Volume 2, Issue 1 — January, 2007
In This Issue
Wine Club Selections
A to Z Pinot Noir
Mud House Un-wooded Chardonnay
A new year typically heralds change. But in the world of wine, some things stay consistent year over year, such as the California "jug wines."
Are these wines worth buying? This issue provides some helpful hints for
For instance, did you know that the weight of a wine is directly related to the alcohol content? The higher the alcohol content the weightier the wine.
Please also check out our new featured products and wine club selections. You will find the monthly coupon for the wine club selections at the end of
Once again, thank you for subscribing to the "Vintage Voice" and have a happy new year!
Hollywood and Vine: Selecting A California Wine
But you can't necessarily equate quality with price. As in any other market, supply and demand determine the price tag.
As such, how is it possible to select a good California wine?
It's All on the Label
The most important information is the producer's name. If an individual vineyard is noted on the label, 95% of the grapes must come from the named vineyard. If the label also specifies a specific region such as "Napa Valley," then 85% of the grapes must also be from that vineyard's specific "micro-climate."
The inexperienced buyer should look for older, more established vineyards in well-known "micro-climates" such as Napa, Sonoma, Anderson or Stag's Leap.
Older, more established wineries are able to provide better pricing because they amortized their investment a long time ago and as a result, they are able to more easily discount their prices when the supply/demand ratio is favorable.
A great example is the Robert Mondavi label. Mondavi left his family's Charles Krug Winery in 1966 and became the first major winemaker in California to produce higher quality wines.
The typical Robert Mondavi wine retails from $15.99 to $17.99, depending upon the grape variety.
Other pioneers of the California renaissance include Warren Winiarski, a college professor that started the Stag's Leap label and David Stare, a civil engineer that started the Dry Creek label.
The phrase "jug wine" simply refers to an uncomplicated, everyday drinking wine. These wines originally were bottled in jugs rather than bottles. They account for the largest volume of wine sold in the U.S.
While the jug wines may not be the best wine on the market, California jug wines maintain their consistency and quality year to year. Therefore, the jug wines are a good option if you can find a wine that appeals to your taste.
The Other Side of The Scale
But because there are so many variables, it is best to rely on professional help. This help is available from professional rating organizations such as Wine Spectator.
A good wine shop will also have a number of shelf talkers to help guide your selections.
The bottom line is that California wines can be a great value if you know what you are choosing. The quality is good and the prices are better. The key is to either make a informed selection or if unsure, choose a wine from an established vineyard.
Still, spoilage can occur. Unless you know the difference between a spoiled cigar and one that can be rescued, you might be discarding an otherwise good cigar.
How do you know if a cigar is spoiled?
Don't Sweat the White Spots
The bloom simply indicates that the cigar is alive and maturing. It is harmless and can be gently brushed off, although there is no need.
Unlike bloom, mold is bluish-green and stains the wrapper. The presence of mold indicates that the humidor is too warm or has excessive levels of humidity.
A moldy cigar should not be smoked.
Dry But Not Gone
To restore dired cigars, remove them from their tubes or wrappers and place them into a sealed ziplock bag. Pierce the bag with many holes and then place the bag containing the cigars into a second, larger ziplock bag along with a sponge moistened with distilled water.
Every few days, rotate the cigars so that each side is exposed to the humidity. Repeat this process for a month.
Once the cigars have regained their normal sponginess, they can be returned to a humidor. But the cigars should remain there for another 9-12 months to allow the tobacco reach its equilibrium.
As with any organic item, a cigar will succumb to the elements if not properly handled. But with the proper maintenance, a cigar collection can also be an enduring investment.
Mix sugar, butter, cloves and rum into a coffe mug and stir. "Fill" mug with hot water and stir again.
Entrances from Lawrenceville Hwy and from Dekalb Industrial Blvd.
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1789 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, Georgia 30033 | Phone: 404-633-8242 | www.decaturspirits.com