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  • Writer's pictureStuart Ray

May Newsletter Vintners Cellar Cochrane

Wine of the Month - Piesporter

Piesporter is a beautifully fragrant, medium-bodied wine with upfront fruit that continues to develop on the palate. Made from Riesling and MüllerThurgau grapes, hints of peaches and green apples are balanced perfectly with crisp acidity to provide a clean and fresh finish.

Piesporter originates in and around the village of Piesport on the north bank of the Mosel wine region of Germany. Piesporter style wines range from dry to off-dry and have great fruit notes and floral characteristics. Piesporter is a great wine for sipping. Piesport is a small town on a sharp bend in the Mosel river, in the Mosel wine district of Germany. It has been producing wine since Roman times. In fact, in 1985 a fourth-century Roman wine press was discovered here – the largest ever found north of the Alps. Distinctive features from its homeland, this Riesling owes its outstanding characteristics to its exquisite Mosel origin where fruity minerality abounds. A white wine with a light golden color (and subtle hints of blue), this inexpensive summertime sipper hails from the banks of Germany’s Mosel river in Trier. Though the nose is on the weaker side, this light, crisp wine is well-balanced.

Cocktail of the Month - Rose Red Spritz

1 ounce of Cochrane’s own Whispering Dutchman Distillery Grapefruit Gin

1 ounce of Ruby Red Grapefruit juice

½ ounce of Campari

3 – 6 ounces of Vintner’s Cellar Zinfandel Blush Wine

Splash of Club Soda

Sprig of Thyme

Thin slice of ruby red grapefruit for a garnish

Fill a large wine glass halfway with ice. Add gin, grapefruit juice, and Campari. Top with wine and club soda, and stir gently. Smack thyme between your palms, and add to cocktail with grapefruit slice.

Headaches and Wine??

Do you like wine but you get headaches after having a few glasses? Have you ever wondered what might be causing them? Well, we did too and after some research we found four possible reasons why some wine causes headaches. Not everyone who drinks wine gets headaches and some folks find that they don’t get them if they drink certain wines. Well, there is something to that as you will see below.

Histamines – Histamines are found in the skins of grapes. When we make red wine, we utilize the skins and that increases the levels in the wine. That’s why red wines tend to affect those with a sensitivity to histamines. Alcohol inhibits some people’s body’s ability to process these histamines. The one-two punch of increased histamines and an inability to process them results in the dilation of the blood vessels. And that equals a headache. Not all red wines are high in histamines some have less. So trying different varieties might result in fewer headaches. But what if histamines are not the problem what else could it be?

Tannins – This is a compound that imparts flavour and antioxidants into our red wines. Tannins also come from the grape skin. For some people tannins can cause the blood vessels to dilate causing a headache. If tannins are the cause, then switching to a red with fewer tannins might just be the recipe for a clearer head the morning after.

Sulfites – People with a sensitivity to sulfites can also suffer from having a few glasses of wine. Sulfites exist naturally in all grapes so you have some sulfites in your wine. As a part of stabilizing of wine during our process we add potassium metabisulphite. This ensures that the color and flavour is maintained throughout the wine’s life in the bottle. But if you are going to consume your wine within the first year or two you can safely omit the addition of these additives. Although if sulfites are not the issue of the headache, then omitting them will shorten the shelf life of the wine.

Alcohol - The most likely cause of headaches for most people is alcohol. Alcohol is created when the yeast consumes the sugar in the juice converting the sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol is ethanol and when consumed it will cause blood vessels to dilate and that causes headaches. To compound this, it also dehydrates your body which also causes headaches. Most of our wines are between 11-13% with the only exception being Port which is closer to 17%. To counter act the affects of alcohol we recommend drinking at least a glass of water between each glass of wine and of course drink responsibly.

As you can see there are a few possible causes of headaches from the consumption of wine. If you like the taste of wine but not the headaches you can try some different varieties that have less tannins, histamines and sulfites and perhaps you can find one that doesn’t hurt so much the morning after the night before.

Decanting Wine

Decanting is simply pouring wine from a bottle into a vessel to “breathe”. Decanting oxidizes wine, reducing the prevalence of certain acids and tannins – making wine taste smoother.

What to decant… nearly all red wines benefit from decanting. The general rule is, if it has big tannins, or tastes sharp and spicy, decanting will help. Decanting is a great way to improve the taste of young wines and affordable ones as well.

White wines need little to no decanting while big bold reds could use an hour of decanting. An aerator can oxidize the wine immediately. This is useful for all but really old vintages.

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