Glossary – a bit more on winemaking styles
Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry is produced in a variety of styles made primarily from the Palomino grape, ranging from light versions similar to white table wines, such as Manzanilla and Fino, to darker and heavier versions that have been allowed to oxidize as they age in barrel, such as Amontillado and Oloroso. Sweet dessert wines are also made from Pedro Ximénez or Moscatel grapes, and are sometimes blended with Palomino-based sherries.
Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years. The purpose of this labor-intensive process is the maintenance of a reliable style and quality of the beverage over time. Solera comes from the word “suelo” or “ground” in Spanish, and it refers to the lower level of the set of barrels or other containers used in the process; the liquid is traditionally transferred from barrel to barrel, top to bottom, the oldest mixtures being in the barrel "on the ground”. The containers in today's process are not necessarily stacked physically in the way that this implies but merely carefully labeled. Products which are often solera aged include Sherry, Madeira, Lillet, Port wine, Marsala, Mavrodafni, Muscat, and Muscadelle wines; Balsamic, Commandaria, some Vins doux naturels, and Sherry vinegars; Brandy de Jerez; beer; rums; and whiskies.
Vin jaune (French for "yellow wine") is a special and characteristic type of white wine made in the Jura region in eastern France. It is similar to dry fino Sherry and gets its character from being matured in a barrel under a film of yeast, known as the voile, on the wine's surface.
The Biodynamic Moon Calendar & Wine
Does the day in which you drink a bottle of wine affect its flavor? Many think so. And it has to do with the movement of the moon, which has an influence over all things on earth, including the way things grow. If we consider wine in the bottle a living organism, which matures over time, then it makes sense that it too, as vines and all plants do, should respond to the rhythms of the moon. The moon passes through 12 star constellations: Scorpio, Virgo, Cancer, etc. and its position at any one time determines whether it’s a good or bad time for wine. There are four categories of time for when wine tastes best
Root Days – when the moon is in any Earth sign: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo. These days are the “worst” for tasting wine as the wine will appear more subtle and subdued on this “earthy” day.
Flower Days – when the moon is in any air sign: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. These days are said to be better days for tasting aromatic wines, especially white wines with floral aromas.
Leaf Days – when the moon is in any of the water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Wines are experienced to be less sweet, with a dominant, earthy minerality. This could be due to the fact that according to the biodynamic calendar, the plant is more focused on producing chlorophyll on leaf days.
Fruit Days – when the moon is in any of the fire signs: Aires, Leo and Sagittarius. Fruit days are said to be the optimal days for tasting wine as the fruit flavors are more vibrant, and the wine is rich and full.
(From Wine Folly) Get the book or any of the apps and try tasting wines at home on different days!