- Water – for light bodied wines
- Milk – for medium bodied wines
- Cream – for full bodied wines
Are you looking for a sweet wine – or do you actually mean a fruity wine? It’s a really common mistake to make, and it’s a lot of confusing science on how our brains differentiate taste from smell. Basically, most wines that we sell are dry, but don’t worry, we’ll tell you when they aren’t.
A good indicator is percentage. If a wine is below 11% there’s a good chance it’s veering towards off-dry, and if it’s below 8% we’re looking at a sweetie!
After the harvest a number of different processes can happen to a wine to perfect the flavour profile. These processes are called “vinification” or “wine-making.” Wines can be aged in oak, undergo malo-lactic fermentation or be rested on their lees (which are the naturally occurring dead yeast cells left over after fermentation.)
Oaky wines have got a bad rep over the past few years when New World countries were chucking wood chips in, giving wine an artificial vanilla flavour, but we’ve got some beautifully oaked wines here!
Terroir of Terrors
Terroir literally means “soil” or “earth” in French, and it plays a huge part in a vineyard. It’s one of those words that is way more than the sum of it’s parts, and has come to mean a lot more than just soil. It now takes the climate, region, weather, and aspect into consideration, because these all greatly affect the harvest in the vineyard.
We could bam off all day about different soil types and slope angles (and we do…) but ultimately they all add up to making a tasty wine for you to drink.
In the EU & Canada, organic wine is simply wine made from organically grown grapes. It gets a bit murkier with our Yankee cousins, as they can only call their wine organic if there are no added sulphites. Sulphites occur naturally in all food, and wine is no exception, they are mostly harmless, but you can read more about them here.
It’s not cheap to get your winery certified organic, so many houses are what we call “practising organic.” These guys are legit, but not certified, we’ll all been there…
Biodynamic wine isn’t some new age hippy crap, these practises are around 100 years old. Biodynamic growing is basically a harnessing of the earth natural energy, holistic growing at it’s finest. Each biodynamic calendar day coincides with one of the four classical elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water that have been used since before Plato’s era:
- Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes
- Root Days: Ideal days for pruning
- Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days
- Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants
You can read more about it here.
Isn’t wine just grape juice? How can it not be Vegan or Vegetarian?
Most wines don’t start off life as the clear liquid we’re used to seeing in our glass, they’re hazy and have some naturally occurring impurities. Through a process called “fining” we make them clear and palatable! In the past we’ve used all sorts of things to fine wine. The most common ones are casein (milk protein), isinglass (fish bladder protein), albumen (egg white protein) and gelatin (animal protein.) These are the agents that make wine vegan or vegetarian.
Vegan friendly wines can be filtered with bentonite or activated charcoal, and sometimes they’re just left to do their funky, hazy thing!
Let's get fizzical
In the same wait that not all hot tubs are Jacuzzis not all sparkling wines are Champagne or Prosecco. These are both protected regions that have to abide by certain rules in order to label themselves as such, like whisky or Arbroath smokies.
Most sparkling wines fall into 2 categories: Frizzante and Spumante. Frizzante wines are slightly less fizzy, as they are basically made in a large tank like a soda stream (aka the Charmat Method). Spumante wines are a bit more labour intensive, and therefore a bit more expensive. They undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle with a bit of riddling before they are capped with a cork that we can pop at graduations, weddings, or on Tuesday.