CategoriesWineducation

Wine Blending

You may think you know the basic process of wine making. Grapes get grown, grapes get mashed, grapes get processed and stored for a period of time under particular conditions in order to make them alcoholic. If you find the knowledge of this process comforting somehow, if the idea that one type of grape correlates to one type of wine brings you peace, stop reading now. Because I am about to rip you out of that comforting reality like Neo emerging from The Matrix: Most wines are blends of two or more types of grapes.

It wasn’t always this way. Before the 19th century, wines were largely made from a single variety of grape, but with the onset of industrialization it became important for wineries to have consistent yearly output– something that wasn’t always possible with the many variables inherent in agriculture. If a crop of merlot wine fails, then you would go a year without merlot, for example. Wine blending fixed this. By not relying on a single crop, wineries were able to make delicious wines on a consistent basis.

Wine blending is a complex process, one that winemakers have developed into an art. Different wines produce different and surprising tastes when combined, and it takes a skilled hand to know which variety of grapes will bring the precise flavor you’re looking for. It’s a long process of adding and subtracting and adding again, and you need not only a steady hand but also a refined tongue to figure out exactly what’s missing from a blend in progress. Next time you crack open a bottle, keep in mind just how much skill and effort went into making your beverage as delicious as possible.

CategoriesWineducation

Dogs and Wine

If you took a poll of every living human, asking them to list their top two greatest joys in life, there would be a unanimous answer:  Dogs and Wine. Everyone agrees. But there is an unfortunate catch– dogs don’t drink wine. But don’t worry! Through extensive research, I have found, definitively, what type of wine various dog breeds would prefer if they were able to drink it.

  1. Corgis: Moscato

            Corgis are pale, fluffy, and sweet, and there’s really no wine they could pair with better than a nice moscato. If you have doubts, pour yourself a glass of moscato and pull up a picture of a corgi (or get the real thing, if you have one!). Take a sip. Then look at the corgi. Take another sip. Have another look. See? They are the same.

  1. German Shepherd: Pinot Noir

            It’s easy to imagine a German shepherd drinking a glass of pinot noir in between bites of dog food. Both dog and wine are simultaneously mature and agreeable, medium-bodied, and well-tempered. Next time you pair a pinot noir with dinner, think about the German shepherds in your life, and see if it all doesn’t taste a little bit better.

  1. Dachshund: Zinfandel

            Picture a dachshund trying to drink a zinfandel. It wouldn’t be able to! Its front legs are so stubby that there’s no possible way it would be able to raise a glass to its lips. You’d have to feed it like a baby! What silly dogs.

  1. Husky: Chardonnay

            Bobsleds. Chardonnay. Thick fur. Chardonnay. UCONN Women’s Basketball. Chardonnay. These things fit together so well I bet you didn’t even realize I was listing different items. Anyway, a husky would drink chardonnay. It just would.

  1. Shih Tzu: Rosé

            Nothing says springtime like a rosé, except maybe a shih tzu drinking a rosé. Light, fruity, and breezy, they might be the best match on this list. You owe it to shih tzus everywhere to get yourself some rosé. They want you to drink more rosé. Maybe even some Amarose! Just a thought.

CategoriesWineducation

Lodi Wine Country

If you ask for an opinion of the central valley from residents of California, travelers who might have visited on their way up or down the west coast, or really anyone with even a basic understanding of California geography, you will get largely the same story: The central valley is a boring, never-ending stretch of land on either side of I-5 that makes long-haul truckers long for the cornfields of Nebraska. For long stretches there is nothing but gray-brown landscape and overcrowded truck stops, the only reprieve from the misery coming in the form of the occasional tumbleweed, or perhaps a herd of cattle.

But those in the know are aware that the central valley contains more than a few hidden gems– places like Lodi Wine Country, where Amarose wine is made. Lodi is an ideal place for a winery, with a climate measurably cooler than the scorching heat of the southern central valley and sandy soil that is excellent for cultivating the complex, versatile flavor that makes Amarose so delicious.

Lodi is just east of the Bay Area, a short drive from San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkley, and just south of Sacramento, the state’s capital. The proximity to the sea and the many tributaries of the San Joaquin Delta have driven wine production in Lodi for more than 100 years and lend a pastoral beauty to the land that is absent in the popular image of the central valley.

Wine from Lodi tends to be bold and complex, with unapologetic fruit notes and a distinctively pale color that sets it aside from other California wines. Amarose exemplifies the best of the Lodi wine region– delightfully drinkable and versatile, with bold bursts of flavor and an instantly recognizable pale-pink color that lets you know that you are in for a treat.

CategoriesWineducation

2020 Rose Still Rocking

If, like us at Amarose, you have a Google Alert running for any mention of the word ‘rosé,’ you probably saw Lettie Teague’s recent article for the Wall Street Journal entitled ‘Why Last Year’s Rosés Are Your Best Bet for Drinking Now.’ In the article, Teague gives a worrying prognosis– due to a series of complications concerning the strange, terrifying monster described by leading economists as the ‘Supply Chain,’ this year’s rosés are not only going to be more expensive than the previous years’, but also slower in finding their way to the desperate, rosé-crazed public. 

But worry not: this story has an upside. New rosé might be priced through the roof, but last year’s batch is not only more affordable, it also tastes better! While rosé is traditionally billed by the wine industry as a spring wine, sold and consumed after minimal aging, letting a bottle sit in the cellar actually develops the flavor, just as it does with red wine.

By now you’re probably wondering: year-old rosé? Where can I find that? Your tastebuds long for a wine that’s fruity and refreshing, but also complex and mature. Luckily, Amarose has your back. Our 2020 rosé remains as crisp and refreshing as it was when we first rolled it out– only now with an even more nuanced flavor profile, thanks to over a year in the cellar.

So as the weather starts to warm up this spring, snag the last remaining bottles of the 2020 Amarose vintage through our website, and let your taste buds thank you later. Who knows– maybe if you buy enough Amarose, the ‘Supply Chain’ will have pity on us and bless us with another 100 years of prosperity! Possibly! I’m just a wine blogger. I don’t really know how this works.

CategoriesWineducation

Why the type of glass you choose to drink your wine from matters

Picture this: You’re having a wine aficionado over for a drink. The conversation is flowing, and you decide to pour yourself a glass of wine. The nearest bottle is a nice red, the nearest glass a champagne flute. “What does it matter?” You think. “A glass is a glass” But as you pour the wine you hear a choked gasp and a thump. Your guest is dead, killed by second hand shame.

While it’s unlikely (but not impossible) that using the wrong type of wine glass would result in the death of your friends, there are concrete, proven reasons why you should drink certain types of wine in certain types of glasses. 

When it comes to red wine, you’re going to want to use a glass with a wide, open bowl. The reason for this is that reds need contact with air in order for the flavors in their tannins to activate. If you drink red wine from a small glass you won’t actually be getting the full, authentic flavor. Make sure to give your glass a swirl as well before taking a sip!

White wines are the opposite. Their flavor isn’t affected by air contact, so it’s best to use a smaller glass that can direct the aromas directly into your nose and mouth. These types of glasses also work best for rosé wine.

The world of wine glasses doesn’t just stop at red vs white– There are nearly as many varieties of glasses and there are varieties of wine, and each pairing is perfectly fitted to match the specific flavor needs of the wine-drinking experience. Sparkling wines, for example, are served in champagne flutes because the long, thin bowl helps keep the carbonation fresh. Cabernets have tall bowls so the full-bodied wine does not linger on the tongue for too long. 

The list goes on. No matter how impressive a wine’s pedigree, the drink is never complete until the wine is matched with the perfect glass. That’s not to say that it’s a crime to drink wine out of the wrong glass– just make sure your wine snob friends aren’t around when you do it.

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