Saturday, January 5, 2013

Does it Matter “How” Your Wine is Made?

Does it Matter “How” Your Wine is Made?

When standing before a huge selection of wine at our local beverage center, what motivates our final wine selection?

For each of us, the motivating factors are loaded with commonalities. A few of the most common reasons for buying a bottle of wine are…‘Price, Fancy & Colorful Labels, Color of the Wine, Clarity of the Wine, Saw it Advertised on TV”.

Of course, “NONE” of these are valid reasons for buying a bottle of wine. Yet, every day, we give our hard-earned money to wealthy wine barons based upon these criteria.

Just maybe, we need to consider some really important factors! Just maybe, we need to consider “HOW” our bottle of wine was made!

Of course, most factory wineries are a little vague on the “How’s”. However, we can pick up a few important hints about the ‘How’s’ by looking closely at the wine label.

To begin, we should consider these four words on a wine label as the ‘Holy Grail Rule’ of wine making….”GROWN, PRODUCED, VINTED and BOTTLED
 These four words state that the winery that created this bottle of wine does… “Everything”! There’s a great probability that this bottle of wine was created with a huge amount of passion and love. It was made to be the best that it could be! After all, they have grown ‘ALL’ of the grapes or fruits that go into making their wine. They have invested in farmland and provided jobs and employment in their community. Most probably, they are a family farm.

So, the first step in selecting your bottle of wine is to compare it with the “Holy Grail Rule”. By the way, every winery is required (by law) to give you these facts on their label.

The second important criteria that you want to use in selecting your bottle of wine is to determine if it is…“Unfiltered”.

No matter where an ‘Unfiltered Wine’ is created, they will always tell you, on their label, that their wine is ‘Unfiltered’. They are pleased and proud to let you know that it was made to be the very best that it could be. Usually, the word ‘Unfiltered’ is prominently displayed of the front label.

If a winery makes a ‘Filtered Wine’ they will ‘NEVER’ tell you on their label. By the way, the law says that they are NOT required to tell you…and they Don’t!

The third important criteria to use in selecting your wine is to verify that your wine was made from ‘Whole Fresh Fruits’ that were grown in the U.S.A. Admittedly, this is not going to be as easy as looking at a wine label. One way that you can tell that your wine was made from ‘whole fresh fruit’ is to look for the word…Natural’ on the wine label.

 Per the Feds (BATF) the only way that a winery can use the word “Natural” is if the wine is made from ‘100% Whole Fresh Fruit’. However, you may have to email or call the winery directly. Since most factory wineries are not committed to growing anything, they are mostly using juices imported from off-site sources. Many are importing juices from other countries that fall far short of our U.S.A. agricultural standards. Lest we forget, America has the “Highest” agricultural standards in the world and were designed to protect our health.

Lastly, don’t be swayed by the words “Mixed & Blended, Clarity, Consistent Color or Hints & Notes”. They have no positive impact upon the quality of your wine. Most are used by wineries that ‘filter’ our wines.

Hopefully, this handful of wine facts will make your wine selection a little easier.

So, until next time…”Salute and Happy Days”!