IT'S TIME TO WINE! is a blog for those of us who enjoy the lighter side of life and the fun side of wine, "For over a bottle of wine, many friends are made." So jump on in and share your favorite wine varietal, wine story, wine trivia or cartoon because life is just to short not to wine!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What does Chardonnay really taste like?

When conducting private wine tasting sessions I sometimes hear people comment ”I don't care for chardonnay” when what they really mean is that they don't care for overly oaked whites.

The majority of chardonnays on the market are fermented in oak with the un-oaked chardonnay being the exception. Because of this, when people think 'CHARDONNAY' they think spicy, smokey, vanilla, and butterscotch. This isn't the grape they are tasting though, it is the oak in which chardonnay is typically fermented.
An unoaked chardonnay has little in common with the often overly oaked Chardonnay.  
A quality crafted un-oaked chardonnay will boast deliciously fruity flavors ranging from apple and
melon in the colder growing regions to luscious tropical fruit flavors such as pineapple in the warmer climates.

I have recently discovered an un-oaked chardonnay blend from The Traveling Vineyard that has been a real hit at my wine tasting sessions.
The Scotto family has masterfully blended 13.7% Marsanne with 86.3% Chardonnay to create a fruity, crisp Chardonnay blend that is full of flavor and intrigue.  The wine went through a cold fermentation (fermented at 52 degrees Fahrenheit) to protect and develop the delicate fruit flavors, and was not aged in oak, but rather was aged sur-lie (on the yeast) to add smoothness, complexity and character.
Fruit flavors evident in this Chardonnay/Marsanne blend include tropical citrus, pineapple, melon, and green apple.  The wine pairs beautifully with shrimp, fish, or Asian cuisine.
I am loving this Scotto chardonnay! If you would like to give it a swirl you can find it at www.myttv.com/freewinetasting

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Save the Earth Drink Wine With Cork!

We’ve had the cork or screw cap debate on many occasions in the past and yet there’s still some confusion. Today we have a look at the  some “urban legends” about cork, screw caps and plastic closures.
  1. Cork trees are not cut down, they are harvested, by hand, every 9 years.
  2. A cork tree that is harvested of its bark will, over its lifetime, absorb 10 tons more CO2 than one not harvested.
  3. There is no cork shortage; in fact, there is enough cork to close all the bottles of wine produced for the next 100 years.
  4. Cork forests support one of our planet’s highest levels of forest biodiversity and keep 6.6 million acres of the Mediterranean basin from becoming a desert.
  5. Wineries are choosing screw caps and plastic closure for financial reasons, not wine quality.
  6. Screw caps and plastic closures are not sustainably sourced or biodegradable.
  1. People claim that screw caps can be recycled. – No, they can’t. They are too small to be picked up in the sorting facilities and end up in landfills.
  2. Screw caps are more environmentally friendly than cork. – Mining for bauxite remains one of the most environmentally devastating practices on our planet. The aluminum industry uses 1% of all the electricity generated in the world.
  3. Wine cannot be “tainted” if closed with a screw cap. – About 2% of all screw cap wines are affected by some sort of “taint”.
  4. There are no health issues when using a screw cap. – Recent studies have shown higher than normal levels of endocrine disruptor’s in wines closed with screw caps because of the plastic seal inside the cap.
  5. Plastic closures are recyclable. – Yes, but less than 1% of them ever are. They end up in landfills, being incinerated or floating around in our oceans.
  6. Plastic is safe for use with wine. – Wine is a solvent due to its alcohol content. When plastic and solvents come in contact, there is leaching (much the same as with the screw cap).
  7. Plastic is safe for our environment. – Plastic never goes away, it may break down into small particles, but it is here forever.
The cork forests of the Mediterranean basin have been placed on the United Nation’s “25 Hotspots for Biodiversity” list. They are vital to the environmental sustainability of our earth. By supporting wineries that use natural cork, you are making a statement about your commitment to our planet’s health, and your reward is a wonderful glass of wine.

Article From:   winetimes