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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

Carl Hudson
 
October 28, 2020 | Carl Hudson

November Wine Club Selections

It’s holiday time, again, and that, along with cooler weather, is exciting. Although Corona virus issues linger on, winery tasting rooms are more open now and visitation has significantly increased as folks just need to get out and have some sort of entertainment and social interaction. 4.0 Cellars has enjoyed a busy and exciting October, and is now preparing for the November Wine Club releases and pick-up events. These November, 2020, Wine Club pick-up events will resemble those held in September with limited attendance (reservation only) and following Social Distancing guidelines.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
October 12, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Natural vs Cultured Yeasts

Winemakers today are talking about and using natural or indigenous yeasts for fermentation of their grapes, this topic seemed appropriate for a Carl’s Corner discussion. Making wine requires yeast, and there are two sources available to the winemaker, commercially developed cultured yeasts from various supply companies, and natural, wild, or native yeasts that cling to grape and equipment surfaces, or just fly through the air in and around the vineyard and winery.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 30, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Corks versus Screwcaps – Does it Matter?

This update of a 2015 Carl’s Corner was prompted by a recent article by Dave Green in WineMaker Magazine, Virtual Edition, For nearly two centuries, cork has been the preferred closure for wine bottles. Cork is a natural product cut from the bark of a cork oak tree that is flexible and only a tiny bit porous. By properly shaping a cork to fit snugly inside the neck of a wine bottle, one can produce a very sturdy, long-lived stopper that is almost impervious to air intrusion. So, what is wrong with having cork closures for wine bottles, and why have screwcaps become more common and more popular?  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 16, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Maceration in Winemaking

I recently enjoyed an article by Bob Peak posted in WineMaker Magazine, Virtual Edition (Sep-2020) entitled Maceration Tips and Techniques. Maceration is a term often tossed out when discussing the wine making process. It is critically important in producing red wines since most red grapes, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Tempranillo, have colorless pulp (the juicy inside part of the grape) and red-black skins. Maceration is the technical term for soaking grape skins in grape juice, a necessary step in order to extract color (plus flavors and tannins) from those dark skins into the juice from the pulp to ultimately make a red wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 2, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Wine Club Selections for Sep-2020

The 2020 Corona virus pandemic and quarantine that essentially shut down businesses, including winery tasting rooms, just seems to go ON and ON. However, there was recent progress on opening as TABC issued some new rules related to sales of food and non-wine items that would allow for modified opening of many tasting rooms. (Can you understand this – I can’t! How can a virus tell the difference between a person just tasting wine vs one who is tasting wine but also purchased food?) 4.0 Cellars has applied for an updated permit under these new rules, and some forms of “normal” operation are returning. The September, 2020, Wine Club pickup parties will be held, probably under a limited format similar to that used in June. Information about the Wine Club pickup party, and a form to make reservations should be forthcoming to Wine Club members very soon.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
August 19, 2020 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars Grape Harvest 2020

Those of you who have visited or even driven by 4.0 Cellars probably noticed grape vines growing near Hwy 290, in front of the three Logo tanks at the entrance to the tasting room and patio area. These are mostly Black Spanish, or Lenoir, vines, a hybrid grape that grows well in the hot, more humid climates of Texas. The original vines were planted in 2013 by folks from Lost Oak Winery, one of our partner/owners, and were intended to be a “show” vineyard, a garden really, so that visitors could see and appreciate grapevines. Over the past few years, several vines have died and been replaced with Tannat and Tempranillo, creating what is now a field blend vineyard.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
August 5, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Developing Virtual Tastings for 2020

During this strange and restrictive Coronavirus shutdown of winery tasting rooms, several new approaches, including on-line purchases, direct shipping, and curbside pickup, have been taken to keep businesses operating and provide Texas wines to fans, interested customers, and loyal wine club members. After a couple of starts and stops that allowed limited customer tasting opportunities, the most recent TABC (Governor Abbott) edict has clamped down to eliminate any on-premise consumption on a winery’s property. Even though we are all capable of managing a clean, healthy environment and social distancing requirements, the shutdown restrictions remain despite our most fervent protests.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 24, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Texas Cheeses for 2020

For a number of years 4.0 Cellars has offered a Texas Cheese and Wine Experience featuring cheeses from Veldhuizein Cheese Farm in Dublin, TX, matched with wines from our three owner/partners – Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, TX, Lost Oak Winery in Burleson, TX, and McPherson Cellars in Lubbock, TX. With downtime during the Corona-virus shutdown and slowdown, opportunity arose to consider and taste additional cheese selections to feature in these pairings. The plan is to continue using some of the more popular Veldhuizen cheeses, and add some new and different options from the following producers.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 10, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Great CheeseBurgers on the Grill

With warm weather that seems to be around most of the year here in the Texas Hill Country, backyard grilling becomes an important part of our lives. Steaks, chicken, ribs, salmon, shrimp, sausage, and, of course, burgers are all targets for grill treatment. While hosting 4.0 Cellars Texas Cheese and Wine Experience pairings, discussions often relate to foods that use the delicious Texas cheeses offered. My favorite is Mac and Cheese and these recipes have been posted in previous Carl’s Corner editions. However, another topic that often arises during these cheese and wine pairings is how to prepare a delicious cheeseburger on the grill. So, here is the recipe and a discussion of my favorite method, along with some side dishes that also work well on the grill.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 29, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Wine Club, June 2020

What happened to March, April, and May-2020? The Corona virus pandemic and quarantine that essentially shutdown businesses, including winery tasting rooms, was certainly a shock no one particularly anticipated or enjoyed. 4.0 Cellars did what was possible during this strange time, selling wine on-line for shipping and curbside pickup. The April 2020 Wine Club pickup party was cancelled, and folks were encouraged to do a driveby to pickup of their wine allocations through arm’s length transfers from a few eager staff members camped out in the parking lot in front of the tasting room.  Continue »