Throughout building The Grape Escape TV Network, these two questions came up a few times: What if everybody in the wine world doesn't agree with my brand? And, will I lose my credibility? These questions fuck with your mind and essentially stall you from moving forward.
Mulling this over in my head “wine snobs” came up. I realized that wine snobs would be the only people I would piss off with my brand. So my brand motto came to existence: "WINE SNOBS FUCK OFF!" Here is what stood out to me: There are more people wanting to learn about wine than there are teachers. And there is no one that will teach like me.
A massive weight was lifted from my shoulders once I allowed myself to educate and enlightened my grape audience with my authentic point of view. I immediately found myself to be more relatable and my audience to be more enlighten with grape passion. Some people are going to love it and some people are going to hate it; this brand is definitely not created to keep everybody happy.
For the people that do relate, welcome to this #GrapeNation. Cheers!
If you have ever dabbled in a wine conversation or two, the terms “old world wine” and “new world wine” may have crossed your winey path. Why is there so much wine terminology? I know, I'm with you on that one. Luckily the difference here, actually is quite simple and interesting. Let me explain.
Winemaking originated in the Middle East; Babylon, Roman empire and surrounding area. That being said, wine production in Europe and the Middle East has long been established. Wine from countries such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal would be "old world" wines.
Now, as European countries colonized the world, they introduced vines and wine production to their colonies. Wines from countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America, Argentina, Chile will be classified as "new world" wines.
Other than the geographical difference, the two terms also refers to a difference in wine style. "New world" wine tend to be higher in alcohol and fruitier. "Old world" wines are well balanced, with higher acidity and earthy tones. So technically, a winery in California could produce an “old world” style of wine.
Next time you wine somewhere, see if you can spot the difference between an "old world" and a "new world" wine without looking where the wine was made.
Grapie, you're at a dinner party. Jenny over here keeps talking about the refreshing aromas in her wine, while Carol can't shut up about the complex bouquet. We are just smelling wine! How can their be two ways to describe it? Yes, it's confusing Grapie! Were going to break it down, so next time when you appreciate wine, you'll know exactly what to say.
The word “aroma” can be better described in these three categories.
Premier aromas, Secondary aromas and Tertiary aromas (which is also the wine’s Bouquet.)
Primary and Secondary aromas are directly gained from the grapes juice and the actual wine making process. Each grape variety brings unique flavors and aromas to a wine. With the making process, the type of yeast used and fermentation temperature will add certain aromas and fade others in the young wine. Think delicate floral and fruity notes.
The bouquet (Tertiary aromas) originates from the post fermentation process i.e. wine aging in oak barrels, or in bottles. Bouquet notes that you will pick up include; vanilla, hazelnut, toasted almond, coffee, caramel, dark chocolate and smokiness to name just a few.
So Grapie, next time you appreciate wine on the nose, try and pick up the light floral and fruity notes that you would find in younger wines. These are the aromas. Then also try and pick up the mature bouquet of the wine that will come out to play in older wines that had time to age.
For the most part when we enjoy the lemon, pear and floral bouquet of our Chenin blanc (or when college students enjoy the red in their red wine) we usually don't think past the bottle. So who makes wine?
Let me throw these to words out there; oenologist and viticulturist.
Oenologist in simple english, is a winemaker. They have a bachelor's degree in Oenology (ee-nol-o-gee). The oenologist takes care of all the indoor aspects of winemaking. Following multiple processes of grafting that grape into your glass.
Then we have the viticulturist, which takes care of all the outside aspects of winemaking. From the vine, to the soil, to the precise picking time for optimal grape ripeness. Don’t overlook the viticulturist. Excellent wines are crafted in the vineyard. Prime quality grapes give the winemaker a great headstart to crafting amazing wine.
Brutal science, microbiology, soil science, viticulture and wine classes to name just a few, shape the average four year course. Although, I must add it wasn't all books... Friday afternoon wine tasting practicals were the best! It definitely oiled the engine for a good weekend.
Next time you're on your way to tipsy time; cheers a glass to the oenologist and viticulturist. They worked for months and in many cases even years, to give you that glass of “God’s nectar”, in your hand.
Yes, I am married but I have had a few awkward first dates, especially before I knew wine! So, ladies and gents lean on me for all your wine worries! First impressions are stressful enough, so let's not worry about pairing your wine with your food. Rather let's pair your wine with your date. Here we go.
Date 1. If your date presents to be an expert, let them choose the wine. Phew... that was easy! Now relax and enjoy dinner with wine and talk about how they are such an expert. You are welcome.
Date 2. Your date most likely knows even less about wine than you do. Especially Grapie, since you have just read this blog! Start off by being honest by saying that you’re not a wine sommelier (expert) and you are learning. They will appreciate your honesty. And I’m sure you two will giggle because hey... you at least have something in common! Next, suggest something light, that goes down easy. A white wine, is best. And then you don’t have to worry about stained teeth! Try a chenin blanc, you will find it to be more fruity. Or a sauvignon blanc, which learn towards greenery and grassy aromas. Ask your date what they would prefer. If they can't decide, you decide. Are they fun & fruity or sassy & grassy?
When it comes to the food, order whatever your heart desires. Your date won't give a fuck and if they do, swipe left!
Enjoy the night, enjoy the wine and have fun!
Naturally you would imagine that white wine is white because of the white grapes and red wine is red because of the red grapes. Ok, so that’s true to some extent but, there is a lot more to this grape equation. You can make white wine from red grapes but you can't make red wine from white grapes. That’s because the juice within red grapes (with exception of a few red grape varieties) are actually clear. The color pigments and compounds of wine grapes are located in the skin not the juice.
So how do we get the color from the skin to the juice?
Crushing red grapes, results in the must (from the Latin vinum mustum, “young wine”) which is the crushed grape berry, seed, skin, juice and pulp. The color compounds from the skins will be infused into the grape juice. Depending on how long the crushed juice is kept in contact with the skins, will determine the color grade of the red wine.
Even after this process, the color of the red wine can change again if the wine is aged in wood barrels. This can lead to the wine having a deeper darker red to tawny brownish color. Color derived from barrel aging can be clearly seen with white wine. Compare the same white wine that has spent no time in a barrel versus that wine aged for several months in an oak barrel. The aged wine carries a yellow more golden straw color derived from the wood.
Now, when it comes to Rosé, you can easily obtain the pink color in two ways. The most common way is crushing your red grapes, and leaving the must for a few hours so that the color from the skins can change the clear juice to pink. Or by simply creating a blend of white and red wine.
So there you have it. There is more to wine color than just the juice.
The Winey Blog
Stuff you want to, and need to know about wine. Have a question? Ask me!