Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wines & Beverages: Grape Growing and How Wine is Made!

Welcome to 2010 here at the CIA and welcome to the last semester for AOS 6 here at CIA-Greystone. After a long Christmas/New Year's break, it was time to get back to learning how to wine & dine. Well, for the next 3 weeks we will be putting that dine part aside for an intensive education on the wine part. Leading our class will be Mr. John Buechsenstein, better known to many in the wine world as one of the founders of Sauvignon Repulic ( But to us, he is simply John B.

John B. knows a lot about food, but he knows a lot more about wine.  Especially making wine! No better teacher than a world-renowned artisan winemaker to show us how to make some home-made jug wine.

So no, we won't be hand picking and crushing some of Napa Valley's finest grapes; rather we will be using a little grape fruit concentrate out of the can instead.  Remember, this is home-made jug wine people. Don't turn your nose up at us.

There she is. The yeast concentrate has been diluted to make 26˚Brix (sugar concentration), the yeast has been proofed and added, a little bit of this and a little bit of that went in (nutrients, sulfites), and now we just let her ferment. More to come.........

Day one included all the basics including what glasses go with what wines. A lot of tradition goes into the style of glasses and even a little bit of scientific theory backs it up.  After all, it is pretty important that the correct flavor molecules needed to reach the olfactory epithelium located in the nasal cavity actually make it to as many receptors as possible......................but when it really comes down to it, some glasses are just cool to drink wine from. End of nerd story.

The flute is ready to hold some Roederer Estate Brut, MV, Anderson Valley. ~$23

Glass two would like some Cline Viognier 2007, California. ~$10

Not quite a Burgundy, but made from Pinot so into the Burgundian glass this Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, 2008, Los Carneros goes. ~$22

Bordeaux glasses love Cabernet's and Alexander Valley provided this Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005. ~$69
I hope this has wet your whistle because we have got a lot more to go from every wine-making corner of the world in the next few days.
Note: Professional wine tasters spit, some more elegantly than others, but they always spit, dribble, or excrete before swallowing. Even tastings of $70 Cab! It is a sad end for many of these wines, but we must persist in our educational endeavours during these tough times.  Cheers!