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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

Carl Hudson
 
April 1, 2021 | Carl Hudson

Nero d’Avola – A Sicilian Connection (Update 2021)

Brennan Vineyards produces a bottling called Super Nero, a blend based on the Sicilian grape variety called Nero d’Avola. Nero d’Avola (also known as Calabrese) is an important and widely planted red wine grape variety on the island of Sicily. The name literally means “Black of Avola”, highlighting the grape’s extremely dark color. Although the grape may have originated in the Calabria region of mainland Italy, its strongest presence today is in Sicily. The primary growing areas are located in the countryside near the town of Avola on Sicily’s southeast coast – a key trade region in the Middle Ages. Since that time, and up to the present day, Nero d’Avola has most often been used in blends to add color and body to lesser wines, especially those from mainland Italy.  Continue »

Time Posted: Apr 1, 2021 at 5:29 PM
Carl Hudson
 
March 3, 2021 | Carl Hudson

Mac & Cheese - Comfort Food Extraordinaire

Texas Cheese and Wine Experience is a special pairing offered at Texas Wine Collective, and includes 5 different cheeses with 5 wines (usually 2 white and 3 red) from the TWC winery partners: Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery and McPherson Cellars. The pairings are guided by a knowledgeable TWC staff member, and normally last about 45-50 minutes. Advanced reservations are required for the pairings that are regularly scheduled at 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm, daily. Having the opportunity to host these pairings on Saturdays allows me to enjoy a wide range of delicious cheeses from a number of wonderful Texas creameries. This always gets me excited to discuss my favorite comfort food, Macaroni and Cheese. When guests also get excited about Mac and Cheese, we often talk about my special recipe. Yes, the recipe is special, but it is not a secret, so I am sharing it, including a range of optional upgrades and additions, with all of you in this edition of Carl’s Corner.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
February 18, 2021 | Carl Hudson

Wine Club Selections for Feb-2021

Special Note: Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, is hosting their 2021 Annual Conference as a Virtual Event on-line, Feb-23,24, and Mar-2,3. There will be presentations and discussions on Vineyards, Winemaking, Tasting Room, and Marketing. There will also be a virtual tasting of Texas Gold Medal wines in which you can choose to participate (with wine purchase). You do not need to be a member of TWGGA – just have an interest in Texas wine. To learn more and see the full program, connect to the registration site – https://www.txwines.org/2021-texaswineandgrapevirtualforum/ Carl will be involved in several of the sessions, including the virtual tasting.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
February 1, 2021 | Carl Hudson

Vine Pruning, January 2021

As spring approaches, it becomes time to prune vines in the Texas Wine Collective vineyard. Along US 290, one can see that pruning has started in many vineyards. Although there are numerous posts and videos on FaceBook and Utube addressing the subject of vine pruning, each season I like to offer this brief tutorial on the subject from my own perspective of doing this task now for 18 years. During your next visit to Texas Wine Collective, you are invited to wander out to the “Pet Vineyard” to take a look at the mix of mostly Black Spanish vines, interspersed with some recent additions of Tannat (added in 2019) and Tempranillo (added in 2020).  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
January 20, 2021 | Carl Hudson

Bench Trials for Winemaking - 2021

Since being involved in winemaking and wine evaluation efforts for well over 20 years, it seems that the subject of wine bench trials should have come up sooner. Bench trials represent an important part of the winemaking process, and even though they require a lot of thought, preparation, and record-keeping, they are typically fun and exciting. This edition of Carl’s Corner will address some key reasons winemakers do bench trials, including: blending for flavor adjustment (acidity, alcohol, tannin), sweetening, fining to remove solids and cloudiness, and treatments to enhance cold and heat stability. Each of these specific topics is briefly discussed below. While doing bench trials, it is best to involve some other interested folks, take notes, and discuss the effects. The goal of bench trials is to determine the least intrusive treatment that will yield the best possible wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
January 6, 2021 | Carl Hudson

Sweetening Wines

One doesn’t have to spend much time working in a Texas wine tasting room to learn that lots of folks enjoy sweeter wines. Wines with some residual sugar or sweetness often have bright fruit aromas and flavors, and are very easy to drink, either by themselves or with snacks and meals. The question is often asked how does one make a sweet wine. Many folks believe that certain grapes are just sweeter than others, or some grapes can get riper and thus have greater sugar content. That is the issue to explore in this edition of Carl’s Corner.  Continue »

Time Posted: Jan 6, 2021 at 11:16 AM
Carl Hudson
 
December 22, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Carl’s Corner Review for 2020

At the end of each year it is rewarding to look back over the topics included in Carl’s Corner posts over the past 12 months. For the crazy and stressful 2020, twenty-five posts covered a range of topics that are summarized below. Hopefully you have enjoyed these stories and the information provided has both enlightened and entertained. Here’s a look back at Carl’s Corner for 2020.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
December 8, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Blended Wines – Why and How?

A fascinating article in WineMakerMag about Wine Blending Partners written by Chik Brenneman, former winemaker for the UC-Davis Dept. of Viticulture and Enology, caught my attention because there are so many blended wines in Texas, and also in the rest of the wine world, for that matter. As pointed out in the referenced article, “Blending accomplishes several goals in winemaking . . . . improve flavor, mouthfeel, cover a defect, balance the chemical profile, adjust the alcohol content, emulate a commercial wine you enjoy or simply for product consistency.” Hidden in these reasons is what I like to call “insurance in the vineyard.” Certain grape varieties will do better (or worse) depending on vintage conditions (weather) and having several varieties of grapes planted can really help the winemaker produce a much better wine by blending based on qualities of the various components available. And, making a better wine is the key point, right?  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
November 23, 2020 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars – Carl’s Corner Thanksgiving Edition 2020

This COVID-19 Virus issue is really getting in the way of things, and now it is causing many to consider either limiting Thanksgiving holiday gatherings, or forego them altogether. That’s frustrating for me since gathering with family and friends at Thanksgiving is one of the most treasured and time-honored traditions we have in the United States of America. And, it is really my favorite holiday.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
November 11, 2020 | Carl Hudson

Ester Aromas & Flavors in Wine

Wines can exhibit a number of wonderful aromas and flavors that result from tiny quantities of chemical compounds created in the grape growing or winemaking processes. Modern science has greatly improved our understanding of the chemical or biological processes that create these aroma and flavor compounds, and essentially all of them found in wine have been identified and categorized through advanced analytical capability. This Carl’s Corner was influenced by two informative articles (1,2) and focuses on the role that a special group of compounds, known as esters, play in both winemaking and our enjoyment of wine.  Continue »