March Madness but with Wine Varietals


A new tournament-style wine tasting game has just been launched ...

Call it divine bodily intervention. A gluten allergy found San Diegan Mike O’Brien beerless and thirsty, so he delved deeper into wine. 

Now, he's combined America's office-pool love of March Madness with the traditional wine-tasting experience. The concept is called Wine Battles—a tournament-style wine tasting where eight wines are shipped to tasters in pairs each week until a winner is crowned by popular vote. 

O'Brien hopes that by "gamifying” wine through social media he can break wine’s barriers. Each week winos should become more knowledgeable about their favorite wines and those outside their comfort zone.

The questions for each battle might address topics like tasting descriptions, or more conversational ideas, like: “Would President Obama like wine 1 or wine 2?” or “What vacation would you take this wine on?” Tournaments last one, three or seven weeks, with each one focusing on a particular varietal. 

Right now, there are hundreds of people signed up for battles around the country. Each week, participants receive two very different bottles and accompanying materials to conduct the tasting. They pick their favorite and, if their picks match up to the popular vote, they get to lord it over their friends or partner.





Wine Making Basics

A lot of wine hobbyists enjoy their wine so much that they turn their interest for wine into the hobby of developing their unique wines. Others are simply casual consumers who enjoy the art of wine making. Regardless of whether you are a collector or a more casual enjoyer of wine, a variety of issues should be considered in order to ensure that the personal wine making method is a victory.

One of the primary mistakes made by beginner winemakers is to make too much wine in their particular initial batch. It is actually more intelligent to make wines in small batches, especially when you are getting started, since you are actually not sure exactly what the outcome might be.

Before making wine, the whole set of tools which will be used really should be rinsed as well as sanitized properly making use of glass cleansers. To make sure that the yeast takes as much taste from the fruit as you possibly can, it must be frozen and then thawed in advance of use. Sodium metabisulphate needs to be put to use in sanitizing the fruits while in the thawing process. And then, crush the fruit and take away the seeds while it is still in the sodium metabisulphate to cut down oxidation, which will make fermentation challenging. Double check that the fruit is insulated from oxidation immediately after mashing and removing the seeds.

The sugars could be sanitized also through boiling it in water for 3 minutes. The combination must then be chilled. Afterward, dump it over the crushed fruit so that you can remove any sulphur dioxide found. When doing this, make certain that the actual sugar is not overly hot as it will cook the fruit, and thus extracting all tastes and eventually causing the wine to taste undesirable.

Mix yeast and sugar of balanced amounts together with boiled then cooled water in a starter bottle and let it ferment for a little bit prior to putting in the must. Make use of a beer making tub sufficient enough to permit the actual fruit to drift on top and ensure that it is pressed against the side and sent to the bottom level at least two times on a daily basis. The fermentation process usually takes close to a week in case the climate is chilly and around four days in drier weather.

In order to make improvements to the body of the homemade wine, a couple of raisins or sultanas might be added. A single banana may well also be used without imparting a banana flavor to the homemade wine. Put sugar in two levels and always leave behind a certain amount of room towards the top in the eventuality of frothing. The wine beverage normally takes more or less eighteen months to age and should never be hurried or bottled too soon. Bottling homemade wine too quickly risks the danger of spoiling a wine that was well on its way to readiness after two years.

Qualities Of A Quality Wine Cellar

A wine cellar can be a storage area for wine in casks or wine bottles and it is normally constructed underground. In an effective wine cellar it is necessary to provide the correct environmental conditions to make sure that the wine put away there stays in a vibrant condition even following a number of years cellaring. This means that the actual humidity and temperature of your cellar need to be regulated at levels that will permit the wine to age slowly as well as develop complexity.

In cases where an above ground wine cellar is constructed it could better be described as a wine room and when it holds fewer than five hundred bottles and above ground level, it may be defined as a wine closet. The primary purpose of creating a wine cellar is to safeguard your wine from environmental conditions that can damage the quality of the wine. Things such as light, hot temperature as well as reduced humidity can all affect the wine in an adverse manner. Wines are a living thing that must be shielded from changing temperatures, heat and light as well as vibrations. With correct storage, wine doesn't simply retain its freshness but also improves the standard of its nose, complexity and also flavor.

Consequently, a good wine cellar should not only conserve the freshness of the wine but also enhance it. The suitable temperature in a wine cellar must range between 13 to 18 degrees C and it must be free from vibration. If the temperatures change throughout the year, it should vary by under 10 degrees C. For hundreds of years, the winemakers of France have stored their wines in subterranean caves at these temperatures and that is now recognized as the ideal level of temperature for storing wine. To make sure that the end product possesses attributes of a nicely matured wine, temperatures must not be greater than 18 degrees C because the wine will mature too rapidly. Wines that mature too quickly will often taste a lot more like vinegar rather than possess the refined and delightful taste of a great wine.

Passive or active describes the cooling system found in the wine cellar. A wine cellar having an active cooling system requires insulation plus a vapor barrier installed. A special wine cooling unit is then placed in the wall structure to ensure that the humidity and temperature are managed at the appropriate levels. Many above ground cellars will require a cooling system to help maintain a consistent temperature. Geographic regions that are naturally very cool are often suitable for a passively cooled wine cellar. The majority of subterranean cellars are passively cooled and frequently a well-constructed and well-insulated basement cellar may be passively cooled. A passive wine cellar needs no electricity to operate. They are consequently less costly to build and operate albeit there are times when they can become unreliable in extreme climatic conditions.

Best Settings In A Wine Cellar

Not every wine aficionado wants or demands a wine cellar and except in cases where they have more than a several dozen wine bottles, they in all probability have no need for one. Ordinarily, solely those people having an extensive collection of wine will have to have a wine cellar, however quite a few dining places which include a range of wines keep a well-stocked temperature controlled cellar. A properly developed wine cellar is more than just an area contained in the basement.

Countless larger restaurants can have a wide-ranging wine variety in need of a sizable storage area. So that you can maintain your wine in its best state, warmth and moisture content controls are invariably employed in the most beneficial wine cellars. The average wine cellar temperature of about 55 degrees F is recommended for the majority of wine varieties and the humidity recommendation may vary by the type of wine even though humidity of around 70% prevents cork shrinking. Each time a customer desires a wine with their dinner it is usually taken from the wine cellar and so be at the perfect temperature for serving.

Numerous wine lovers dream of putting together their own wine cellar with racks of wine bottles viewed in a dimly lit and dusty surrounding. Although subdued lighting is common in places where wines are kept, seldom will owners significant wine selections permit dust to accumulate on the bottles. And a well made wine cellar really should allow for minimal dust.

Splitting up By Temperature Is The Usual Practice

Numerous commercial wine cellars will likely be split up into the various kinds of wine kept at variations in temperature. The largest section may be for all those stored at 55-degrees then with more compact segments used for those kept in less warm temperatures. A good number of facilities apply precise temperature and humidity controls supplying an optimal atmosphere for his or her wine collection.

The master of a private wine cellar might be more prone to own an area which is chilled to a single temperature; usually around fifty-five degrees Farenheit with 70% humidity. This is often well suited for storing a large number of wines for the longer term despite the fact that champagnes and a few white wines may need to be cooled even more before pouring.

Individuals with merely a small number of wines may look at a home wine cellar as being a misuse of time and money. Even so, a wine cellar ought to be viewed as an investment. A wine collection alone is usually a significant investment with wines ranging from a few dollars to as much as several thousand dollars and it has to be stored in a fashion that will permit it to develop intricacy as it ages. It is not necessary to possess a professionally designed and built wine cellar as a home handyman can form a home wine cellar at minimum expense following simple wine cellar guidelines.