Archive for January, 2018

Ask Sid: Different fermentation temperatures for red wine

January 3rd, 2018
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red wine fermentation temperature

Question: On my winery visits the winemakers often specify the temperature at which their red wines are fermented. What difference does it make?

Answer: Very good technical subjective issue which will be hard for me to answer fully in this forum. Yeasts (and whether they are cultured or native) are an important factor but generally red wines are fermented in a range of 25-35 Celsius (77-95+ F) with optimum yeast multiplication at the lower end but usually more colour and tannin extraction at the higher end. However if the temperature goes way too high it will slow down the fermentation by killing off the various yeasts. Francois Faiveley in Burgundy always told me he wanted to keep his temperatures just below 30 to retain more aromas that could escape from too high a temperature ferment. It is a learned art or very skilled craft to have your fermentation at the perfect temperature to maximize the key elements you want in the resulting wine. Interesting subject!

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Most delightful surprise of food & wine in 2017

January 1st, 2018


Happy New Year 2018 to everybody! Hope you all enjoyed some interesting culinary wine & food matches to end 2017. Part of our own ritual is thinking back on some of the most surprising quality food and wine we enjoyed during the previous 12 months. Really hard to pick the best because we have been so lucky to have many delightful treats to choose from. Anyway here goes:

FOOD: NEWFOUNDLAND COD – Blown away with the high quality of their fresh cod. Other spots including Alaska & Iceland (with 10 times the volume) also are raising the bar for sustainable fresh fish but what a comeback in Newfoundland from 25 years ago for this industry. The production now is increasing but there are concerns about stocks being still “in the critical zone”.  An excellent article last month in the Globe & Mail provides more interesting details at Nevertheless their cod product is fantastic however cooked even as the world’s best fish & chips!

WINE: Hundreds of fine bottles enjoyed to choose from both the low and high end. Picked a white and red both being mid-priced Burgundies as quality surprises. Not cheap but not overly dear either in this high demand top wine market. The 2010 whites really are impressive and so well balanced. What a delightful surprise the 2010 Meursault Perrieres from Bouchard Pere delivers in both a mini vertical and on its own with food. Classic terroir and complex minerals with ability to age. Look for it. On the red side so many possibilities around the world but 2009 red Burgundy are super sumptuous. Admire the rich ripe intense fruit of 2009 La Dominode vineyard in Savigny-les-Beaune by Domaine Pavelot that is enjoyable now (especially with fresh grilled or roasted quail) but will continue to evolve to higher heights of complexity. Another fairly priced winner that is a wonderful surprise for this scribe.

Do you recall a food or wine that delightfully surprised you in 2017?

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Do you recall a food or wine that delightfully surprised you in 2017?

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