Mmm…Oaky Chardonnay…crisp Sauvignon Blanc…flowery Viognier…a delicious glass of white wine is one of life’s great pleasures. But before uncorking that great (hopefully handcrafted) bottle you’ve selected, you should try our few simple steps to ensure that delicious bottle of nectar delivers its full flavor potential.
See our short video on White Wine Serving Temperatures to learn how to ensure that the wine in your glass is not too warm and not too cold.
Though the vineyards are dormant right now, there is still plenty to do. Pruning is at the top of the list. Winegrowers are very attentive to exactly what kind of pruning their vines need, since this will have an impact on the fruit and thus the wine.
There are several ways to prune. Mitch Black, who founded Black Knight Vineyards on the cool side of Sonoma Valley, atop Taylor Mountain, describes his cane pruning this year.
“This is the most important time of year in the vineyard. We do cane pruning, where we chop almost everything off and put down new canes every year. You can look at the plant and based on what you see, you will decide on how many canes it should have and what length they should be. So each plant is pruned according to its needs.
Not so long ago, California winemakers were deciding what kinds of wines they would plant based mostly on consumer tastes. Gotta have a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Sauvignon, maybe a Zinfandel … and they would plant them all in one spot.
That approach didn’t last too long, simply because the wines made it clear when the vines were not happy with their location. Planting Cabernet Sauvignon where you plant Chardonnay is generally not a great idea, because these two grape varieties prefer different climates.
When the Rice family purchased 55 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley, little did they know they’d caught a terroir tiger by the tail. And that’s a good thing!
The family was new to winemaking, but they thought the slopes along the Santa Ynez River with their southern exposure, the soils with their rock and sand, the early morning fog and windy afternoons boded well for the grapevines they planned.
From the “do we believe this?” department — There is now a wine for cats. A Japanese company has created a wine with flavors that will set felines to purring. It’s called Nyan Nyan Nouveau- with “nyan nyan” Japanese for “meow meow”.
This is a non-alcoholic beverage, but it does have juice from Cabernet grapes, blended to perfection with fine aged catnip.
Drinking a glass of wine before bedtime is not the best way to get a good night’s sleep, according to researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia. Dr. Christian Nicholas of the university’s Sleep Research laboratory observed the sleep patterns of 24 college students for three nights. He and co-author Dr. Julia Chan published the results in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Subjects were divided evenly men and women, 18-21 years old (you can legally imbibe at age 18 in Australia). An electroencephalogram (EEG) monitored electrical impulses in their brains as the students slept.
We asked you on Facebook and Twitter what your favorite chocolate is and you told us. Now, we’re taking your 5 most popular choices and offering our pairing suggestions. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
First, a few general guidelines about pairing wine and chocolate.
Intense, dark chocolates love full-bodied wines.
The smoother the wine’s tannins, the better the wine pairing will be.
Sparkling wine can be very versatile with chocolate — experiment!