Uncorked Ventures Blog
It is always nice when someone has nice things to say about you, don’t you agree?
Recently we were listed among the best wine clubs available anywhere, by Forbes in an online article.
First, thank you for including us Forbes. We take our responsibility to deliver high quality wines very seriously and it is nice to see a magazine that we enjoy so much, rewarding us for those efforts.
So here’s a widely known secret that would surprise most first time wine drinkers-the color of wine is largely determined by how long the grape juice stays in contact with the skins of the grape, moreso than the type grape which provided the juice.
Yes, there are some differences that come by the grapes which are selected-Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t making white wines any time soon, Chardonnay isn’t making red wines any time soon either, but the color differences in these two wines comes largely from the amount of time each stays in contact with its own skin during fermentation.
Rose, as you might expect is actually (or usually at least) a red wine-this one just happens to have its skin removed from the juice in only a few hours-or at most a day or two. It also leads to less direct and noticeable flavors.
You’ll occasionally see a Rose made by removing a small bit of fermenting red wine early in the process, in essence creating a different wine from exactly the same set of vineyards and grapes!
We thought a small heads up might be a good idea given that we have unseasonably warm temperatures here in San Francisco-close to 85 degrees this afternoon. Those temperatures as well as baseball on tv and the radio, made us think that it was a nice day for Rose
The Mediterranean has long been recognised as a place to go for a fabulous sunshine holiday, to sample new and exotic cuisine and taste wine from some of the best vineyards in the world. The really good news is that now medical professionals have recognised the many health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet, one full of fresh produce, pure olive oil, whole grain and lashings of fresh fish and other seafood, all chased with a glass or two of wine.
Combine a holiday abroad with the opportunity to eat your way around Europe! Foodie tours are all the rage, especially in the Mediterranean area, and give access to the freshest, beautifully prepared delicacies and world-class wines. Visit the best destinations with Thomson and educate your palate at the same time.
France is the original 'foodie' destination, long having been accepted as master of cheese, wine and exquisitely prepared and delicious sauces. Gourmets and gourmands alike flock to France still, eagerly accompanied by oenophiles who seek the world's best wines and hope to find an excellent vintage on the racks. The Rhone Valley has recently caught up to world leaders in the production of superb Bordeaux and Burgundy, while still producing its award winning Chateaneuf-du-Pape. Foodies might be more interested in the Languedoc-Roussillon area, which is something of a meeting point of many culinary influences. Chefs in the area specialise in creating unique dishes, with a strong emphasis on using fresh, locally sourced produce and a good deal of imagination! Wine lovers can also thoroughly enjoy themselves in the area with an abundance of local wine to sample, enjoy and take home.
Home of the pizza, ice-cream and pasta Italian cuisine is world famous thanks to its delicious taste and simple recipes. However, nothing can beat a pizza from Naples, or a spaghetti Bolognese from Bologna; the homes of these two iconic dishes! Be sure to travel far and wide around Italy, as each region features its own specialities and delicacies and it would be a shame to miss out on any of the wonderful tastes of Italy! Italy is home to wonderful wines too, boasting some of the world's oldest vineyards. Italy recently overtook France as the biggest wine producer in the world, providing restaurants, hotels and bars as well as private consumers with gallons of good quality wines. Italian wines are classified under a fairly complex system that rates most of them higher than the so-called 'table wines' a name given to wine that is adequate, but nothing special - not something that can be said of Italy's finest wines!
Spain's cuisine has been heavily influenced by its history and the many peoples who have passed through the country, from the ancient Romans and Moors to more modern visitors. However, the Mediterranean diet can still be found at the heart of Spanish food, making food and wine visits to Spain a healthy option for all! Lentils are found widely in Spanish cooking, as is the wonderful variety of seafood that can be plucked fresh from the sea, ready for each meal. Spain's southern region is largely given over to wine production, and it is home to the largest vineyards in the world, although in production it falls behind Italy and France. Visitors to Spain will already be aware of the pleasant light sangria, but the local Rioja is a true wine-lovers treat too!
These are just the tip of the Mediterranean food and wine experience. Book your holiday have a look at Thomson's winter offers to cover as wide a sweep of the region as possible, and be sure to linger in each town and village as you travel. Cuisine changes subtly depending on the terrain and how the weather has affected the growing crops, making each pit stop along your way a wonderful opportunity to treat your taste-buds to something truly unique!
Spring is always an exciting time of year and I’m not talking solely about the NCAA tournament, Major League baseball starting or even the end of the incessant wind here in the East Bay. There is a certain energy that we all find as winter holidays and the corresponding trips to Tahoe end and people get back into their regular schedules as we all wait for spring to come in fully.
The whole idea of winter ending came to me this week after seeing the plum tree in my backyard flower and then begin growing leaves and it made me think that bud break in Napa happened earlier than normal this year.
Our friends at Beringer tell us that bud break actually took place on their estate vineyards about a week ago, making it the earliest start to the growing season in well, a lifetime.
There’s an old wives tale of sorts in the Valley about bud break happening before the end of February(Carneros had it this year for the first time on record) and even the few growers we know who aren’t liable to complain about every change in the weather, thought we might have a season that early this time around as well. Luckily the vines held out almost another month in much of the Valley, although this break is still well earlier than normal even if it isn’t disastrously so.
In any case, what does the coming of spring mean for you? What’s on the agenda for travel plans, vacations and the kids summers?
Tasting Notes: We couldn’t resist finding another Russian River Pinot Noir which throws the entire idea of ripe and full California wine on its head. This is more Burgundy than traditional Sonoma, especially in a cooler than average 2010 vintage. Hints of berry fruit on the nose blends well with what we’re told is traditional Leras Family Vineyard, a hint of bacon. Both winemaker and the winery owner told us in no uncertain terms that this wine will, much like a high quality Burgundy require some patience. They held it in barrel for an addition 6 months & it will reward cellaring and patience-if not please decant.
About Chloe Creek and Leras Family Vineyard: One thing we’ve started to do, is to follow specific vineyards. Leras Family has been home to multiple 95+ point wines in recent years, which isn’t surprising since the vineyard is now in its 3rd generation of family ownership and has been planted continuously since 1918. Chloe Creek takes advantage of its status as a smaller producer (377 cases here) to pick up smaller parcels from outstanding vineyards and we think the commitment to quality shows here. Their winemaker Dan Fitzgerald received a large part of his wine education in Europe which helps to explain some of the stylistic choices here although his time as winemaker at Robert Sinskey helped to shape his vision of smaller production Sonoma Pinot Noir as well.
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