Winemaking

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.

Q&A with Deborah Bennett, Winemaker from Cerridwen Wines

IntoWine recently caught up with Cerridwen Wines Winemaker, Deborah Bennett to discuss wine and her thoughts on current trends in the wine industry.

Q: You originally came to Napa Valley seeking to become a wine writer. Why the change to winemaking?

A: The whole thing was really kind of wild.  Shortly after I moved to Napa I attended a seminar where the question was asked, "What would you do as a career if you could do anything you wanted?" It came as a complete surprise to me when I answered, "Become a winemaker."  I had no idea where that had come from.  It wasn't something I'd been considering.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Corks vs Alternative Closures for Wine Bottles - IntoWineTV Episode 147

IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine panelists Bartholomew Broadbent, Michael Cervin, and Richard Jennings discuss the pros and cons of traditional corks vs alternative closures for wine bottles.

A Discussion on Wine Alcohol Levels (Part 2) - IntoWineTV Episode 143

IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine panelists Bartholomew Broadbent, Michael Cervin, and Richard Jennings discuss the controversial topic of rising wine alcohol levels.

A Discussion on Wine Alcohol Levels (Part 1) - IntoWineTV Episode 142

IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine panelists Bartholomew Broadbent, Michael Cervin, and Richard Jennings discuss the controversial topic of rising wine alcohol levels.

Twins Oaks Winemaker Mark Weiner Discusses His Wines

As part of video wine review series, Cult Wines of Crushpad, IntoWine had the delightful opportunity to catch up with Twin Oaks winemaker Mark Weiner to hear his thoughts on the Twin Oaks wines and wine topics in general. Thanks to Mark for chatting.  

What inspired the name Twin Oaks Cellars?

Named after my twin daughters, as well as the twin oak trees in our neighborhood...

Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork?

QUESTION: Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork?

I hate synthetic corks and love natural cork or Stelvin screw tops. Synthetic corks are often very difficult to pull out of the bottle. They haven’t yet convinced me that a wine can age as well with a synthetic cork as they can with natural cork or even screw top. To me, synthetic cork indicates cheap wine or a wine that is unlikely to be made in a natural way.

Do screw caps on wine bottles indicate a cheap wine?

QUESTION: Do screw caps on wine bottles indicate a cheap wine?

No.  Cheap wine indicates cheap wine.  There is an issue with corks as a small percentage of them will cause a problem with the wine in the bottle.  The most famous of these is TCA which is a bacterium that, while harmless, can cause a wine to smell and taste muted at best or like wet cardboard at worse.  Other issues are imperfect seals which cause a wine to age prematurely.

What does it mean for a wine to be unbalanced?

QUESTION: What does it mean for a wine to be unbalanced?

When a wine is young, it can take years for all the various elements, such as acidity, tanning and fruit to integrate. Until such time the wine can be considered out of balance. However, some young wines can be balanced in the beginning and age gracefully to develop more elegance or character. A lot of the time, a wine professional will refer to a wine as being unbalanced if the wine tastes too strongly of one particular element, very commonly oak, alcohol or acidity.

What does it mean for a wine to have tannins?

QUESTION: What does it mean for a wine to have tannins?

Tannins are the sensation of drinking wines that result in an almost thick and fuzzy feeling on the lips and tongue.  You may also get this sensation when drinking tea.  It can come from many different part of the wine making process.  The tannins are present in the grape skin which is why they are found more in red wines than white wines.

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