The Wine Thief- Pipette

Ask The Wine Ladies…What is a wine thief?

In the barrel room at Vinwood Cellars, where several of Kendall-Jackson’s key wines are made. Not open to the public, we are treated to lessons in “battonage” and enjoyng a “wine thief” or pipette experience. Drawing a sample of wine straight from the barrel.

In the barrel room at Vinwood Cellars, where several of Kendall-Jackson’s key wines are made. Not open to the public, we are treated to lessons in “battonage” and enjoyng a “wine thief” or pipette experience. Drawing a sample of wine straight from the barrel.

Dear Wine Ladies

What is a wine thief?

Jason, Dallas, Texas

Watch The Wine Ladies TV and our adventure at Kendall-Jackson where we experienced wine thieving first hand!

 

Dear Jason,

It is a “pipette” a slim tube-like product made with glass or food-safe material, about between 12-24 inches long, used to draw a small amount of wine from a cask or other fermentation container.

The Wine Ladies, Georgia and Susanne

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punt

Why do some wine bottles have a deep indent on the bottom? Ask The Wine Ladies.

The deep indent on the bottom of a wine bottle is known as a punt.

The deep indent on the bottom of a wine bottle is known as a punt.

Dear Wine Ladies

Why do some wine bottles have a deep indent on the bottom?

Richard, Calgary, Alberta

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Dear Richard,

There are several theories out there as to the reason for this indentation, otherwise known as the “punt”. One that seems to get the most attention and is very likely, is that in the old days when wine bottles were hand-blown glass it would have been difficult to make a perfectly flat bottom hand made bottle, thus the punt added stability and strength.  Now of course, this is no longer an issue as wine bottles are machine made.

Collector of the sediment

A second explanation is that the punt would serve as a collector of the sediment of the wine, facilitating the pourer of the wine to stop as the level of the wine in the bottle reached the tip of the punt. Having said that still today you will find many still wines with an indentation in the bottle, which is more a question of choice, or marketing rather than necessity.  Perhaps the bottle with a punt leaves the consumer with the impression that this vessel  might contain a “superior” wine.

Greater strength and stability

In the case of sparkling wines, the punt definitely serves the purpose of providing greater strength and stability of the base of the bottle, enough to withstand the pressure of the bubbles should the bottle be plunked down too aggressively or mishandled.

The Wine Ladies

Georgia and Susanne

 Submit your questions to info@thewineladies.com and listen to our answer on our weekly audio podcast.

VQA wine regions

Is there a new Ontario wine region we don’t know about? Ask The Wine Ladies.

 Dear Wine Ladies,

My husband and I always try to support our own Ontario wines and discovered recently an Ontario wine that came from an area we had no idea made wine. Most familiar with the Viticultural Areas and Prince Edward County regions we were surprised when a friend brought over a wine from the Oak Ridges Moraine just north of Toronto. Is this a new wine region? Are there others that perhaps just don’t get the attention the well known regions receive?

Sarah, Burlington, Ontario

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Dear Cindy,

The landscape for wine grape growing in Ontario is definitely evolving however to date, there are still just the three primary Viticultural Areas or appellations of origin which are the Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County.


There are several emerging wine regions though of which the Oak Ridges Moraine is one. According to Wine Country Ontario a few of the promising areas include the eastern Erie shore near Long Point. Summer temperatures are slightly warmer than in Niagara. You mentioned just north of Toronto on the Oak Ridges Moraine where in fact several vineyards have already yielded VQA wines.  

Close to Georgian Bay there are also vineyards planted as well. Finally near Prince Edward County in the Northumberland Hills you can also find several vineyards.

Some of the reasons for this expansion into new areas is due to the research being conducted in viticulture, the experience growers are gaining in understanding the “terroir” and also the consumer interest in general.

We have had the pleasure to visit, or are familiar with are Willow Springs Winery producing VQA wines, located in Stouffville. Burning Kiln Winery in Norfolk County with award winning winemaker Andrzej Lipinski at the helm. Finally The Georgian Hills Vineyards that include grapes growing on the hills overlooking Georgian Bay. On Canada Day why not explore the beautiful bounty Ontario has to offer in your wine glass, cheers!

The Wine Ladies

Georgia and Susanne

Please submit your questions to Georgia and Susanne to info@thewineladies.com

Meet Shauna White winemaker of Adamo Estate Winery, the 1st winery of Ontario’s next emerging wine region.

Murphy-Goode’s Sauvignon Blanc, The Fumé

Does Fumé refer to another grape varietal? Ask The Wine Ladies.

Dear Wine Ladies,

As a fan of Sauvignon Blanc my wife recently enjoyed a wine that was labeled Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc, The Fumé from California. She absolutely loved it! Does “The Fumé” refer to another grape that is used in the making of this wine?

Chuck,

San Diego, California

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Dear Chuck,

No it is not actually the name of a grape varietal. Although Blanc Fumé is a synonym used in the Upper Loire Valley of France for Sauvignon Blanc.

Murphy-Goode’s Sauvignon Blanc, is a blended wine of two varietals, primarily Sauvignon Blanc and a hint of Semillon. Semilillon is a grape known for its blending with Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux.

David Ready Jr. the Winemaker for Murphy-Goode tells us, “the Semillon gives the wine those delicate floral notes and the touch of oak gives the wine that smokey, intriguing “fume“ personality”. A delightful wine indeed. We had the pleasure to enjoy with  Dave, at the  Murphy-Goode winery on a recent visit to Healdsburg in Sonoma County.

Please see link to this passionate winemaker’s description of this wine.

Fumé Blanc is a term that got its start in the early 1970’s when a California producer decided to rename his Sauvignon Blanc, Fumé Blanc and change it up with a bit of oak aging and a new dark green Bordeaux bottle. All agree the name was a bit of great marketing, riding the coat tails of the very popular French wine export Pouilly-Fumé.

The Wine Ladies, Georgia and Susanne

 Please submit your questions to info@thewineladies.com

With winemaker David Ready Jr. at Murphy-Goode tasting room .

Perpetua Chardonnay

Where can I get Okanagan wines in Ontario? Ask The Wine Ladies.

Perpetua Chardonnay

Perpetua Chardonnay

Dear Wine Ladies,

As a fairly recent transplant from the west coast via a brief stint in Calgary and Saskatoon, I am dismayed by the lack of Okanagan wines found here on the shelves and across Canada. I recently discovered a stunner of a Chardonnay, although a little pricey, well worth it from what was in the bottle to the exquisite and innovative packaging. It was called Perpetua, was luscious and creamy with an aroma of lemon, absolutely delicious. With the spring coming, I am wondering if this company makes any equally impressive red wines, and if so how would I go about finding them.

Derek,

Thornhill, Ontario

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Dear Derek,

We too were impressed with the Chardonnay Perpetua, you are referring to which is one of the Legacy Series wines produced by Mission Hill Family Estate. Indeed delicious, this is a single vineyard Chardonnay from Osoyoos that premiered with the 2006 vintage. The Legacy Series represents Mission Hill’s top tier wines. A blend of art and science, with the fruit being sourced from specific blocks within select vineyards via GIS mapping. Weather stations within the vineyards monitoring climactic conditions, and winemaker John Simes practicing his personal art of wine making. The wines have received multiple awards and recognition from wine writers and experts both at home and internationally.

Mission Hill produces two Legacy Series red wines, with “Oculus” their Bordeaux- inspired signature wine being the first, and Quatrain, a blend of four grape varieties, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon being the second. Quatrain, by the way means a poem or a stanza that is always composed of four lines. Both of these red wines, admittedly pricey, particularly Oculus at $70.00, are also well worth the top dollar they fetch.

Submit your question to info@TheWineLadies.com

What are some of the reasons for cooking with wine? Ask The Wine Ladies.

Cooking with wine

Cooking with wine

Dear Wine Ladies,

I am a culinary student and am part of a group project that is looking at cooking with alcohol. What are some of the reasons for cooking with wine, what does it do to the food and does the acidity in wine play a role?

Cynthia

Brampton, Ontario

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Dear Cynthia,

 A splash of wine or definitely a cup or two depending on the recipe can definitely add another dimension to the gastronomic experience. Cooking with wine adds extra flavour; it acts like a turbo booster, just as garlic, salt, pepper and even lemon does. It can also add extra body, complexity and texture. It is great for adding acidity to rich dishes, can serve to tenderize and impair flavour as well. A few hints we’ve garnered over the years from award winning chefs include;

1.       Make sure you let the wine cook off before adding another liquid such as stock. If you add them together the result will have an “uncooked wine” flavour.

2.       Reserve the better wines for the finishing off of a dish when the flavour will be more present, for dishes that require longer cooking time such as braising, a lesser wine will be fine.

3.  For a winning combination using our iconic icewine try this recipe we  found “Vineyard Leg of Lamb with Icewine Fig Compote. It can befound in the book Icewine, by Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser, foundersof the beautiful, award winning winery Inniskillin.

4. To “save” a dish in which you’ve used too much wine, re-establish  balance by adding more butter or olive oil.

Submit your questions to The Wine Ladies, Georgia and Susanne to info@TheWineLadies.com

Spanish Map

Can you tell us a little about Spanish wines? Ask The Wine Ladies as heard on ConnectMeRadio.com

Dear Wine Ladies,

Over the last little while it seems that Spanish wines seem to be popping up at various dinner parties and get-together’s more and more. We really enjoyed one of our most recent white wine discoveries called Viura (we think). Which we were told was a Spanish wine that cost less than $15.00. Neither my boyfriend or I can remember where it came from in Spain. We were wondering if this is the name of an area, a brand name or a town. Any additional info on this wine would be appreciated.

Barbara

Barrie, Ontario

Dear Barbara,

To be sure it seems that the wines of Spain have been enjoying an increase in popularity over the last little while. The wine you are asking about is actually the name of an historic grape variety. It is the most planted white grape in the legendary red wine region of Rioja in the north-east. It is also widely planted in other areas of the north-east of Spain where it goes by the name Macabeo.  And in Roussillon in southern France where it is known as Macabeu.

Typically Viura can be made as a single varietal wine or blended with other grapes (as in Rioja where regulations now permit international varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to be used up to 49% of the blend). It is a varietal that presents its challenges in the vineyards but more and more producers in the area are getting serious about Viura and willing to take the necessary steps, some quite costly to get the best out of the grape. The plantings in Rioja are quite old, many going back up to 45 years which allows for greater complexity in the final product in the hands of a good viticulturist and winemaker. Well balanced, lively crisp wines with alluring aromas of apple, lemon and sometimes hint of honey can be found, and are delicious to be sure. Perhaps you recently tasted the Beronia 2012 Viura which was available in Ontario for $14.95, a great buy to be sure.

Please submit your questions to The Wine Ladies, Georgia and Susanne to info@TheWineLadies.com

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Ask The Wine Ladies

Ask The Wine Ladies. What is Pisco?

Pisco

Pisco, Peru’s national drink.

Dear Wine Ladies,

Last weekend my husband and I were invited to a Peruvian restaurant. While there we enjoyed a delicious dinner and a new drink called Pisco. I had a sour and my husband had one on the rocks. We both loved our aperitifs! Can you tell me a little about Pisco and where it can be found? We had never heard of it before but learned it is the national drink of Peru.

Leesa, Toronto

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Ask The Wine Ladies- Please submit your questions to info@thewineladies.com

Dear Leesa,

You have discovered what many mixologists expect to be the next big spirit to take the drinks world by storm already making a splash at many trendy bars and restaurants. Pisco is a premium, delicious, savory and complex white spirit. It orginated in the town of  Pisco in the region of Ica, Peru. It dates back hundreds of years and is an integral part of the Peruvian culture. A spirit that can be enjoyed on its own. It offers up a range of seductive notes on the nose including citrus, peach, green apple, flowers, hints of chocolate and more. Such a delicious range due to the variety of 8 different grapes permtted to be used. It is also made in three styles. Whether it be a Pisco Puro, meaning a single varietal Pisco. Or a Mosto Verde, made with the must that has not completed fermentation. Or a Acholado using a blend of two grapes or more this wonderful spirit offers the palate a unique and  sophisticated adventure.

Add to this the possibility of using either the category of aromatic grapes such as Toronte or non-aromatic like the most prolific Quebranta grapes. This spirit  is truly a very special spirit in its unique ability to offer the bodegas an opportunity to handcraft their spirit in a fashion unique to them. Pisco producers must also adhere to very strict regulations as set out by the governing body ensuring further a premium product. Ask for Pisco at your local liquor store, and if they don’t stock it they need to get on the Pisco Trail! See link for our adventures in Peru with Pisco.

Melanie Asher the woman behind the rise of Pisco and Macchu Pisco

Around what temperature should we be storing our wines? Ask The Wine Ladies December 2013

Dear Wine Ladies,

Around what temperature should we be storing our wines? Do the white wines and red require a different temperature?

Marie, Chicago, Illinois

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When should I cellar a red wine?Ask The Wine Ladies November 2013

Dear Wine Ladies,

How does one know when or not to cellar a red wine? I have quite a few that have collected over the years in cold storage in my basement.

John, Austin, Texas

 

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