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Online Reviews

Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

It's very interesting when you start looking at how you can improve your visibility online, at the way in which other people can scupper you. For instance you can list your business via google maps - however others are then able to review your business and it doesn't have to be good.

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Online Reviews

Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

It's very interesting when you start looking at how you can improve your visibility online, at the way in which other people can scupper you. For instance you can list your business via google maps - however others are then able to review your business and it doesn't have to be good.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

2007 Rhone En Primeur Campaign

Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

I had an e-mail today from The Wine Society promoting their upcoming Rhone En Primeur campaign which because 2007 was such an amazingly good year in the Rhone is very tempting. But there are a number of things holding me back. Firstly Rhone prices don't do the same as Bordeaux prices - they just don't go through the roof in the same way and it may be possible to pick the same wines up at a later date for a similar amount of money. Secondly the exchange rate is so lousy I suspect that merchants - who will pay in Euros, are going to be paying a lot more pounds for the wine than they would otherwise have done, and because of the nature of the vintage (yet another vintage of the century from France!) it is likely that prices will be high anyway. What I wonder is firstly that because the Rhone doesn't usually show much financial gain (well not at the level I can buy anyway) whether this being a stellar year might. I also wonder whether ,if the exchange rates ever sort themselves out, the prices may in fact come down (it is of course possible that the prices that merchants end up paying means that the amount they charge en primeur isn't their cheapest price - it all depends on the eschange rate on theday they pay their invoice. It is also possible that in 3, 4 or 5 years I could pop across to Calais and pick the same wines up much cheaper from a reasonable outlet in Northern France.On the other hand demand for these wines might be very high - they might dissapear from the open market and they may go up in price. Quite often you can have a decent stab at guessing which way it's going to fall but on this occasion I just can't pick it. Then of course you have to add in the factor that my pride and joy was born in 2007 so I may want to get some bottles to open to celebrate her birthday with from time to time over the coming years.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

2007 Rhone En Primeur Campaign

Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

I had an e-mail today from The Wine Society promoting their upcoming Rhone En Primeur campaign which because 2007 was such an amazingly good year in the Rhone is very tempting. But there are a number of things holding me back. Firstly Rhone prices don't do the same as Bordeaux prices - they just don't go through the roof in the same way and it may be possible to pick the same wines up at a later date for a similar amount of money. Secondly the exchange rate is so lousy I suspect that merchants - who will pay in Euros, are going to be paying a lot more pounds for the wine than they would otherwise have done, and because of the nature of the vintage (yet another vintage of the century from France!) it is likely that prices will be high anyway. What I wonder is firstly that because the Rhone doesn't usually show much financial gain (well not at the level I can buy anyway) whether this being a stellar year might. I also wonder whether ,if the exchange rates ever sort themselves out, the prices may in fact come down (it is of course possible that the prices that merchants end up paying means that the amount they charge en primeur isn't their cheapest price - it all depends on the eschange rate on theday they pay their invoice. It is also possible that in 3, 4 or 5 years I could pop across to Calais and pick the same wines up much cheaper from a reasonable outlet in Northern France.On the other hand demand for these wines might be very high - they might dissapear from the open market and they may go up in price. Quite often you can have a decent stab at guessing which way it's going to fall but on this occasion I just can't pick it. Then of course you have to add in the factor that my pride and joy was born in 2007 so I may want to get some bottles to open to celebrate her birthday with from time to time over the coming years.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Making Wine Fizzy 4

Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Transversage is a slight twist on the traditional method, by which immediately after disgourging the wine is transferred to a pressure tank containing the dosage and the wine is then bottled - this is the method used for small bottles such a quarters and large format bottles usually Jereboams and above.

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Making Wine Fizzy 4

Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Transversage is a slight twist on the traditional method, by which immediately after disgourging the wine is transferred to a pressure tank containing the dosage and the wine is then bottled - this is the method used for small bottles such a quarters and large format bottles usually Jereboams and above.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Making Wine Fizzy 3

Date: Wed, Jan 7, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Champagne is made by what used to be termed the Methode Champenois having been invented there however it is now called the Traditional Method and is the most painstaking way of producing sparkling wine - it also happens to be the method by which not only Champagne but also the other finest sparkling wines of the world are made. Once the base wine has been made (more on this another time) the wines are blended (an extraordinary feet considering the tart and unpleasant nature of these base wines) together often using a number of different grape varieties and for non vintage wines also using wines from previous vintages.A mixture of sugar and yeast is then added to the blend in a process called tirage and the wine is bottled - usually with a crown cap and a second fermentation occurs in the bottle producing enough carbon dioxide to create pressure of 5 or 6 atmospheres after disgourging. After fermentation is complete the wines will be left horizontal for a period of time age on their lees giving rise to the autolytic character of many superior sparkling wines. The lees then need to be removed from the bottles and this is done by agitating them for a period of time whilst they sit at an inverted angle. Historically riddling tables as invented by the widow Clicquot were used whereby bottles were held at an angle and the bottle turned once or twice a day by hand. This process still continues in some places, for instance Cristal is still made in this way, however Cava producers came up with a machine (called a Gyropallet) to do it much quicker and more efficiently. The lees work their way into the neck of the bottle where they are frozen and the crown cork is removed at which point the pellet of frozen lees flies out of the bottle (at least that's the idea!) which is called Discourgement. Hence an older vintage of wine which has been recently discourged has had longer lees contact than it's vintage cousin but less bottle age - thus it will have aged in a different manner.Finally the bottle topped up again with a mixture of wine and sugar syrup, the amount of sugar depending on the required style of wine and the bottle is corked and its wire muzzle added to keep it in place.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Making Wine Fizzy 3

Date: Wed, Jan 7, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Champagne is made by what used to be termed the Methode Champenois having been invented there however it is now called the Traditional Method and is the most painstaking way of producing sparkling wine - it also happens to be the method by which not only Champagne but also the other finest sparkling wines of the world are made. Once the base wine has been made (more on this another time) the wines are blended (an extraordinary feet considering the tart and unpleasant nature of these base wines) together often using a number of different grape varieties and for non vintage wines also using wines from previous vintages.A mixture of sugar and yeast is then added to the blend in a process called tirage and the wine is bottled - usually with a crown cap and a second fermentation occurs in the bottle producing enough carbon dioxide to create pressure of 5 or 6 atmospheres after disgourging. After fermentation is complete the wines will be left horizontal for a period of time age on their lees giving rise to the autolytic character of many superior sparkling wines. The lees then need to be removed from the bottles and this is done by agitating them for a period of time whilst they sit at an inverted angle. Historically riddling tables as invented by the widow Clicquot were used whereby bottles were held at an angle and the bottle turned once or twice a day by hand. This process still continues in some places, for instance Cristal is still made in this way, however Cava producers came up with a machine (called a Gyropallet) to do it much quicker and more efficiently. The lees work their way into the neck of the bottle where they are frozen and the crown cork is removed at which point the pellet of frozen lees flies out of the bottle (at least that's the idea!) which is called Discourgement. Hence an older vintage of wine which has been recently discourged has had longer lees contact than it's vintage cousin but less bottle age - thus it will have aged in a different manner.Finally the bottle topped up again with a mixture of wine and sugar syrup, the amount of sugar depending on the required style of wine and the bottle is corked and its wire muzzle added to keep it in place.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Making Wine Fizzy 2

Date: Tue, Jan 6, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

The Methode ancestrale, or methode rurale is something of a French relic - really only now employed in the depths of South Western France to make a lightly sparkling wine that is often slighty sweet and often cloudy. Young wines are bottled before fermentation is competed so that the fermentation continues in the bottle and carbon dioxide is given off and therefore absorbed into the wine.Occasionally the wine is decanted off it's lees and bottled under pressure but this is less usual. This is found mainly in Limoux, Gaillac and very occasionally in Savoie.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Making Wine Fizzy 2

Date: Tue, Jan 6, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

The Methode ancestrale, or methode rurale is something of a French relic - really only now employed in the depths of South Western France to make a lightly sparkling wine that is often slighty sweet and often cloudy. Young wines are bottled before fermentation is competed so that the fermentation continues in the bottle and carbon dioxide is given off and therefore absorbed into the wine.Occasionally the wine is decanted off it's lees and bottled under pressure but this is less usual. This is found mainly in Limoux, Gaillac and very occasionally in Savoie.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Tough Times Ahead

Date: Tue, Jan 6, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

The high street is a tough place to trade and things are only going to get worse. There has never been a better time to support your local independent stores (or any independent shops come to think of it!)

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Tough Times Ahead

Date: Tue, Jan 6, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

The high street is a tough place to trade and things are only going to get worse. There has never been a better time to support your local independent stores (or any independent shops come to think of it!)

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Making Wine Fizzy 1

Date: Sat, Jan 3, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Making wine fizzy in exactly the same way as carbonating drinks, where Carbon Dioxide is pumped into the wine and bottled under pressure (it must be at least 3 atmospheres to be sparkling in the EU). The bubbles that formed are much larger than other methods and fade much quicker once the pressure is released once the bottle is opened. It is the cheapest way to make sparkling wines and very few are now made in this way - the only ones I have come across are some of the special fizzy wines produced in gaudy gold bottles for Marks and Spencer.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Making Wine Fizzy 1

Date: Sat, Jan 3, 2009 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Making wine fizzy in exactly the same way as carbonating drinks, where Carbon Dioxide is pumped into the wine and bottled under pressure (it must be at least 3 atmospheres to be sparkling in the EU). The bubbles that formed are much larger than other methods and fade much quicker once the pressure is released once the bottle is opened. It is the cheapest way to make sparkling wines and very few are now made in this way - the only ones I have come across are some of the special fizzy wines produced in gaudy gold bottles for Marks and Spencer.

Read Full Wine Blog Post


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