Winemaker’s Dinner Aboard the Wine Train
on March 18, 2017
The Napa Valley Wine Train is hosting our winemaker, Brain Mox, on April 22nd for a winemaker’s dinner. This is an opportunity for you to interact with Brian and ask him questions about wine-making, while also enjoying a gourmet four-course dinner in the classy “Private Reserve” rail car.
Click on the link for more details about the dinner and how to purchase tickets: http://reservations.winetrain.com/details/103164/private-reserve-dinner-series-laird-family-estate?_ga=1.17846073.1245329849.1472590853
Hope you can make it!
A New Aerating Technique–But We Are Not So Sure About It
on February 10, 2015
Somewhere, I’m not sure where, but somewhere I heard about a bizarre trick to aerate a young wine—blend it. Now, I was taught that wine is delicate, so delicate that even transporting wine across the country could potentially disturb some of its fragile characteristics. So upon hearing the suggestion to blend wine in a blender, my first reaction was, “pff, that can’t be true…but if it is, how cool is that?!”
Of course, when you hear something like this, you have to test it out. Our 2011 Flat Rock Malbec is our “youngest” wine (as in it’s not quite ready to drink), making it a good candidate for the experiment. The tasting room and sales team had a meeting last Friday, which allowed for a great opportunity to conduct this experiment and discuss the results with one another. I will present our experiment via the scientific method:
Observation: The 2011 Flat Rock Malbec tastes too young to drink now.
Hypotheses: If we blend the 2011 Flat Rock Malbec, it will aerate the wine and speed up the ageing process; thus, making it drinkable now.
Experiment: (1) Open the bottle of wine and pour about 2 ounces into a wine glass. (2) Pour a fair amount of wine into a blender. In our case, we used the Ninja. (3) Blend the wine on a low speed for 3 seconds. (4) Pour the wine from the blender into a second wine glass. (5) Compare the results of the blended wine to the non-blended wine.
Results: The aroma of the blended wine was much more developed and softer than that of the un-blended wine. The palate of the blended wine, however, fell flat and had lost its individual nuances.
Conclusion: Do not blend wine, at least not in a Ninja. Stick to the decanter or good old fashioned bottle ageing.
Before we develop the conclusion into a theory, I think that it would be fair to discuss a few facts that could prove this experiment erroneous. First, perhaps even the lowest setting of the Ninja was too strong to do the trick. If we had used a blender with multiple settings, other than just “1, 2, 3,” the results may have been different. Second, we did not know how long to blend the wine for. Maybe a quick pulse would have been satisfactory and 3 seconds was too long. Third, maybe the Malbec did not need as much oxygen as it received in the blender. It’s possible that different wines could show different results.
Despite all of these factors that could lead to various results, I am going to stand by my conclusion. There was something very unromantic about pouring wine into a blender, cringing at the unpleasant grinding noise for several seconds, and then pouring the wine from the heavy-duty plastic pitcher into a sophisticated wine glass. Not that I don’t encourage you to try this experiment. In fact, I would love to hear your observations! But the truth is, I like the ritual of pouring a bottle of wine into a glass decanter, watching the walls of the decanter become coated with a pale shade of ruby red, and then waiting in anticipation for the wine to slowly aerate until it is ready to be enjoyed.