Continued from last week …
Have you ever contemplated art, beauty & wine? How do you know what art is? Do you “know” it when you see it? What about when you taste it? Have you ever stopped to think about the commonalities between art and wine? Beyond the flavor or taste of it being beautiful or thought provoking, they share a lot more than just the subjective nature of evaluation.
To read all of last week’s post, click here … Art, Beauty & Wine (Part 1 of 2)
Science & Wine Making …
Much like cooking, wine can truly be an art. This art marries natural ingredients, experience and science to produce wine. With many colleges offering enology to teach this art in institutions of higher learning, one can readily know that it is much more complex a process than merely following a recipe on a box.
“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”– Paulo Coelho
Science has always been a part of wine making. In the Middle Ages, they learned to add sulfur to wine to help preserve it longer. This made wine safer to drink.
Modern science has a huge role to play in wine making; however, their focus isn’t always to make it safer. Sometimes their focus is to chemically “trick” the consumer. While we all understand that barrel aging is expensive and shouldn’t expect it or it’s flavor in discount store wines, there are some “ways around” barrel aging. If wine is being stored in stainless steel vats, sometimes companies add wood chips to it. This gives a bit of a taste illusion to wine that has been aged in barrels.
Wine & Bad Science?
Other scientific pursuits have changed wine making like “Mega Purple” being added to bulk grapes to enhance the flavor of inexpensive wines. This entails a bit of a concentrate moderating the flavor of more inexpensively grown grape wines.
Chemically manipulating additives to give discount store a signature flavor is also not unheard of in the wine business. This and other “tricks of the wine” trade are highlighted in “The Great Wine Cover-up” by Keith Wallace and shared by Drinks Business. Mr. Wallace shares a great deal more including a story of an Italian winemaker that wanted to boost the alcohol content of his wine or a practice called chapitalization. Typically, the alcohol boost is accomplished by adding sugar prior to fermentation. This Southern Italian winemaker wanted to boost his wine’s alcohol content and added methanol to do it. This irresponsible and dangerous additive cost twenty three people their lives, hospitalized dozens and cost many their eyesight.
This article probably freaked out every wine lover reading this. Sorry about that, but such a great and noble beverage deserves a good clean dosage of honesty. If you want to stay away from overly manipulated wine, you may have to change your buying habits.Keith Wallace – The Great Wine Cover-up article
Yes, I encourage you to click on the above quote and learn more about some of the poor uses of science in the wine making business. It can truly be alarming. Margins are tight and some are willing to cut corners in alarming ways.
(Another good article shared on this topic by the Smithsonian – The Science Behind Your Cheap Wine is worth a read.)
Lithographic Wine? –
Art can be made into a lithograph; then, it can reproduced many times over and very inexpensively. While it is terrific that art simulations can be shared this way, it isn’t true art.
True art is a unique expression created by an artist whether it is a a painting, sculpture or drawing. To get a piece of art, you need to go to a gallery or artist’s studio to purchase it.
Mass produced art or wine are available in discount stores or grocery stores. Every time you see it, it is as expected. There are no surprises. While it can be pleasing on occasion, it isn’t artistic, is it?
(What is a Lithograph? Understanding Different Types of Printing shared on Invaluable’s website)
Character and quality craftsmanship can’t be mass produced, can they? If you are looking for quality and character in either your art or wine, you need to know someone who creates them or represents them.
Most people start appreciating either art or wine with mass produced items. As they begin to develop preferences and tastes of their own, they start branching out and experimenting with different varietals and types of wines. In pursuit of learning about art, wine or other things, at some point we crave originality.
“Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.”– Anonymous
In our experience, each winery our CKJY Exports team represents has some commonalities. To our winemakers, their bottles are the frame for their wine. Each of them have carefully selected their bottles, caps and designed their labels to showcase their wines in the best way possible. Hints of the character of the winemaker, winery and wine are on full display at first glance.
Traditional Wine Creation –
We have all heard the old saying “you get what you pay for,” haven’t we? Our modern society with large chain stores and the ability to order most everything online has removed much of our relationship with those that create our clothes, food and wine. While there are some things we use in modern life that this may not matter, there are others where it definitely does matter.
In our opinion , wine is one of those things. Personally, we care where our wine comes from and both the abilities and ethics of the winemaker.
When you know your winemaker or their appointed representatives personally, you have trust that your wine is safe. Beyond that, your wine will have individual beauty and flavors. Yes, you can sip a pride in their craftsmanship.
After all, if you put your name and reputation on something don’t you strive to do your best?
The same is true for the winemakers we proudly represent as a part of our CKJY Exports Product Portfolio. While they can’t all travel with us on our overseas trips, our team knows them, their winery and their wines. Most importantly, we appreciate their craft and are proud to share it worldwide.
What Kind of Art/Wine Do You Crave?
Smaller family run wineries create wines that are unique and individual in flavors. If you appreciate a wine adventure, we are happy to help. Here are a few hints of what you may find in one of their bottles …
What are some of the characteristics you can find in a few of our wineries?
Brown Estate – Smooth, complex and rich flavors
Krupp Brothers – Finished classic and elegant New World masters of Old World Techniques
Mark Herold Wines – Different approach chemists scientific – Thought provoking while being enjoyable
McKahn Family Cellars – Vibrant colors in their taste. Much soul.
Merlo Family Estate Vineyards – Italian
embraces the environment and grapes flavor to naturally express the charactieristics they were embued with
Oso Libre – Bold expressive many flavors revealed
Patland – Creating balanced flavorful elegant
More Thoughtful Wine Reading –
“Anyone who tries to make you believe that he knows all about wines is obviously a fake.”– Leon Adams, The Commonsense Book of Wine
We Agree …
While we would never pretend to know “all about wines,” we do know a good deal about them and how to export the best America has to offer. If you are interested in discussing this, please reach out with this contact form.
Born a Southern girl, I was transplanted a few times as a Navy wife! Now, our “retired” USN family, calls CA home. As UNC business school grad, I gained lots of useful insights by finding different opportunities and challenges along our military life’s path. Love of traveling, making friends, experiencing other cultures and sharing the best of all that with everyone are now all part of me.