wine; a temperature serving guide; and general descriptors for all common wine varieties grown in this country."
This is the first time I came across her column but apparently she has a new column every Thursday. It may be worth checking out every once in a while.