Gold Medal Wine Club Blog

What is the Brix scale?


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


What is the timing of harvest determined by?


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


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


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.


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


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. Place the bottle in a large bucket and fill with ice and cold water. The bucket should be big enough that most of the bottle is submerged in the ice water. The last step? Add a large handful of salt to the ice water. The salt reduces the freezing point of water and will help lower the temperature quite a bit . Your wine will be ready to go in just 15 minutes.


Why is Pinot Noir considered a finicky grape?


Pinot Noir is different from many other varietals in that it is especially difficult to grow, it’s sensitive to soil types, weather, moisture, and sun, and it bruises easily, which often requires hand harvesting. The thin skin of Pinot makes it fragile and tricky for winemakers to handle and work with, which explains its “high maintenance” reputation. What this translates to for the consumer is that it is difficult to make good quality Pinot Noir, and it is even more challenging to make good quality Pinot Noir that is also affordable.


Why are there different toasting levels of oak barrels?


Oak barrels are sold at different levels of toasting so winemakers can achieve the flavors, texture and aromatics desired in the finished wine. Heavily toasted oak imparts bolder aromas like coffee and chocolate, while medium toasted barrels contribute mellower scents like allspice, dulce de leche, toasted bread and vanilla. Lightly toasted barrels can be great for white wines and Pinot Noirs, because they add oak tannin for an enriched mouthfeel without having an overwhelming oak character.


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


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.


What is bottle shock?


‘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,


The Beauty of Small Batch Winemaking


You don’t need to be a sommelier or a wine aficionado to understand the difference between a great bottle of wine produced by a small boutique winery verses a mass produced wine. A great glass of wine starts with the grape, and is crafted in every step of the winemaking process. Here at Gold Medal Wine Club virtually all of the wines featured in our six series have garnered top medals from major wine competitions or have been highly rated by national wine publications. Unlike other wine clubs we never feature bulk wines, private labels, or close outs. What makes small batch winemakers better than the mass producers that flood your grocery store shelves? Take a look as see the difference yourself.


Garagiste Wine of the Month Club


A French term used to describe independent, artisan winemakers who handcraft small batches of wine, often times in garage-like settings.


Why do some wines have sediment in them?


Most forms of sediment are naturally occurring and completely harmless, only indicating a fine wine that is either unfiltered or


International Wine of the Month Club


Treat yourself with the International Series or share it as a gift with friends and family. Explore featured wines and join the club today.