Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bottling day

The 2005 zinfandel and chardonnay went to bottle today. We had several sets of hands pitching in so we made quick work of about 8 cases of zin and 5 of chardonnay. The zin went to bottle unfiltered while the chard was minimally filtered and NOT cold-stabilized, so if you put it in the fridgie for several days it might develop a small sediment of "wine diamonds" (hey, I didn't make that up - google it). Don't get too excited - these crystals can form over time, especially in cool storage conditions, as the natrually occuring tartaric acid in the wine precipatetes out of solution as potassium bitartrate (available on your spice rack as cream of tartar). Most American white wines are processed by chilling the wine in large vats before bottling to force this precipation to occur - better for retail sales to consumers who might think the crystals are bits of broken glass. We did not do this step on our white wines. In Europe, especially Germany where grapes are more acidic, minimally-processed white wines will often develop these crystals over time. Check it out next time you open an old Trockenbeerenauslese ;-).

New Chilean wine?

Saturday night it was time for our favorite Chilean rockroomie to throw his annual Val-Day bash. Thanks Jorge - it was a great party. Of course the party was complete with a few jugs of a homemade wine concoction of his very own. The jug labels said " Lust Fixer Elixer " and just plain "Sin", but sure tasted like sangria - some red wine, fresh fruit juice (those are oranges floating in the brew) a dash of brandy and a few other flavors. Yum!