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.
Life in the vineyard is just beginning to show itself. But what are the managers and farmers working on, where are they focused, what are they doing now that will set the pace for the whole season. Well, it all begins with the buds!
I’m sure many of you have thought at some point, “Think I’ll get in to the winery business”. What could be better than living this idyllic life, and at the end of the day getting to enjoy a wonderful glass of wine that you created?
Trust me, at some point all wine drinkers have been fooled as to how sweet a wine might really be. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard somebody claim a wine is sweet when it is not, or go on about how beautifully dry a wine is that has quite a bit of residual sugar in it.
In my now 40 years in the wine business I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the sulfite and wine headache conversation. Besides the obvious “You’ve finished the bottle by yourself? No wonder you have a headache!”
First, I like to say my wines smell a lot… in a good way, and that’s just how I like it. Second, if you really want to know everything there is to know about wine aromas enroll in the Viticulture & Enology program at the University of California, Davis, spend 6 to 8 years earning your Ph.D., and then you may know half of what there is to know.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”... So if a wine is made from the grape Lemberger, as it is known in Germany, does that mean it would not smell as sweet as the wine made from the grape known as Kekfrankos? In spite of the immediate image of stinky cheese wine that Lemberger might suggest, the two grapes are one and the same.
This may not be quite as important as that eternal question that ponders our existence, but when it comes to understanding wine, this ranks way up there. This topic is examined and discussed by winemakers, viticulturists and gonzo wine snoids endlessly, but rarely is it completely understood by the most important element in the world of wine; the wine drinker. And the topic is… tannin.