Breaking Into the Cellar


We’re breaking in! It’s time. We’ve waited long enough.

Yes, one of the interesting things about wine is the magic of time. When wine sits in a barrel or bottle, the flavors, aromas, and colors change. As an avid wine collector, sommelier Ric Rutherford knows wine. It’s not uncommon for him to select a wine, not because it’s right, but exactly because it isn’t… yet. Time. Patience. Waiting. Hard for most of us to imagine; buying a product with nothing but the intention of putting it on a shelf in a temperature controlled room and waiting.

But why wait? Tannins and acid. Two things found in the skins and seeds of grapes that act as preservatives. Tannins are what create that somewhat bitter taste and make your mouth feel dry. Over time, tannins become less harsh which is why some wines do better with aging. Acid, too, has a tendency to fall off over time. Not every wine, however, will benefit from aging. Many wines today are made to be opened immediately. If you cellar it for years, it will turn brown and lose all of its fruit character.

How do you know when a wine needs to age and when it doesn’t? The big word is provenance; knowing the history of that variety of grape, where it was grown, the age of the vines, the grapes it has historically produced, and comparing these to the conditions of that particular harvest. This comparison includes rain, temperature, sun exposure, soil changes and the specific time of the harvest.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do all of this work to simply enjoy wine. Between the wine maker and us, we’ve already done the work for you. Wine and Beverage Manager, Elizabeth Franco, has been working diligently on our inventory and has determined that it’s time. Over the next few days and weeks, we’ll be breaking into the cellar and putting out what may be to some of you “new” wines. To us, they are old friends and it’s time to share them with you.

Stop in the the package goods store or come for dinner to select what is right for you.

If you have questions about wine, or would like Ric to help you with your selections, email him at wine@riostation.com. He’ll be glad to help!

Check out our wine list here: Wine List

 


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