Gold Medal Wine Club Blog

What is an AVA?

7/30/2016

An AVA is an American Viticultural Area - a designated wine grape growing region in the United States that is distinguishable by its geography. AVAs range in


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How does a grape farmer or winemaker know when it's the ideal time to begin harvest?

7/28/2016

he decision to harvest wine grapes is typically made on the basis of sugar and acid concentrations in the grapes. The sugar should be


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What is the requirement when naming a wine's appellation on a wine label?

7/26/2016

To name a wine’s appellation on the label, such as ‘Napa Valley’ or ‘Sonoma Coast,’ at least 85% of the grapes


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What is the purpose of ‘topping off’ wine barrels?

7/25/2016

During the course of time – days, weeks, months, and years – that wine is aging in the barrel, evaporation occurs. As the wine evaporates, it creates


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What is the Brix scale?

7/23/2016

The Brix scale is used to measure the sugar density of grapes, and as grapes ripen, the Brix level increases. During fermentation,


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What is the timing of harvest determined by?

7/22/2016

Harvest is primarily determined by the ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid, and tannin levels with


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What does "cuvee" (pronounced, 'coo-vay') mean?

7/9/2016

Cuvee, as in English Cuvee, denotes a particular batch or lot of wine. The best sparkling wine are a result of artful blending by the winemaker.


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What is the fastest way to chill a bottle of white wine?

7/7/2016

Need a bottle of white wine chilled in a hurry?
Don’t fret – and don’t put it in the freezer. Here’s a simple, guaranteed quick method to chill that bottle fast.


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Why is Pinot Noir considered a finicky grape?

7/4/2016

Pinot Noir is different from many other varietals in that it is especially difficult to grow, it’s sensitive to


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Why are there different toasting levels of oak barrels?

6/27/2016

Oak barrels are sold at different levels of toasting so winemakers can achieve the flavors, texture and aromatics desired


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When were oak barrels first used for the storage and aging of wine?

5/28/2016

The use of oak has been prevalent in winemaking for at least two millennia, first coming into widespread use during the Roman Empire. In time, winemakers discovered that beyond just storage convenience that wine kept in oak barrels took on properties that improved the wine by making it softer, and in some cases, better tasting.


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What is bottle shock?

4/28/2016

‘Bottle shock’ is a temporary condition in a wine where its flavors are muted or disjointed. There are two main scenarios when bottle shock can set in - either right after bottling, or when wines are shaken in travel. Usually a few days of rest is the cure. The evidence for this phenomenon is more anecdotal than scientific, but the theory is that all the complex elements in wine (phenolics, tannins, and compounds) are constantly evolving,


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