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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wine Dogs Make Wine: Lesson 5 (Rack and Roll)

Three Fox Vineyards
Delaplane, VA


In a frightening development, Munchkin made an interim trip to check on the wine and turned her sensitive little Yorkie nose up in disdain. John reassured her it was not uncommon for wine to develop hydrogen sulfide (H2S) notes while fermenting, and through the magic of chemicals (a 50 ppm dose of copper sulfate), corrected the problem.

Apparently the Wine Dogs were not alone. John reported to class that almost everyone's batch had been treated, and all wines were in good nose by the time class began.

This week's assignment was racking the wine... actually, double racking from carboy to bucket and back again. Why all this back and forth? Too get the wine away from the sediment, and, because it's red, expose it to a little air. The class had quite an assembly line going.

The Wine Dogs' plan had been to go from our 6 gallon carboy to the new 5 gallon jug, but Munchkin and Pomeroy had too much wine, even after the team enjoyed a healthy sample.

So Uncle Jeff got to B-Brite the 6 gallon one for retransfer. Again, the pack followed the Wine Dogs.
Back to the chemicals, all of us stabilized our wines with a little potassium metabisulfite, which also protects against the growth of film formers and organisms that can produce "volatile acidity"... known as VA in wine circles, but not to be confused with the great VA vintages produced in the Commonwealth.

Once the wine was settled down, Pomeroy tasted again and determined it required more time "in barrel." In homewinemaking, that means adding the rest of the French oak that came with the wine kit.

With all the tasting, everyone was feeling pretty good by the time class ended.

Munchkin and Pomeroy stopped at the top of the vineyard on the way back down to the winery to marvel at how lush and green everything had become.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What's the Buzz? A New Coffee House for Wine Dogs

Alexandria, VA

Wine Dogs have a new hang-out in Northern Virginia. Munchkin was on hand to kick off the Buzz Bark Bash Weekend, aka the grand opening of the new dog-friendly patio at Buzz on Slaters.

For those who unfamiliar with Buzz, it's a great addition to the local scene in North Old Town. Already a hit with the mommy crowd and the wired-in set, Buzz's savvy owners are now catering to canines (and their people).

The kickoff featured yummy biscuits and great Spanish wines provided by Planet Wine in Del Ray. The Marques de Caceres rose was perfect for a sizzling spring evening.

Buzz regularly offers wine by the glass, and some special cocktails. This is not your father's coffee house. But it may very well become Munchkin's!

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