When you open up a new bottle of your favorite wine, very little thought probably goes into the whole process of wine harvest season, taking place now through November. In fact, you’re probably thinking more about emptying that wine bottle than you are about what goes into it. Think about where the wine came from (before the market, dummy): the amount of grapes, the sunlight on the grapes, the people who handled them, the length of time involved. It’s time for some learning– don’t roll your eyes at us, judgmental reader, you. We’re talking about learning about wine harvest. And then we’ll talk about drinking wine and wine pairings, okay? Sheesh.
Fine Time for Wine Wisdom
So what exactly goes into harvesting during wine season? Quite a bit… of time. Yes, patience is that thorn in your butt that makes you wait for fine vino. But anything worth having is worth waiting for, right? Grapegrowers wait about 90 days for their crop to come to veraison, to you and me known as the time when grapes turn from bitter to perfect. After grapes change in color from green to a luscious purple or even black, they’re just about ready to harvest.
Quick! What’s better in the wine world, more of a crop or less of it?
A. More. Duh!
B. Uh, less?
Surprisingly, grapegrowers want less of their wine grapes growing on a vine. Rather than pushing a grapevine to get as much out of it as possible, growers believe the grapes are of a higher quality when each bunch has plenty of energy from the vine to grow. Leaves are also thinned out so they get plenty of sunshine.
Even when they look to be ripe, however, wine grapes still go through a vigorous process to determine peak harvesting time. Think daily visits to the vineyard, sampling grapes from here to where the vineyard meets the horizon, looking at the texture and skin in addition to the taste, and even sending them grapes off for pH and sugar testing in a lab! Yea, it’s that serious. Basically, the longer a bunch ripens, the sweeter it becomes and the higher alcohol content it produces (yea!) but with a higher possibility of having blah-tasting wine (no!).
Fine Time for Wine Inspiration
Never thought you’d have inspiration to wine, yes? (Yes, it’s a play on words.) Check out a few items for the wine enthusiast and the, ahem, leisurely wine drinkers!
Speaking of whining, there’s nothing worse than having to wait for a bottle of wine to chill to just the right temp. Use that time wisely with this VinOice Wine Chiller. This wine pourer has a chill rod attached to it so every wine bottle is chilled properly from the inside out. (It’s what’s inside that matters, right?) The rubber stopper on the top also keeps this preciously developed elixir from spilling out with every pour.
Party of two, are we? Wine Cork Candles do double-duty by looking awfully clever and setting the right ambience for wine drinking. These wax candles come in a set of four and look just like real wine corks!
Create unique decor for any occasion while saving the earth with this USB bottle light. Place this rechargeable LED cork atop any bottle to create an instant bottle lamp and show off your upcycling skills!
The Cork Pops Legacy Wine Bottle Opener is the fastest, easiest way to open a bottle of wine. Just insert needle into the wine cork and push. Up pops the cork.
Who needs an ice bucket when you can have an XL Wine Glass! This glass holds up to 750 ml that’s the contents of a full bottle of wine!
Instantly re-purpose empty wine and liquor bottles into beautiful lighted works with these Light My Bottle String Fairy Lights!
Fine Time for Wine Pairings
- White Burgundy is not an oxymoron but a wine that goes well with roasted chicken
- Rosés are good with fresh fruit like peaches and melons
- Certain types of chardonnay go very well with fresh crab and prawns
You might not be a wine connoisseur, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little knowledge take you a long way for appreciation. Grab a bottle of wine, any wine, and think about the labor of love that went into that crop; a little time for wine and wine wisdom can make you enjoy every glass even more!