Archive for April, 2009

The Technology of Wine

April 28, 2009

 Jayson at The Wine Vault in Auckland New Zealand posted this video recently and since many people have not seen the inside of a winery it provides a good illustration about the choices available to wine consumers around the world.

The label on the bottle does not really tell the story, nor is wine produced in big industrial factories bad or wine produced in small quantities better because there is more love.  They are just different. 

The video (no audio) shows one of New Zealand’s largest commercial wineries – it could be anywhere in the world. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.





Contrast the above video with the photos below from a recent harvest at Torlesse Wines in Waipara New Zealand. Torlesse Wines is one example of hundreds who make artisan handcrafted wines in New Zealand and all other wine regions of the world. The Wine Vault is one example of wine shops around the world who make the effort to get to know the people behind the wines they share. 




Small lot Pinot Noir at Torlesse Wines - Photo Dick Pharis

Small lot production at Torlesse Wines - Photo Dick Pharis

The message is, we as consumers of wines from around the world, have choices when it comes to wine, who we buy it from and then share it with.

I think there is merit in getting to know and supporting “The Little Guys” . Think of it as a wine treasure hunt.

Do you have feelings about industrial wines versus artisan handcrafted wines?


Innovation in the Flow of Wine Information

April 15, 2009

I came across this article on innovation sometime ago by Tim O’Reily and it really resonated with my reasons for creating No Cookie Cutter Wines.

Tim shares some examples and the common theme seems to be people just wanting to make something better. My goal with the entire No Cookie Platform is to have a place where like minded food, wine and travel people can share their unique stories and experiences.

Most everyone is welcome to contribute, you just have to say hello or leave a comment here and I will get what you need to start posting on your own.

NY Times Predicts End of Cookie Cutter Wines

April 10, 2009

I can’t take credit for being first to use the this description. Here is one Google found for me. Let me know what your experiences with Cookie Cutter Wines have been.

This link is to an article from 2000 NY Times predicts end of cookie cutter wines

Wine Suggestions From Bob Shannon

April 7, 2009

Bob Shannon in Albuquerque, New Mexico recently sent a couple of  wine suggestions along to share. Bob is pretty tuned into wine and as a consumer lives at the outer edge of chasing his passion.  We should all be so lucky.

Here are two recent comments from Bob.

  • A suggestion is Chateau Cantermerle 1982. Yes that old and still in the market place for around $60. But be advised if this wine has been stored properly and then aired for 1.5 hours it beat out the $500 wine from the same vintage year.
  • There is still a little of Drouhin Macon Villages 2005 in the market. Had this wine at dinner with friends in Taos and with 2 1/2 hours of opening and three game dishes and a pasta dish it held up for all of these and kept getting better. Best of all the restaurant price was $25/ bottle 750ml. Not a cookie cutter just a knock out for the price.

Thanks for sharing, if you have a recent wine experience that you would like to share, please send it along.

Wine Glasses Make a Difference

April 3, 2009


Peter at Little Raven Vineyards sent this via email recently and it is a good reminder that glasses make a difference. Stopping by the store or sending an email will reward you with other good ideas for finding delicious wines. Thanks to Peter and Team for sharing!!

Wine yearns to be adored for its looks, its smell, and its flavor. In order to achieve this balance and bring out the distinct characteristics of each style of wine, match the shape of your glass to the kind of wine you are pouring.

The proper size and shaped wine glass can:

  • Brings the appropriate intensity of aromas for different wines
  • Direct wines to specific parts of the tongue
  • Emphasize fruitiness
  • Emphasize tannin
  • Keep Champagne and sparklers from going flat

How does the type of wine glass used affect the taste of wine?

Sources as varied as the University of Tennessee and the Wall Street Journal (November 18, 1999) among others, have reported that the shape of a wine glass can have an effect on various chemicals found in wine that affect taste.

It does this by controlling the amount of wine surface area that is exposed to the air. The size of the bowl determines how much or how little liquid can be swirled, which affects the exposure. The shape and thickness of the rim directs the wine to specific parts of the tongue with different taste sensitivities. Finally, the diameter of the opening concentrates or expands the rising aroma or bouquet.

Wine Glasses for Reds: pinot

The Bowl: Wider pinot
The bigger flavors in reds need to spread out. The wider bowl also lets in more air, which releases bold aromas and flavors.

The Opening: Wider
Dip your nose into the wider bowl to get a load of more complex aromas. The opening should be tall and straight in order to direct the wine to the back of the mouth, so that the tannins, when present, stimulate the inner parts of the mouth, and not the gum. The astringency on the gum can cause an unpleasing tactile sensation.

Tip: When pouring wines, keep the wine level to the lower one-third the glass. This leaves lots of air and swirl room, both of which enhance the enjoyment of your wines. Big Reds (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz): Get a big bowl and a big opening. Soft Reds (Pinot Noir, Merlot):
Get a big bowl that narrows a tinge at the opening.

Wine Glasses for Whites:

The Bowl: Narrower sb
The smaller capacity helps keep temperatures cool longer.

The Opening: Narrower
The lighter aromas waft well in a narrower glass.

Spirited Whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay): Get a bowl with a little room that narrows slightly at the opening.

Delicate Whites (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztiminer): Get a narrow bowl and a narrow opening. A narrower opening directs the liquid mainly to the tip of the tongue, more sensitive to sweetness. This type of glass emphasizes the perception of delicate and fruit aromas of young wines.

Wine Glasses for Sparklers:

The Bowl: Narrow & Tall flute
The champagne flute should have the narrowest bowl to preserve the bubbles of sparkling wine and its chill.

Practical Notes:
Most wine drinkers can quite adequately get by with just two or three different types of wine glasses – a standard glass for whites, something a little larger, perhaps, for reds, and of course a flute or similar style for Champagne or sparkling wine. If you plan to serve several types of wine but don’t want to shell out the cash or don’t have the space to store multiple types of glassware, buy the generic tulip-shaped wine glasses.

One Final Note . . . The Wash:

Wash your wine glasses in hot water only. Soap can build up inside the glass and affect a wine’s flavor.