Wine Knowledge!

So here we are again! For my fellow readers, another delightful post and for me an empty bottle of wine and some fresh rambling. I figured since the snow is coming down I might as well pop the cork and spill some fresh knowledge to all of you. Before we get into that a few things I wanted to mention.

1. Never date a girl with a hook for a hand

2. Dont forget to tip you serving staff

3. Never wear a brown belt with black shoes.

And lastly remember, Beer is made by men, wine by Gods!

This entry will be a little more in-depth then your average wine facts so buckle up! I hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as enjoyed typing it!

Having knowledge how each wine tastes is wonderful, but to understand characteristics of each wine and how they are produced is essential in understanding difference in taste from vintage to vineyard.wine-chardonnay

Chardonnay has a highly vigorous vine, with extensive leaf cover which can inhibit the energy and nutrient uptake of its grape clusters. Vineyard managers counteract this with aggressive pruning and canopy management. When Chardonnay vines are planted densely, they are forced to compete for resources and funnel energy into their grape clusters. In certain conditions the vines can be very high-yielding, but the wine produced from such vines will suffer a drop in quality.

The Sauvignon Blanc vine often buds late but ripens early, which allows it to perform well in sunny climates when not exposed to overwhelming heat. In warm regions such as South Africa, Australia and California, the grape flourishes in cooler climate appellations such as the Alexander Valley area. In areas where the vine is subjected to high heat, the grape will quickly become over-ripe and produce wines with dull flavors and flat acidity.

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The leaves of Pinot noir are generally smaller than those of Cabernet Sauvignon, but larger than those of Syrah. The grape cluster is small and cylindrical, vaguely shaped like a pine cone. Some viticultural historians believe this shape may have given rise to the name. Pinot noir tends to produce narrow trunks and branches. In the vineyard it is sensitive to light exposure, cropping levels (it must be low yielding), soil types and pruning techniques.

Cabernet Sauvignon grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation – the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost – and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character “typicity” of the variety. The most widely recognized is the herbaceous or green bell pepper flavor caused by pyrazines, which are more prevalent in under-ripened grapes

Most red wines derive their color from grape and therefore contact between the juice and skins is essential for color extraction. Red wines are produced by de-stemming and crushing the grapes into a tank and leaving the skins in contact with the juice throughout the fermentation (maceration). It is possible to produce white (colorless) wines from red grapes by the fastidious pressing of uncrushed fruit. This minimizes contact between grape juice and skins.

Most white wines are processed without de-stemming or crushing and are transferred from picking bins directly to the press. This is to avoid any extraction of tannin from the skins or grape seeds, as well as maintaining proper juice flow through a matrix of grape clusters rather than loose berries. In some circumstances wine makers choose to crush white grapes for a short period of skin contact, usually for three to 24 hours.

During this primary fermentation, which often takes between one and two weeks, yeast converts most of the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol (alcohol). After the primary fermentation, the liquid is transferred to vessels for the secondary fermentation. Here, the remaining sugars are slowly converted into alcohol and the wine becomes clear. Wine is then allowed to age in oak barrels before bottling, which add extra aromas to the wine, while others are bottled directly.

The process of storing and rotating wine is very important. If the bottle is improperly stored at an incorrect temperature can “cork” the wine. Each vineyard has their own techniques, but as a rule they should be stored out of sunlight, and the temperature should be a constant with little humidity. After proper time of aging in bottle it is ready for you to serve it to your guests.

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!

JCL

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Wine Publication #7

How “Merlot” can you go!

Open up your brain tanks everyone, I’m about to pour some premium Vino knowledge! It is amazing since I’ve started this blog how many questions people message me every week about food and wine. The most recurring question I get is about which wines pairs best with certain foods/cuisine.

I want to first start off by saying, drink what you like! Dont let the snobby wine talk get you down. Over 90% of people in the wine world couldn’t tell, or care the difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle (the best bottle of wine I ever had the pleasure of tasting was sold to me for $3 dollars out of a gentleman’s basement). With wine, comes rules and with rules the enjoyment factor is diminished. It is a beverage that is meant to bring together families and friends and be shared with good conversation. Take it from me, more often than not you tend to throw your inhibitions to the wind allowing for some much-needed frivolity!

Now don’t get me wrong. The wine pairing idea is not a hoax and for the most part is quite valid. It is true that certain varietals of wine can enhance certain types of cuisine. However, I tend to typically drink red wine and don’t give a shit if a nice Riesling will compliment my fettucine alfredo (but that doesn’t mean I havent tried it)! the idea is to drink what you like but not be afraid to try new things! So when you are hosting your next dinner party or out for a nice meal try pairing with what you are going to order *BUT ONLY IF YOU LIKE THE SUGGESTION*

Enough Rambling, this chart should be of some help:

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!

JCL

Recommendation

As I was sitting at dinner last night I found that I was absolutely in love with the wine that we had ordered. It was extremely luscious, Italian and had a great full body feel to it… What can I say I like my wine like I like my women…Keeping all my readers in mind I snapped a picture just in case you ever come across it!

Some wine maker notes:

This 2009 Le Sughere di Frassinelo is a super Tuscan red wine that scored 91 points from wine spectator:

  • This red is imbued with black currant, cherry and cedar aromas and flavors. The tannins are firm, but nicely entwined with the texture, and this finishes with a harmony of fruit and spice

This vintage in particular is sold for about $15-$17 a bottle in stores!

Buon Appetito America

JCL