Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Del Rio Thanksgiving Meal

Wine and food have always been meant for each other. This week offers a significant opportunity and challenge to making the combination shine. Thanksgiving is a meal filled with a delicious variety of flavors often making the pairing of wine a slight challenge. Here are our recommendations for pairings for traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

White Wine
2009 Del Rio Pinot Gris
The light gold color of the Pinot Gris brings in the true varietal flavors of apple, pear with a touch of almond and vanilla.
The Pinot Gris would be a great wine to serve and start off your dinner. It pairs wonderfully with fresh veggies and green salad.

2008 Del Rio Chardonnay
This wine has a very nice weight to accompany its exciting crispiness.
Our Chardonnay would balance nicely with a crab cake appetizer or a base for your turkey. The wine would also compliment the creamy traditional green bean casserole.

2009 Del Rio Viognier
The nose displays aromas of peach, grapefruit and fresh mint flavors. On the palate the smooth texture is held up by the acidity with a slight lemon characteristic.
As many will tell you pair a white wine with a light meat and our Viognier is a perfect match for your turkey. It too will marry well with a green salad.

Red Wine
2009 Del Rio Pinot Noir
Our 2009 Pinot Noir has a bright ruby color and displays aromas of cherry, rosemary, and vanilla.
This delicate red is a traditional favorite to pair with a turkey dinner. Our 2009 Pinot is a great staple to have on every Thanksgiving table.

2009 Del Rio Rose Jolee
Fragrance of honeysuckle and roses, this delicately sweet wine is the perfect partner for summertime fun! Aromas leap out of the glass in an explosion of peach and tangerine. The flavors of citrus balance well with the aromas and, a slight spritz completes this fun wine.
This wine is the perfect refreshment to the end of your meal. It can stand alone as dessert or be paired with your jello salad or sweet potatoes.

Cheers to a delicious meal surrounded by those you love. We hope you all will have warm and full bellies this Thanksgiving!

Visit our online store to purchase your holiday wine today. Enter coupon code: NovShip for free ground shipping. Excludes HI & AK.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Roam the Rogue: Fall Passport Tour

We are excited to announce our participation in the "Fall Passport Tour," Roam the Rogue. On Saturday, November 27th from 11:00am to 5:00pm take a tour of the Upper Rogue Valley Vintners. Join us as each of the Upper Rogue Valley winemakers introduce their newest wines and share their inspiration while paring delicious appetizers with some of the best wines from each of the participating wineries.

The following wineries are participating:
Agate Ridge Vineyard
Cliff Creek Cellars
Crater Lake Cellars
Daisy Creek Vineyard
Del Rio Vineyards*
Folin Cellars
Madrone Mountain Vineyard
RoxyAnn Winery

Tickets are only $25 per person and include a commemorative Riedel glass; plus delicious appetizers and wine tasting at all 8 participating wineries. Tickets are only available for purchase online. Click here to purchase tickets. Visit the Roam the Rogue website for more information including a tour map. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, taste@delriovineyards.com

*Del Rio will be pairing a delicious cheese soup with our 2008 Chardonnay. Watch the video below for the recipe. We also will be offering some wonderful Roam the Rogue six pack deals.

Del Rio's Kitchen: Cheese Soup

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Home Winemaking installment #5

We are happy to say our Cabernet Sauvignon is in the fermentation process right now! It must have started over the weekend while we were away. I came to work on Monday and to my delight there was a “cap” in each of the buckets. The cap occurs when fermentation starts and the berries float to the top. Since we are making a red wine, we need to extract the color from the skins to develop the deep dark red character of a Cabernet.

To help extract the color, we need to “punch down” the cap. This process is quite simple, as you basically push the berries down to the bottom, keeping them moist at all times. This process should be repeated a few times per day; however we find that we can’t always make it out to our cellar for the second/third punch down. Lindsey was in Georgia on business so I didn’t have her with me on Monday to bounce questions off of but I did retain some information from our 4 hour crash course on winemaking. I remembered that we must never use wood in winemaking as it is too porous and could harbor bacteria, so I went searching for something made of stainless steel to punch down the cap. The best Jolee and I came up with was a stainless steel pipe I borrowed from the winery tool room. Today, Lindsey and I are now using a stainless steel spoon and we both feel that a potato masher would do a better job. We are still in the process of finding the perfect tool.

Meanwhile, we are analyzing our wine daily, taking brix measurements, ph and TA. We decided that it was time to add sugar as the juice had started fermentation and was dropping approximately 1° brix per day. The reason why we added sugar is that our brix at harvest were 21° and if we are to calculate 21 x .60=12.6% alcohol. We would like our wine to finish off with an alcohol of 13.8% so we will need to add approximately 3.25 pounds of sugar. The yeast will convert the sugars to alcohol, so the higher degrees of brix, the higher alcohol content your finished wine will have. To do this, we measured the granulated sugar into a stainless steel bowl and stirred in some of our fermenting juice to create a syrup.

Once the sugar was dissolved, we poured equal amounts of the syrup back into our buckets of fermenting juice and gave it a gentle stir. I’ve been wondering about the sugar since we added it. My mind is visualizing the yeast going bezerk over the amount of sugar and bubbling over the buckets and blowing off so much carbon dioxide that it splatters all of our cased wine.

Stay tuned to find out what happens next at L&J Cellars….

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Home Winemaking installment #4 - Jen & Lindsey’s Cellar – No men allowed *

Wow, harvest has come and gone so quickly. I have to admit that Jen and I have been slacking in our commitment to our winemaking experiment. We luckily were informed that Wednesday was the last day of harvesting and just in time. Now, if we truly wanted to experience winemaking, we needed to head out to the winery and snag some of the year’s final grapes. Yes, we must be honest in that the idea of taking a short cut did entice us. We could grab some fermenting or fermented wine from the tanks in the winery. Our consciences got the better of us. Regretfully, though, neither the Viognier nor the Syrah were available as both were already fermenting.

We were able to get four buckets of Cabernet Sauvignon. It had gone through the de-stemmer, so we received buckets with both juice and grapes but, naturally, no stems. We began with the most important aspect of the process: analysis.

Brix – 21 degrees
pH – 3.45
TA – 7

Both the pH and TA are great. The only thing we would like to adjust is the level of brix. The reason is that brix measures the sugar content in the grapes, which during fermentation is turned into alcohol. Once fully fermented, a level of 21 degree brix will generate around 11% alcohol, a relatively low level for a red wine. Our goal will be to reach between 12 and 14% alcohol. To be able to reach this level, we will need to add sugar. It may seem strange to add table sugar. Despite the common assumption that this will turn the wine sweet, the added sugar will instead turn to alcohol during fermentation.

Our first step is to kick off this fermentation process. The grapes contain natural yeast and if left to their own accord, will ferment, but not quickly enough. So, we are adding yeast to speed up the progression. We pulled already acclimated yeast from tank #1 which had just been added to the Viognier. The juice was blended into our four buckets. Now it is time to wait for the process to begin. We cannot wait to share pictures of our fermenting Cabernet Sauvignon. We also hope to share with you our end result. Be warned, we are amateurs and have no idea how it will turn out, but we promise to keep you posted on all “J & L Cellar” tastings.

*The question on everyone’s mind is, of course, why “no men allowed?” According to French tradition, women are bad luck in the cellar. We are neither French nor bad luck, so we decided to set up our own shop in a small corner of the warehouse.