Wine doesn’t contain its meaning entirely within itself. You bring that to it through your knowledge and fantasy. ~ Sir Roger Scruton.
This quote from the English philosopher and author of I Drink Therefore I Am, A Philosopher’s Guide to Wine encapsulates the concept of knowing your wine.
You can be perfectly content consuming wine without context. Simply enjoying its color, aroma, taste, and the heightened sensations of alcohol. However, expanding your knowledge and improving your wine consumption techniques will dramatically increase your enjoyment of October One Vineyard’s wine.
Good wine is always associated with a place of origin. Soil, sun, rain, elevation, vineyard position, viticulture practices, and production techniques come together in your glass.
October One Vineyard’s wine starts with high-quality fruit grown at our vineyard in Bluemont, Virginia. The settlement of Bluemont began in the 1770s, and it sits at the eastern base of Snickers Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The vineyard reaches its peak 850 feet above sea level. During the growing season, the elevated vineyard experiences a diurnal shift in temperature from day to night. The shift from hot days to cooler nights creates balanced grape components of fruit sugar and acid essential to good wine.
Elevation in terrain creates breezes that dry the vines, reducing conditions for mold and fungus to grow. Rainwater runoff due to height also ensures that the vines are not saturated; wine grapes don’t produce the best fruit in wet conditions.
The sun exposure is maximized in our vineyard due to the southeast orientation of the vines. This is especially beneficial for ripening grapes as autumn approaches when the sun is lower in the southern sky.
The other place
Our grapes are grown in ideal conditions in Bluemont, Virginia, and can be tasted in ideal conditions at our tasting shop in downtown Leesburg, on 7 Loudon Street SW. We offer the opportunity to try our wine before you buy our wine. In addition, other Virginia wines hand-selected by our staff are available to taste and purchase.
October One Vineyard’s grapes are hand harvested. When sugar, acid, and fruit ripeness are all where they should be, the vineyard team combs the rows of vines snipping grape clusters like busy bees collecting nectar. Within hours of picking, tons of fresh grape clusters are trucked to Walsh Family Wines in Purcellville, Virginia, in one-ton bins. The desired wine style determines practices for destemming, crushing, pressing, fermentation, blending, aging, and eventually bottling.
Knowing this, your O1V wine is probably tasting better already. But there is more to consider. Now that you have your O1V Wine Share pickup safely home, what can improve your wine consumption techniques?
Get that temperature under control
Understanding and controlling serving temperatures can maximize the aroma and taste of the wine. Whites and rosés are commonly served too cold and reds too warm. For wine service, our refrigerator temperatures are too cold, and our room temps are too high. Listed below are recommended serving temperatures.
Wine laser thermometers are available that read your wine’s temperature while still in the bottle or glass. They are smaller than a pen and sanitary as can be. Imagine not having to stick a thermometer in liquid; instead, click a button! And these are very helpful for sparkling wine, where the timing of popping a cork is essential.
40° F and below – refrigerator
Sweet white 43°- 47° F
Sparkling 43°- 50° F
Light whites and rosés 45°- 50° F
Medium/full-bodied dry white 50° – 55° F
Light-bodied reds 50° – 55° F
Medium-bodied reds 55° F
Full-bodied and aged reds 59° – 68° F
70° F and above – room temperature
After opening a bottle, keep the temperature stable with ice for sparkling and sweet wine and a ceramic wine sleeve for all others.
Don’t stampede the cork
that is, don’t rush it. Let your wine breathe a little by aerating it and allowing oxygen to mix with it, thus improving its aromas and tastes. Removing the cork does not expose your wine to enough oxygen.
As it aerates for ten to fifteen minutes, sample it frequently to see how it changes and progresses as time passes. There is no set time for aerating; get to know your O1V wines and at what point they deliver the best aroma and taste. Aerate red wine in a decanter, or a bowl, allowing longer times for more complex wines. Some white wines need aerating too.
Decanting is slowly pouring wine with sediment from the bottle, leaving bitter and unsightly sediment behind.
Knowing your wine is our hope. Knowing its place of origin. Understanding the care and skill employed in making it and learning techniques to get the most from October One Vineyard’s wine.
Our next blog will cover proper wine glasses, how to taste wine better, and caring for your O1V wine.