Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Silly anti-wine laws

I really think it is just ridiculous how wine (beer & spirits too) is regulated in this country. Prohibition ended 75 years ago, can't we move on at this point?  It is a mess of regulation to get the proper permits to sell wine for each state and that's not enough!  Each county then can decide how to restrict wine being shipped and sold.  Hard to believe we still have counties that are "dry" in the USA.  The fact that Napa County will not allow wineries to serve food is also a stupid thing to do if you want to promote responsible wine consumption.  The latest news that got me started is a stupid New York state law that prohibits a wine shop (illegal to buy wine in a grocery store, of course) from selling wine gift bags.  This poor shop owner gets a $10000 fine for having a bag available to put your wine in.  Just so odd it is hard to believe...

Top 10 stupid wine laws:
10. Required state owned wine stores (good luck finding a good selection) 
9. Utah
8. Dry Counties
7. Bans on buying wine at a food stores (just too convenient)
6. No wine on Sundays
5. No food in Napa wineries (except two grandfathered in)
4. The three tier racket (greedy distributor arm twisting, leagal mobsters)
3. Franchise states (ties into number 4, means you cannot fire your under performing distributor)
2. The stupid argument that these laws exist to protect children

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Its cold outside...

Snow in Napa yesterday. This picture however is not Napa. The snow melted as it hit the ground but it was still rather exciting. The bad news I want our Cabernet to finish up ML fermentation and the colder the wine, the slower the fermentation. Go, bacteria, go! (Technical note: the reason that one would want their red wine to complete ML quickly is so one could then add sulfur dioxide which protects the wine from nasty microbes and smelly oxidation.) The wines will hit the lab in a few days for a check-up. Fingers are crossed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our First Review!

Our first review that we know of anyway. Joe Roberts of 1winedude.com gave our wine a spin and here is a clip of what he had to say.

"The nose is dominated by black plum, with a hint of dried black fruits and elegant spice (rather than hefty oak). After several minutes in the glass, pepper and dried herbs start to creep out, and once in a while you sniff some wet dirt (but in a good way).

Take a sip, and and the fruits get a little more red (cherries and currants), but still "feel" dried. The tannins are smooth but almost coffee-thick, and the coffee notes stick around on a finish that is almost half a minute long."

see whole review here

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wax or no?

I read Steve Heimoff's blog about "wax" seals on wine bottles with much interest.  I use this method for some of the wines at Jarvis and really like the look.  Today I opened thirty or so "wax" sealed bottles myself and I must agree it is not that easy to do.  The quotes around wax are there because the "wax" contains no wax and is really plastic.  It is fairly easy to apply by hand and looks really good but is it worth it?  

I think it is.  First, it has to be applied by hand by someone that takes a lot of care to make it look good.  This hand crafted feature is important to a luxury product.  Second, it stands out visually as different and special.  

To make it actually possible to open one of these bottles I am working on a device that will score a ring in the "wax" while it is still soft.  The ring should break off easily when the cork is removed.  At least that's the plan...I will have to get a bottle to Steve when the design is complete.