Ever wonder, about how grapes become this perplexing yet marvelous potion? An elixir if you will, just sitting ever so reposed upon our fine dining tables? A drink as old as time itself awaits our indulgence, after a long day, in merriment with friends, or in times of quiet reflection.
Truly, it is an amazing concoction, contrivance, a medley of fascinations. Wine is akin to a wonderful novel. It captures you, sustains you, and from time to time…moves you to draw back in contemplation and wonderment of its very essence. The ancients of Greece, Rome, Egypt and even as far back as Mesopotamia, understood the importance of Wine. Vitis Vinifera, the original Wine Grape, believed to originate somewhere deep in the Caucasian Mountains occupies our homes still to this day. To inherit such a custom from so long ago is nothing less than astounding.
Harvesting The Grape
When it comes time to cultivate the grape clusters, Wine Producers carefully choose the perfect time for the type of wine they will be producing. Sampling the grapes from different parts of the vineyard is common in the decision-making process. An early harvest will produce a thinner, less sugary, low-alcohol wine, whereas a later harvest can produce the opposite. Grapes are then hand-picked or mechanically harvested, put into buckets and then large bins to be washed and sorted.
Pressing The Grape
These days, the crushing of grapes is done by machinery. As grapes get sorted on wide moving belts, they move into crushing bins. These crushing bins often have the ability to separate grapes from their skins as well (known as Must.) Grapes made without their skins (the Must) turn into the delicious White Wines we are so fond of. Although crushing of the grapes by foot is becoming rare, groups of people around the world still hold to this tradition, as a celebration ceremony to bring in good wine.
Separating the juice is often called “Racking.” There are many ways to accomplish this part of the wine making process. After the grapes are crushed, must, sediment and wine barnacles float freely in the liquid…changing its composition as we know it. Many Producers use stainless steel tanks and filter hoses, moving the juice several times from one vat to another. Similarly, and like the days of old, some Producers use wooden barrels made of Oak or French Oak, to achieve this goal. The juice is then left in the barrels to settle for many days and weeks. After sediment has made its way to the bottom, the barrels are gently filtered or poured out into larger barrels or tubs (and is repeated to perfection.)
The process of fermenting has a certain complexity, which may differ with one Winery to another. Often, Wine-makers leave the must, skin, seeds, and all, for an accomplished wine. In this case “cap management” is necessary to move liquids and solids around regularly, such that the fermentation process is guaranteed to continue. Temperatures of 77F (for reds) and 68F (for whites) are recommended, however, is not set in stone per se. Varied levels of sugar and yeast are checked and added, along with preventative measures of oxidation. Just as temperature maintenance is important for the yeast to stay alive and active, sugar management is also necessary, as the yeast feeds on the sugar. This then results in the famous alcoholic, vintage-drink, enjoyed now for centuries.
Looking to start the Autumn season with some Zazz?
How about Hosting a Party!
If you’re feeling rusty at playing the host or hostess, here are some refreshers to infuse some fun into your well-earned festivities with friends and family!
1) Get a theme going! Theme parties help clue your guests into the type of celebration you’re having: Loud and Exciting, Quiet and Elegant, Relaxed, Intensely Conversational, or just an “anything goes motif.”
Remember, the sky is the limit, so don’t resign yourself to the commonplace get-together if you’re looking for something a little more exceptional.
A few party theme ideas might be:
- A Safari/Jungle Party
- A 1920’s Party
- A Woodland Party (and stargazing)
- A Murder Mystery Party (with dinner scripts)
- A Vintage Party (everyone brings an impressive antique)
2) Be sure to send out your invitations well in advance, and check the local community event-dates which might otherwise usher your guests off in another direction.
3) Be sensitive to your guests food allergies/needs. Make sure there is something for everyone to nibble on, and while you’re sampling your hors d’ oeuvres go ahead and un-cork a bottle! It’s important to enjoy yourself as you plan the party and its food pairing ideas. (Click on Tasting Notes to get a feeling for our wine and the flavor they can bring to a dish.)
4) Welcome your company in at the door with their choice of beverage, as you introduce them to at least one other guest. This helps everyone to feel appreciated and ready to mingle with others.
5) Make sure you are enjoying yourself as the festivities commence! Don’t wait to have fun, or get too caught up in having every detail perfect…a relaxed host/hostess is important in guiding a party to its most potential.
6) Complete your evening with a delectable dessert. As the evening winds down, ensure your friends and family are contented with one last taste of something fabulous before they depart.
Join us at Rosella’s to sample some really great wine for an amazing bash!
Independence Day is just a few short days away. While you’re busy making plans to see the new “Independence Day” movie, attend your county’s fireworks display or put on your own, the one thing you can’t forget is the food!
As is our custom on this blog, I’ve compiled some great red, white & blue recipes and decorations so you can have the best party on the block this Monday. Let’s dive in!
Drinks are first: Vodka Lemonade Slushies from And They Cooked Happily Ever After
And for the kids, Triple Berry Smoothies from In Katrina’s Kitchen
Appetizer: Firework Fruit Kabobs from Spark Recipes (Seriously these are just too cute to resist. Dust off your Christmas cookie cutters to make the watermelon stars!)
Then it’s time for barbecue, or whatever your favorite July 4 dinner is. I’d opt for burgers, grilled corn and coleslaw myself! Then it’s time for glorious dessert and I’ve got too options for you:
First, the M&M Flag Cake from Two Sisters Crafting. The best part about this one is you can make the cake whatever flavor you want and you don’t lose the July 4 theme.
Or, you can make this delicious All-American Pie from Casey Leigh
Well, I guess I got a little carried away with all those recipes. But no fear, I won’t leave you without your DIY inspiration for decorations to light up your Red, White & Blue table! Here’s 20 easy craft ideas to make your home and table celebrate! Click here for the slideshow.
We at Rosella’s wish you all a wonderful Independence Day!
Hello Wine Club Members!
Your 2012 Cabernet Reserve, aged an additional year – for a total of 3 years, is finally here! Like many of our wines, it’s one you won’t want to miss. Bring your Mom, or if you are a Mom, celebrate by experiencing this awesome pairing of Cabernet Reserve with a beef and mushrooms puff pastry in a Cabernet Reduction. Mark your calendars now. It’s a great way to spend a Mother’s Day weekend. It’s an official Wine Club Event – May 7th & 8th from 12-4pm, where we’ll be giving a flower to all Moms! Wine Club available for early pick up, April 28th 11-5.
We can’t wait to see you in the tasting room!
Rex, Sandi, Rowdy, & Lola Garoutte
**Note to Wine Club Members: If you are on our “shipper” list, your wine will arrive shortly. Pickup available early by contacting us at 541-846-6372. Release available for the month of May. If wines are not picked up, wine release will be charged to payment card on file and held for your convenience.