Wine Experts

Winemaking Tips: Blending, Fining, and Filtering

It’s almost a cliché – the image of the winemaker sitting in some kind of laboratory perfecting the blend for a final wine. In truth, it’s much more hands on. Wine is made in the cellar, after all, using tried and true methods and careful handling.

For the commercial winery, the selections of barrels for blending can be very arbitrary – a final quantity taking precedence over a final quality. The micro-winery has a much greater incentive to strive for quality, having limited resources from which to create a final blend.  

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An attorney by day and a full time wine enthusiast, Loren focuses on Italian wines for IntoWine.com

Recent Articles for Wine Experts

Beaujolais Nouveau - The Wine List - November 2014

There is a wine phenomenon every November when the cry goes out:  Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrive!  For more information about this phenomenon, go here.   

Beaujolais Nouveau is a popular wine to serve at Thanksgiving for a few reasons.  First, they are prominently displayed on the store shelves at the same time people are shopping for their Thanksgiving groceries, 2) they are affordable wines that should cost less than $15 per bottle and can often be found for under $10, and 3) they match surprisingly well with Thanksgiving Turkey, cranberries and stuffing. 

I find most Beaujolai Nouveau falls in one of two groups.  They are either fun wines or wines that I wouldn’t drink.  A good Beaujolais Nouveau will have lots of cherry fruit, perhaps a bit of banana aromas and should be smooth and easy to drink.  Here are ten in the first group; wines that are fun, taste good and provide value.  There are others out there as well, but these are go-to wines for me.  One bit of caution, don’t buy too many.  These should be consumed by the end of the year.  The best thing about them is their freshness.

Crazy Superstitions and Rituals of Winemakers - Part I

It seems most everyone has some kind of superstition: a lucky hat, the old stand-by the rabbit’s foot, a certain ritual before a specific event. We humans are curious creatures of habit and redundancy. Winemakers too have superstitions they employ during harvest to planting to verasion. So who in the U.S. is doing what, and when, and more importantly why? We do not judge, for these intrepid winemakers are doing great work so we can have great juice.

Top 10 California Syrahs - The Wine List - October 2014

Syrah is a grape that most wine merchants will tell you is a difficult sell.  It seems it’s always going to be the next big thing, but never is.  For consumers, that’s a good thing.  A great Syrah usually will cost far less than a comparable quality Cabernet or Pinot Noir.  For my money, I tend to buy more Syrah than any other grape.  A disclaimer here – I liked it so much, I started to make it. 

In any event, as the temperatures start to drop, fall is great time for a hearty red with dinner or next to a warming fire.  Syrah is a grape that really changes its personality depending on where it is grown.  Cooler climate Syrahs can be quite different from warmer climate ones.  California has plenty of each.  While I love many of the cooler climate Syrahs, most of the ones listed below are warmer climate Syrahs.  In my opinion, that is where the very best of Syrahs from California can be found.

Naked Wines - Disrupting the Wine Industry via Crowdfunding

With its tangled web of regulations tethering wine producers to "traditional" sales and marketing practices, wine is an industry seemingly ripe for disruption. Naked Wines, which connects the consumer and the winemaker via crowdfunding, may well be the disruptive force that (finally) shakes up the wine industry by giving consumers access to the artisan winemakers not typically found on the shelves of the local wine store or grocer, which are often dominated by wine conglomerates. I caught up with Naked Wines COO Benoit Vialle to discuss their unique business model.