#ShopSmall at WineStyles this Weekend!

black-friday-wineShopsgiving Weekend (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday) has become as much a tradition as Thanksgiving itself. The two go hand in hand – much like a tall glass of wine and a nice spread of artisan cheese *puffy heart*.

As you sift through endless piles of coupons and prepare your family’s Shopsgiving game plan, remember to visit WineStyles.com for 10% OFF ALL GIFT CARDS bought online Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

members save more

Our Wine Club Members already enjoy 10% savings on all wine purchases in-store, as a perk of being in the club. With this offer, that total savings DOUBLES to 20% OFF!

Beer Club members already receive 5% OFF in-store beer purchases. Combined with this gift card offer that savings TRIPLES to 15% OFF! Now that’s a deal!

Give the gift you’d want to receive. Treat yourself, family, and friends for the holidays and the year ahead with a WineStyles gift card.

Join Wine or Beer Club and earn $10-$20 in Bottle Bucks to spend on MORE #wine and #craftbeer!

Earn BOTTLE BUCKS this Holiday Season

When you #shopsmall this weekend at WineStyles, you’ll be rewarded with BOTTLE BUCKS! Now through December 31st, each time you spend $100 in-store, you’ll get $15 back in Bottle Bucks! That’s 15% back to show we appreciate you, our customers.

So stock up and enjoy the beginning of a beautiful holiday season ahead! Participating locations only. Void where prohibited. View promotional details here.

bottle bucks promotion

 

#ShopSmall at your local WineStyles store!

WineStyles stores are locally owned and operated, by real people in your community. They are passionate about great wine, craft beer, gourmet foods, and sharing their experiences and expertise with their customers (YOU)!

At WineStyles, you can find your perfect bottle of wine by following the Style guides above each section – CRISP, SILKY, and RICH for white wines, and FRUITY, MELLOW, and BOLD for reds make up 6 of the 8 wine “styles” our stores are segmented by. The other two – particularly appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday – are BUBBLY and NECTAR (fortified wines).

These style sections make finding the right wine for your occasion a breeze. Looking for a food-friendly red, check out the Fruity section. Love those dry whites, try the Silky section. See? EASY!

winestyles store owners

Bryan and Andrea McGinness, store owners of the WineStyles in West Des Moines, Iowa and CEO and COO of WineStyles Tasting Station.

 

inside winestyles store

Choose from hundreds of wines and craft beers that have been sorted for you by style and taste, which complement our selection of handcrafted chocolates, artisanal cheeses, and gourmet food.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. WineStyles team members will help you select the perfect wines, craft beers, gourmet foods and gifts for any occasion, big or small. What you’ll find at WineStyles is genuine help, led by genuine experience. Our team is well-trained in their craft (AKA we drink a lot of wine and beer!)🙂

If you’re looking to quench the thirsts of friends and family this holiday season (not to mention your own after long hours of holiday shopping) visit your friends at WineStyles. PLUS the more you spend, the more you’ll earn with our special BOTTLE BUCKS promotion going on now through December 31st.

Locate the WineStyles store closest to you here.

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

wsts-full-logo-jpeg

WineStyles Thanksgiving Guide

Happy Thanksgiving

Dust the dining room. Count the chairs. Polish the wine glasses. Thanksgiving is almost here! #happythanksgiving

Are you ready to prepare all the trimmings for the table? Or perhaps you’re visiting family or friends and don’t want to show up empty handed! Either way, we’re here to help.

Shop WineStyles, Earn Bottle Bucks!

First things first – remember you can earn Bottle Bucks for your Thanksgiving shopping! Throughout November and December, spend $100 at participating WineStyles stores, and you’ll get $15 back in Bottle Bucks to use on more goodies! WineStyles is your one-stop shop for premium wines, craft beers, artisan cheeses and gourmet foods perfectly suited for your Thanksgiving feast. View details here, and find your local WineStyles store here. Offer void where prohibited.

bottle bucks

What to serve before dinner:

Wine: Bubbly is perfect for a pre-dinner apéritif. Plus it starts off your feast on the right foot. It is a celebration after all! Toast your guests as they come through the door and make them feel right at home. It’s even a good idea to keep out some bubbles for an in-between courses palate cleanser. Bubbly does a great job at cutting through fats and sweets.

Food: Put together a simple yet stunning cheese and charcuterie board in no time at all. To please everyone’s palates, opt for a diverse selection of tastes (smoked, tangy) and textures (hard, soft, grainy) so there will be plenty of variety for your guests to nosh on. Once your cheeses and charcuterie is cut and displayed, add some colorful cheer! Colorful pickles, mustard, olives, cherries and nuts will make your board look tasteful and polished. Pick up all the artisan cheese and charcuterie you need at your local WineStyles store.

cheese board

Above: Cheese board with variety of cheeses

 

charcuterie board

Above: Charcuterie board with baguette, pickles, olives


What to choose if you want 1 or 2 wines to go with the whole feast:

Choosing just one or two wines to go with your Thanksgiving feast is possible. Granted, each dish on your table may not be the perfect “match made in heaven” pairing to your wine, but we can get pretty close. Here are our best red and white wine picks for you:

Red: Fruity Pinot Noir 

A high-acid, low-tannin Pinot Noir, such as from the Willamette Valley in Oregon is your best bet for a red wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner start to finish. The key-word here is “fruity”. A dry red can lose its presence among all the fruity, sugary, and salty dishes on the table. The fruit-forward flavors of cranberry and cherry in a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir will complement your turkey dinner and all its dressings. Hint: At your local WineStyles store, ask for help selecting the perfect Pinot Noir for your dinner under the Fruity style section.

White: Semi-Sweet Riesling

A semi-sweet Riesling such as Weingut Geierslay from Mosel, Germany is your best bet for a white wine that can stand up to the turkey and all its dressings on the big day. You may remember this particular wine from your October Wine Club selections! (View Wine Club details and our special holiday sign-up offer here.) Riesling is incredibly versatile with typically low alcohol content and high acidity. It will complement just about anything you pair it with, and the touch of sweetness may be welcome by friends and relatives who aren’t wine connoisseurs.

tgivingwines

Thanksgiving-friendly wines at your local WineStyles store


What to pair with ___insert dish here____

Ask your local WineStyles staff to help you pick the perfect wines to pair with all your Thanksgiving dishes, whatever they may be. If you want to branch out and try a little something different that will pair perfectly with each and every dish from ham to pie, we commend you! WineStyles is here to help make your Thanksgiving one for the memory books.🙂

Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!

wsts-full-logo-jpeg

Long Shadows, Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

Long Shadows Winery Washington StateNovember Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Join us for a Winery Spotlight tasting event, featuring Long Shadows wines from Washington State.

Just a few months ago, our WineStyles team had the privilege of touring and tasting at Long Shadows in Washington State. We’re excited to share the winery experience with you at our next Winery Spotlight event.

Long Shadows brings seven highly acclaimed vintners from the major wine regions of the world to Washington State, each to a unique winery dedicated to producing Columbia Valley wines that showcase the best of this growing region.

Please join us as we Taste, Learn and Enjoy® these delicious 90+ point wines from Washington State.  Cheers!

LONG SHADOWS WINERY

allen-shoup-long-shadows

Allen Shoup, widely recognized as the founding father of the Washington wine industry.

Founded in 2003, Long Shadows is the brainchild of Washington wine luminary Allen Shoup. As president and CEO of Chateau Ste. Michelle and its affiliated wineries, Allen spent 20 years building the reputation of the growing region, in part by forging winemaking partnerships that brought Italy’s Piero Antinori and Germany’s Dr. Ernst Loosen to the Columbia Valley.

After leaving Ste. Michelle in 2000, Allen’s commitment to advancing the Columbia Valley remained undaunted. He spent the next three years developing Long Shadows, a proposition that was as simple as it was complex: recruit a cadre of the finest winemakers in the world; give each vintner access to Washington State’s best grapes; and outfit a winery to accommodate a diverse group of winemakers’ exacting cellar specifications.

With the vision in place, Allen began by introducing a dream team of celebrated vintners to the vines and wines of the growing region. The idea quickly sold itself; and from the beginning, the wines have enjoyed critical acclaim that has continued to grow, vintage after vintage. In addition to the wines, Long Shadows collectively has won numerous awards, including recognition as Food & Wine magazine’s “Winery of the Year.”

long-shadows-logoLONG SHADOW WINEMAKERS:

Randy Dunn –  Michel RollandJohn DuvalPhilippe MelkaAgustin Huneeus, SR.Ambrogio & Giovanni FolonariArmin DielGilles Nicault

Long Shadows Winery

Long Shadows Winery

longshadows-pedestal_merlotLONG SHADOWS
Winery Spotlight Tasting
Washington State

Please join us as we Taste, Learn and Enjoy®
these delicious 90+ point wines from Washington State:

  • Poet’s Leap
  • Saggi Red Wine
  • Feather Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chester Kidder Red Wine
  • Pirouette Red Wine
  • Sequel Syrah
  • Pedestal Merlot

 Limited Seating Available – Reserve your seat ASAP!

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Happy Hallo-WINE! Wine Costumes and Candy Pairings

skeleton Halloween

We’re so glad people have come to the conclusion that wine can pair with anything and make it more enjoyable – we couldn’t agree more! The good news is you don’t have to go blindly into the cauldron of pairing Halloween candy with wine – we’ve found the perfect info-graphic for you!

Below is a chart from VinePair that details exactly what type of wine, beer, or other alcohol you should pair with your Halloween candy (or your kid’s leftovers!) Cheers!

complete-guide-pair-candy-wine-beer-booze-infographic

Forgot to pick up a costume?

Don’t worry, there’s still time! Here are a few last-minute wine-themed costume ideas you could pull off:

wine-goddessBacchus – Roman god of wine

Drape a white sheet over yourself Toga-style, and add grape and vine embellishments as you please! Try a crown of grape leaves. Don’t forget your prop – a delicious bottle of wine!

A box of Franzia

Find a large box and cut out the bottom, then cut arm holes in the sides and a place for your head to peek out the top. Print out some Franzia labels and tape them to the box. Bonus points for adding a pour spout!

wine-snobWine snob

This is an easy one for the gentlemen. Wear a white button down shirt with a nice blazer. Add a neck scarf (ask your wife or girlfriend for help). Slick back your hair. And, carry a big glass of wine (the bigger the better!)

bubblyYour favorite bottle of wine

Go as your favorite bottle of vino! Just print off a photo of the wine’s label and tape it to the front/back of your shirt. Wear all white (if it’s a white wine), pink (for rosés), red or purple (for red wines). Bonus points for incorporating corks! Try adding a cork garland, or make a cork hat!

Stock up on Haunting Halloween wines!

halloween-wine-all

Stop by your local WineStyles store to find the right wines for your Halloween activities – whether that’s handing out candy while watching classic horror movies, hosting a costume party, or trying out some of those wine and candy pairings once the kids have hit the sack! Find your local WineStyles store here.

Eat, drink, and be scary! Happy Halloween!

dont-drink-and-fly

winestyles_ts_logo.png

Great wine tips for the holidays, from our friend Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine…thanks Doug! Cheers!

BY DOUG FROST Special to The Kansas City Star, October 12, 2016 Sitting in my usual dim sum restaurant, I noticed Christmas decorations overhead. I was so horrified I almost stopped chewing on my chicken feet. Is it really that time? Not quite, but the media are pivoting to the holidays, and entertainment guides have…

via Flavor Bridge to Nowhere — Doug Frost

Charcuterie and Wine 101

 

charcuterie and wine 101 winestyles

What’s that funny word: charcuterie?

Charcuterie (French, pronounced: shahr-koo-tuhree) is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes. (Source: Wikipedia

The history of charcuterie, in the sense of salting, smoking, and cooking to preserve, may date almost to the origins of Homo sapiens. It has been carried on in many forms through virtually every culture, and it has been one of the foundations of human survival in that it allowed societies to maintain a food surplus and therefore helped turn early peoples from nomads into clusters of homebodies. Sausage recipes date to before the golden age of ancient Greece. Even before that, the Egyptians were fattening geese for their livers-and possibly making the first pate de foie gras. (Source: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn).

Charcuterie board

DIY Charcuterie Board

Step 1: Pick your Platter

Choose one, two, or a few! There are endless options of cheese and charcuterie boards. Have fun picking one that suits your style. Hint: check out the selection at your local WineStyles store.

Step 2: Select your Meats

When choosing charcuterie, opt for a diverse selection of tastes (smoked, tangy) and textures (hard, soft, grainy) so there will be plenty of variety.

Step 3: Add your Garnishes

Make it colorful! Add some pickles, small dishes with brightly-colored jams, olives, mustard, nuts, the options are endless!

Step 4: Slice the Bread

This main food group completes the picture. Best to stick with simple baguettes. Toast with olive oil for a gourmet touch.

Step 5: Serve with Wine!

When in doubt, stick to bubbles. Bubbly pairs great with charcuterie because the acidity will cut through the fattiness of the meats. Try a semi-sweet option to please everyone’s palates.

Wine and Beer Boot Camp Class “Charcuterie and Wine 101”

Charcuterie and Wine class

In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of pairing charcuterie and wine – a gourmet tasting and learning experience! Attend this class so the next time you order a charcuterie board, you’ll know exactly how to enhance that experience with the perfect wine pairing. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:

Stamper

3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people

6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading,

winestyles_ts_logo.png

Hall Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

hall_walt-tastingOctober Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

HALL Wines represents critically acclaimed artisan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from two Napa Valley  winery locations in both St. Helena and Rutherford. Owned by Craig & Kathryn Hall, its vineyard collection features five Certified Organic estates producing classic Bordeaux varietals. HALL’s highly rated wines include the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, selected as Wine Spectator’s #18 of the ‘Top 100’ in 2010. Collectively, over 140 HALL Wines have been rated 90 points and above.

WALT Wines are dedicated to Kathryn Hall’s parents, Bob and Delores Walt, who were dedicated wine growers and their love of the vineyards inspired Kathryn to carry on the tradition.   Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy!®

hall-napa-valley-cabernet-sauvignon-bottle-imageABOUT HALL WINERY

Kathryn Walt Hall is the proprietor of HALL Wines and WALT Wines, and has been involved in the California wine industry since her family first purchased a vineyard in the 1970’s. She has had a distinguished career as a successful businesswoman, attorney, community activist, and as the United States Ambassador to Austria.

HALL Wines are passionate about environmental responsibility and sustainable stewardship of their land.  Their vineyards have been certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Farming organically involves committing to two principles:  ecological production and maintaining organic integrity.     Hall values the land and also value its creation, which is why they continue the tradition of hand picking all of the grapes throughout their estate vineyards.  Once the grapes are brought to the winemaking facility, the grapes are processed with innovative techniques to ensure the highest standard and quality of wine.

hall-vineyard
Since launching HALL Wines, we have been dedicated to the preservation of the environment and bringing innovation to Napa Valley.  HALL Wines is always looking for new ways to provide support and dedication to the sustainable-living movement. We continue to reinforce our commitment to the health of the land, as well as that of the greater Napa Valley ecosystem”, notes Ambassador Kathryn Hall, HALL Wines owner and vintner.

walt-la-brisa-chard-pinotWALT Wines, owned by Vintners Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall,  is dedicated to the production of premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific Coast’s most distinctive vineyard sites, spanning nearly 1000 miles and including Sta. Rita Hills, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, Napa Valley and the Willamette Valley.  With their philosophy of precision, non-interventionist winemaking, it allows the wines to naturally and honestly express the character of the site where the wines are grown.

The team at Walt Wines believes in hand sorting every berry; pressing Chardonnay as whole clusters; allowing native yeast fermentation; encouraging a long malolactic fermentation with weekly batonnage and topping off; barrel aging on lees to create more texture, richness, and complexity; and never fining or filtering.  Holding true to these methods means there is no room for error or shortcuts, but the reward is a complex, expressive, complete wine.

HALL WINES
Winery Spotlight Tasting
Napa Valley, California

hall-walt-wines

  • Hall Sauvignon Blanc
  • Walt La Brisa Chardonnay
  • Walt Blue Jay Pinot Noir
  • Walt Clos Pepe Pinot Noir
  • Hall Merlot
  • Hall Cabernet Sauvignon

 Limited Seating Available – Reserve your seat at your local WineStyles Tasting Station.

German Beer Video Round-Up!

Oktoberfest is already in full swing in Germany!  Grab a glass and RSVP for our upcoming Wine & Beer Boot Camp Class “Exploring German Beer”!  Spruce up on your beer knowledge and check out these informative and fun videos about German beer. Prost! (Cheers!)

germanbeer

EXPLORING GERMAN BEER: In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of German beer, its origins, how it’s made, and how best to enjoy it. The best part of learning is the tasting! Join us for a delicious and educational German beer tasting. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:

Stamper
3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt
Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Video 1 German Beer – Centuries of Tradition

This video talks in-depth about the German brewing economy. It details how much beer is sold in Germany each year, and the number of breweries the country has. (Statistics as of 2013). You’ll hear from a Professor of Biotechnology from Berlin’s Technical University, as well as a student in the field, and how they feel about the ongoing use of the German Beer Purity Law, “das Reinheitsgebot”. Enjoy the views of Oktoberfest tents and crowds towards the end. It really is a big celebration!

Video 2 – Top 10 German Beer Styles

This video gives a great overview of the 10 most common German beer styles. The host, from Beerland Diaries, also peppers in some great German beer-drinking cultural norms, such as the two-man beer race called “Bierkasten Rennen”, and how to properly toast with a Weizen.

Video 3 – Beer Geek – Germany Part 1: The Reinheitsgebot

This third video is very approachable, from an avid beer-drinker and self-proclaimed “beer geek”, Oli Haydon. Oli will walk you through the Berliner Weisse beer style, as well as the German Beer Purity Law and what it means in Europe today. If you want to continue learning about German beers, follow Oli’s YouTube channel here as he continues with his series on German Beer.

Video 4 – Ein Prosit – Oktoberfest Song Karaoke

Now for a German beer drinking song! Oktoberfest isn’t complete without crowds of people sloshing around huge beer steins loudly singing together traditional German beer-drinking songs. This one is often heard in large Oktoberfest tents in Munich, and all over Germany. It’s titled, “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” which roughly translates to “A Toast to Good Cheer”.

“Ein Prosit”, means “A Toast”, but “Gemütlichkeit” is one of those untranslatable words from German to English. It isn’t just one thing. It’s cheer, and warmth, and belonging, and acceptance all rolled into one – rather fun to pronounce – word.

Of all the German beer drinking songs, you’re sure to hear this one should you visit Germany for Oktoberfest. It helps keep the party going, because each time it’s played, guests are invited to stand up, toast each other, and chug!

Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit – German lyrics:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
OINS! ZWOI! DREI! G’SUFFA!

A Toast to Good Cheer – English lyrics:

A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.
ONE! TWO! THREE! DRINK UP!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Oktoberfest! Prost!

winestyles_ts_logo.png

 

 

Ehlers Estate Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

ehler_tasting_header

September Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Join us for a Winery Spotlight tasting event, featuring Ehlers Winery of St. Helena, California.

The story of Ehlers Estate is one of passion, patience, and hard work. It was the lure of winemaking that tempted Bernard Ehlers to buy a small, dying vineyard in the late 1800s and create the winery that continues to bear his name. A century later, another husband and wife team discovered the lure of this idyllic spot in the heart of the Napa Valley.  French entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jean and Sylviane Leducq continue to produce wines with the power, balance and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottling they knew and loved.

ABOUT EHLERS ESTATE

ehler_wineryThe story of Ehlers Estate is one of passion, patience, and hard work, intertwined like the tendrils of robust vines that have been part of the landscape here since the mid-1800s.

It was the lure of winemaking that tempted Bernard Ehlers to buy a small, dying vineyard in the late 1800s and embark on a quest to create the winery that continues to bear his name.  He replanted his newly-acquired 10-acre vineyard, established the olive grove that still thrives today and in 1886 completed construction of the stone barn that is now our beautiful winery building and tasting room. His original Bale Mill Winery continued to operate long after his death, run by his wife until the 1920s and then by successive new owners who took advantage of its prime location and unique terroir.

A century later, another husband and wife team discovered the lure of this idyllic spot in the heart of the Napa Valley.  French entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jean and Sylviane Leducq saw the potential for this region to produce wines with the power, balance and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottlings they knew and loved.  Over several decades they patiently built a contiguous wine estate – common for French chateaux but increasingly rare in California.

kevin-morrisey-winemakerWith the help of renowned enologist, Jacques Boissenot, they gradually acquired individual local vineyards as they came up for sale and replanted with the most suitable clones and rootstock. By the turn of the century they had created the 42-acre estate we farm today, with Bernard Ehlers’ original stone barn and vineyard at its heart and the Ehlers name once again poised to grace wine labels. The 21st Century began with the release of the very first vintage from the Leducq’s new Ehlers Estate.

Developing the winery had become a passion project for Jean and Sylviane, one they shared long after the sale of their other successful businesses in Europe. Their legacy remains in safe hands today under the leadership of our current winemaker, Kevin Morrisey, who was favored by Sylviane because he shares the same passion for creating sophisticated wines with an old-world charm that capture the character and heritage of our land.

Ehlers Estate continues a proud tradition of farming with experienced vineyard and cellar teams that share a non-interventionist winemaking philosophy firmly rooted in the belief that terroir defines a wine, but passion, patience and hard work are needed to ensure that it is fully expressed in the bottle.
ehler_vineyard
By using organic vineyard practices, Ehlers Estate leaves a minimal footprint on the land and provides maximum flavor in the grapes. Taking advantage of the robust Estate ecosystem and carefully-chosen rootstocks, the vineyard crew coaxes the vines to fully express the numerous soil types and microclimates found on the estate. Once the grapes are harvested, the cellar crew knows when to be hands-on and when to let nature takes its course as the wines ferment, develop and age.

Today, the winery strives to be responsible stewards of the land and continue the legacy of Bernard and Anne Ehlers, and Jean and Sylviane Leducq, who saw the potential that you can taste in every bottle of Ehlers Estate wine.

EHLERS ESTATE
Winery Spotlight Tasting
St. Helena, California

ehlers-wines

  • Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc
  • Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc
  • Ehlers Estate Merlot
  • Ehlers Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Ehlers Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon

 Limited Seating Available – Reserve your seat ASAP!

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Wine, a Labor of Love

As Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching, let’s take a deeper look into the world of winemaking.

Wine makers must answer an array of questions to produce a distinct and delicious vintage, making the process both an art and a science.

There’s a lot that goes on between growing the grapes and bottling the wine. Let’s take a peek into the labor intensive world of winemaking through five most common steps:

Rows of grape vines in a vineyard with mountains in the background.Step 1: Harvest the grapes

Harvesting is more than just picking grapes. Wine makers must decide how much human interaction the grapes will have. In other words, will they be hand-picked or picked by machinery.

Additionally, not all grapes are picked during the daylight. In warmer climates, it’s common for grapes to be harvested at night. This is so workers who are hand picking grapes can beat the heat, and wine makers can be sure to capture the grapes while they’re at stable sugar levels.

Once picked, grapes must be sorted by hand for quality. Remember, it’s entirely possible to make bad wine from good grapes. Leaves and rotted or raisen-like grapes are removed from the bunches.

Step 2: Crush the grapes

The grapes are now ready to be completely de-stemmed and crushed. Grape clusters are put through mechanical de-stemmers which do exactly what they say: de-stem.Grape stomping

Crushing the grapes was traditionally done by men and women stomping grapes with their feet. Nowadays, there is more modern machinery for this task. The resulting freshly pressed grape juice is called ‘must’.

White wines are crushed much more quickly than the reds, and then immediately pressed to separate the juice from the skins. This is to minimize the amount of time the seeds and skins are in contact with the juice. For red wines, the seeds and skins are left during fermentation to add flavor, color, and tannins to the wine.

Step 3: Ferment the juice

Wild yeast can ferment the juice, however, most wine makers prefer to intervene to have more control over the fermentation process, and ensure desired results in the wine.

During fermentation, sugar is converted into alcohol. This can take anywhere from a week, to a month, or longer.

When fermenting red wines, carbon dioxide is released, which causes grape skins to float to the top of the fermentation tank. To keep the skins in contact with the wine for added flavor and tannins, and prevent growing bacteria, the red wine is repeatedly ‘capped’ or turned over multiple times daily.

Once fermented, red wines are pressed, removing the skins and seeds from the wine before aging.

Step 4: Age the wineWine barrels in cellar

Wine makers have important choices to make at this stage. Different aging procedures will impart different intensities of flavor in the wine.

The wine can be bottled right away and left to age, in oak or stainless steel barrels. The source of barrels (American or French oak) or whether the barrels are new, used or toasted (charred), all have an impact on flavoring the wine.

Typically, aging in oak will produce a smoother, more mellow wine. Stainless steel tanks are commonly used to age crisp white wines.

Wines can be aged anywhere from 6 months to several years before bottling.

Step 5: Bottle the wine

Another step in the process that can be done either by hand, or entirely by machine. To seal the wine, a choice of natural or synthetic cork, or screw caps. Finally, labels are added, and the wine is boxed and ready for sale.

WineStyles customers toasting in WineStyles store.(Step 6: Enjoy the wine!)

You’ve made it to our favorite step in the process!

As you can see, wine makers have many duties managing their grapes from vine to bottle. A day in the life of a wine maker can range from performing quality control, blending decisions, hosting tastings, marketing, selling, and everything in between.

So what’s the secret ingredient that makes a bottle of wine taste just so good?

A whole lotta love.

And, maybe a little blood, sweat, and tears.😉

As you enjoy your wine this Labor Day Weekend, remember to raise a glass to the wine making artists and their teams who made it possible.

7-18-16newwine

Stop by your local WineStyles store to stock up for the long weekend! Cheers!

View store locator here.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Thanks for reading,

winestyles_ts_logo.png