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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

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 »

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 »