It’s cold; it’s dark, and the snow is a sloppy mess. Down and out, you might also be experiencing the post-holiday blues, or a simple lack of vitamin D has you hunkered down binge watching all seven seasons of Mad Men or worse, Friends.
There is a cure. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it will boost your popularity with minimal effort. Host a wine tasting! OK, before you dismiss this fantastic idea please know that the hardest part about hosting a wine tasting is you will have to do a little house cleaning. Besides that, it’s simple.
The 2016 harvest is in full swing! As the fruit ripens we use a handful of indicators paired with a little intuition, to make decisions about what and when to harvest. The development of sugar and the conversion of acid, along with the individual aromatic and flavor components that develop all play a role in our decisions and all have an impact on the final result.
Like the old Alfred Hitchcock film, The Birds, we too have nightmare troubles with birds. We have learned to stave off damage by deterring them with nets that cover the vines and loud cannons and squawk machines that scare the birds away. The squawk machines mimic the sounds of aggressive birds and birds of prey to scare starlings away. Starlings are the birds that fly in large formations during this time of year, eating copious amounts of food to ready themselves for migration.
Let’s do it! Let’s get geeky and explore the science behind wine, because really that’s what’s going on in that lush glass of Pinot and that refreshing Riesling. Behind each bottle of wine is scads of plant physiology, biology, chemistry, biochemistry and maybe even a little physics. Join the wine geeks at Shady Lane for monthly installments as we dig deep into the pit of wine science and hopefully emerge with a glass in hand on the other side.
Here at Shady Lane Cellars, we have a modest 3-acre plot of Blaufränkisch, otherwise known as Lemberger in Germany, and although our plot may be small, it produces wine with big personality. The Shady Lane Cellars Blaufränkisch is a dark red wine with layers of blueberry, blackberry, and mulberry fruit. A hint of black pepper and cedar spice finish this wine with aged, lush tannins and big mouthfeel.
The cool, rainy days of spring may delay vineyard work, but we stay busy in the winery; bottling. Spring is the best time to bottle Shady Lane’s 2015 bright aromatic whites like Riesling, Muscat, and Gewurztraminer. For these wines, further aging is always best in the bottle. The bottle? That leads us to a question most wine lovers have thought about.