Harvesting

September 29th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Sorry but no time for posts this week.  Hopefully back next week.

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Good Reads Wednesday

September 24th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Every Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

Cotes du Rhone

Two Dogs, a Flamingo and a Bottle of Wine

http://dogswine.blogspot.com/2014/09/cotes-du-rhone.html

I have not had this particular vintage but this producer (Guigal) and this wine (Cote du Rhone) have consistently turned out outstanding wines at very reasonable prices.

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is http://winebusiness.com.

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One size fits all

September 22nd, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

I was reading this post recently:

Wine’s Next Big Thing Is…

by 1 Wine Dude

It can be found at: http://www.1winedude.com/wines-next-big-thing-personalization/#more-13713

While the post is somewhat rambling, the thing that stood out for me was its discussion of apps that try to come up with wine recommendations based on personalized preferences.

I have always felt that figuring out what wines somebody should like shouldn’t be rocket science. While there is a certain amount of mystery to it, the mystery element is really rather small.  There’s a lot about it that really isn’t very hard to figure out.

Take tannins for example. Do you like wines with alot of grip? Petite Sirah maybe? Or maybe you’re the opposite. Maybe those wines are a total turnoff for you?

Same thing with acid. Do you like a racy wine? Do you gravitate towards a fresh and young Pinot Noir? Or do you instead like a soft, round, wine?

Do you like a lot of oak? Or is something that’s only seen the inside of a stainless steel tank more to your liking?

You can go on and on. Bright fruit?  Ripe fruit?  High alcohol?  Low alcohol?  etc. etc. etc.

The fact of the matter is that you probably have a profile, or maybe two, or even three, that hit you the right way. That’s not to say that you won’t occasionally encounter a wine that does not fit your normal parameters that you like nonetheless. But by and large it will be possible for most people to come up with a fairly stock description of those factors in wine that will jive with the wines they like. Not infallible, but more or less correct a very high percentage of the time.

And if you accept that that is true, and I certainly believe it to be, then it shouldn’t be a great leap to determine for each wine how they rate on the factors of oakiness, alcohol, etc. So if you were then to rate a number of wines, pretty soon a pattern (or patterns) would emerge.  If, for example, you like wines with a lot of alcohol, a lot of oak, and super ripe fruit, then it shouldn’t be hard to predict that the next wine that comes along with those attributes is going to be one that you’re probably going to like.

It certainly a far better predictor, in my mind, then a one size fits all score from some wine magazine or critic. Of course, each critic has his own tasting profile the same as you or I. So, at least in theory, if you can find that critic whose taste in wine is similar to yours, you can probably trust his recommendations.

But that does seem like a fairly roundabout way to accomplish what should be far easier to accomplish in a more linear way.

I am really not sure how successful these apps are, but even if they aren’t that successful now, it seems to me that if the underlying methodology is sound, it is only a matter of time until they reach success assuming that they have not done so already.

Of course, all of this takes much of the mystery out of wine and reduces it to a few readily and objectively determinable criteria. It is not very romantic, and for that reason I have my doubts that it will catch no matter how accurate it may turn out to be.

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Good Reads Wednesday

September 17th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

No post this week due to harvest.

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Just a brief note

September 15th, 2014

jeff-smby Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

Way too busy to go in depth on anything. Harvest is fast approaching and we are planning on processing in our new facility. Everything is new and untried so I am in a state of near panic. Don’t know exactly when the grapes are going to arrive. Will need to arrange for rental of a forklift for that day. I’ve tried out our destemmer/crusher and it seems to work fine, but it still hasn’t seen a grape so I have no certain assurance that all will go well once we start crushing.

It is pretty hot so I think we’re going to start seeing things come through real soon. Getting a hold of my main contact for our supplier is difficult. He’s never great about returning calls and at this time of the year I am sure he is busier still. Of course, that makes me even more nervous, not less.

I do have pretty much everything I need to crush, but I am frantically cleaning and trying to sort stuff out.

As I’ve written about before, we have previously processed our grapes at a facility nearby. If anything went wrong with our crush, plan B was to move everything over there. Only they shut down and were bought by Gallo, so there is no Plan B at this point.

At any rate, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I know pretty much for sure that everything will not go perfectly, but I’m hoping that any foulups are minor and correctable as opposed to major and catastrophic.

So stay posted.

No Good Reads Wednesday this week as I’m way too busy to deal with that stuff.

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