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The 2020 Wrap Up

Now that 2020 is behind us (and we have 2020 vision!) it’s time for a year-end wrap up.

Overall, the 2020 vintage produced a very high quality throughout Germany. The country experienced a warm and sunny spring, but a frost in mid-May, which unfortunately resulted in damage and yield loss in some regions.

The main grape harvest began at the end of August, which is approximately 8 to 10 days earlier than average. Good weather continued throughout the summer into September. According to the German Wine Institute, “the red varieties in particular benefited from the warm weather… [and] will get even better as they further ripen in the cellar.” The vintage was crowned on November 30th with a successful harvest of frozen grapes for ice wine.

In total, the harvest volume of 2020 is two percent lower than the 10-year average due to the aforementioned frost. The pricing is also rather stable without including the impacted regions.

Prost und zum Wohl!

What Is Spätburgunder? Hint: Think Pinot!

What Is Pinot Noir?

We’ve all heard of Pinot Noir, but what exactly do these fancy words mean? Pinot Noir is derived from the French terms Pinot for pine and Noir for black. It’s actually one of the oldest grape varieties in the world- its history related to winemaking dates back to the first century AD. Pinot refers to the cone-like shape of the grapes’ clusters, which grow tightly together in pinecone-like shapes. Due to it’s tight growth structure and thin skin, the Pinot Noir grape is actually rather difficult to grow as it is more susceptible to rot1. 

What Is Spätburgunder?

In Germany, they call Pinot Noir Spätburgunder (spät meaning late ripening, and burgunder referring to Burgundy). Though it was first documented in the 14th century, there is evidence that the varietal has been in Germany as early as the 4th century2. Due to Germany’s climate, the traditional Spätburgunder is typically lighter in color, body, and tannins, than its counterparts2. However, due to climate change, Germany’s summers are getting hotter and lately, Germany has been producing bigger and bolder Pinot than ever before. 

How do you pair Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder?

Pinot Noir is considered one of the most food-friendly red wines because of its higher acid profile and bright, sheer tasting flavors3. So, if you’re pondering which bottle of wine to take when visiting friends, hosting a dinner gathering, or just unsure which wine will go best with dinner, we recommend a Pinot!


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#400 Spätburgunder Classic, Dry

#475 12 Month Barrel Aged

#499 Barrique Reserve:

  1.  Why is it so difficult to grow Pinot Noir grapes?. (2020). Retrieved 28 November 2020, from https://www.winespectator.com/articles/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-grow-pinot-noir-grapes-47336

2. Spätburgunder. (2020). Retrieved 28 November 2020, from     https://www.germanwines.de/knowledge/grape-varieties/red-grapes/spaetburgunder/

  1. Winetraveler, L. (2020). What Are Some of the Best Pinot Noir Food Pairings?. Retrieved 28 November 2020, from https://www.winetraveler.com/wine-pairing/best-pinot-noir-food-pairing/

What Is Gewürztraminer Wine?

Origin and History

The Gewürztraminer grape is one of 18 classic noble grapes. It is a mutation of either the traminer grape from the village of Tramin in South Tyrol, or the savagnin, the parent grape of sauvignon blanc. Sources are a bit fuzzy on this point, but what we do know is that it is one of the oldest grapes in the wine world. The grape is white with pink skins and is commonly grown in Alsace, a region on the border of France and Germany.2 Because it needs a cool climate in order to develop aromas and the vine is particularly susceptible to disease, Gewürztraminer is difficult to grow. Scientists have even attempted to cross the grape with other varietals to strengthen it, but none have been successful thus far.3

Flavors

Gewürztraminer gets its name from the term Gewürz, which in German means “herb.” The wine is famous for its traditionally high alcohol content and strong, tropical aromas including lychee, pineapple, melon, ginger, rose petals, and even smoke.

Pairings

When pairing the wine with foods, you can try a wide variety of cuisines and flavors, from sweet, to spicy, to salty because of its low acidity and sweet or off-dry taste.2 This means that these wines are perfect for just about any occasion, from brunch to your Thanksgiving dinner!

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1 Gewurztraminer Wine. (2020). Retrieved 21 November 2020, from https://www.wine-searcher.com/grape-187-gewurztraminer

2 Meyer, T. (2020). What Gewurztraminer tastes like: Wines to change your mind. Retrieved 21 November 2020, from https://www.decanter.com/wine-reviews-tastings/what-is-gewurztraminer-like-300561/

3 Suckling, J. (2020). Gewürztraminer Wine: History, Tasting Notes, and Pairings. Retrieved 21 November 2020, from https://www.masterclass.com/articles/gewurztramine-wine-history-tasting-notes-and-pairings#what-is-gewrztraminer

4 Gewürztraminer Wine Guide. (2020). Retrieved 21 November 2020, from https://winefolly.com/deep-dive/gewurztraminer-wine-guide/

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#610 Gewürztraminer, Dry

#611 Gewürztraminer, Semi Dry

#612 Gewürztraminer Semi Sweet

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Chances Are, You’re Drinking Your Wine At The Wrong Temperature

We’ve all heard the old adage that we should drink red wines at room temperature, while drinking white wines chilled. 

Why do we drink different wines at different temperatures?

Why is that? Chemistry! Red wines, especially those that are bigger and bolder, have tannins that provide nuance to flavor. If a red wine is chilled, the flavor may lose some of the lighter, more enjoyable nuances. Conversely, white wines have higher acidity, which, at warmer temperatures, can introduce unwanted tasting “noise.” By chilling the white wines, the flavor profile tightens, effectively muting some of that noise so that we may better enjoy the lighter, fruitier elements1 of the beverage. 

What are these recommended temperatures?

But what is “room temperature,” and what is “chilled”? Many wine experts share the opinion that Americans actually drink their red wine too warm, and their white wines too cold. Part of this issue stems from the fact that “room temperature” in Europe really means cellar temperature, which tends to be around 55F to 65F. Room temperature in the United States, however, is approximately 72F 2 . Furthermore, refrigerators typically chill food to 37F, but experts state that white wine should be enjoyed between 45F and 50F1.  This means that red wine is typically drunk 7 to 17 degrees warmer than intended, while white wine is drunk 8 to 13 degrees colder than what is recommended.

How do we reach the recommended temperatures?

So, how should we get wine to its intended temperature? Like many things, good planning plays an important role. If you have red wine at room temperature, just place it in the fridge about 45 minutes before you plan on enjoying it. If you have white wine at room temperature, place it in the fridge about two hours before you wish to drink it. You can also keep both red and white wine in the refrigerator, and then take the red out about half an hour before you wish to enjoy it3, and take the white out approximately 15 minutes before enjoyment. As a rule of thumb, the lighter the wine, the longer it should be in the fridge, and the heavier the wine, the shorter amount of time it needs to be chilled. 

As always, recommendations are purely guidelines. Wine is for your enjoyment, so feel free to experiment with temperatures and stick with your own personal preference!

1 The Do’s and Don’ts of Chilling Wine. (2020). Retrieved 15 November 2020, from https://www.winemag.com/2018/08/13/chill-wine/

2 Helmenstine, A. (2020). What Is Room Temperature?. Retrieved 15 November 2020, from https://sciencenotes.org/what-is-room-temperature/

Schultz, E. (2020). PSA: Your Red Wine Is Probably Way Too Warm. Retrieved 15 November 2020, from https://www.bonappetit.com/story/red-wine-temperature-cooler-than-you-think

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