July Update ~ 2018

August 2, 2018
First Crush Logo

First Crush Winery Cape Cod ~ Newsletter
Fostering friendship, learning
and the mutual enjoyment of fine wines
July Update ~ 2018

Just Sayin’

Happy mid-summer to all…

The All Star break is over… keep your eye on the ball! Speaking of keeping your eye on the ball, I have an eye doctor tip for the golfers. Cup both hands together, make a small hole about an inch round, hold your hands as far in front of your face as possible. Look at a small object like a doorknob through the hole. Move your hands towards your eyes slowly keeping the object in sight. Your hole you are looking through will move to your dominant eye.

So, while putting, if you have a right eye dominancy, open your stance, putting your left foot back and right foot forward. If you are left eye dominant, square up to the ball. FYI: If you see a baseball player with a similar stance, they are taking advantage of the same principals.

Back to the wine…

I hope this time finds you all in good health and in good spirits. Well here we go again in the winery! As we experienced last year, First Crush is a popular destination for the visitors to Cape Cod and the sand in their toes locals. Last year, except for Saturday help from our off-Cape good friend Anita, Diane and I covered the winery ourselves. Big mistake. It proved to be a difficult task as our winery was noticed on social media. We are now very fortunate to have the assistance of two fantastic and enthusiastic helpers, Deb and Floriano. What a pleasure it is to have their capable helping hands. As you would expect, weather dictates the number of wine seeking and tasting visitors, thus, cloudy rainy non-beach days can be overwhelming, and that’s an understatement.

If Coop members are looking to pick up wine, be mindful to avoid such a day, especially on a weekend. With that said, if your on- Cape window of opportunity cannot avoid such a day, not to worry, call me and I will make arrangements to accommodate you, even if it’s before our posted opening time of 11am. The only days we are closed are Monday’s.

2017 Coop Wine Reserve Pickup and 2018 Signup…

It’s now time to pick up your 2017 Coop Reserve. All of our fine wines are available and in plentiful supply. We have been blessed to have great wines since our inception in 2012. As always, mixed cases are always allowed.

***** We have begun signups for our 2018 Coop reserve season.

Thank you to all that have already done so to date. Early-bird signups will receive an extra bonus gift of two bottles of our zinfandel blend as a thank you gift from Frank and Diane. Since our expensive grape shipments arrive in September, having the support from early-bird signup for the next season assists us greatly to keep our unique Coop concept alive. FYI: We will not be raising wine pricing in 2018. Our Coop opportunity is a great value for the quality of the wines we are producing. But, you all know that already. Do you know the most frequently requested State we ship to… yup California. They can’t buy wine of this quality at our price point. Just sayin’… again!

Our Pre-Harvest Social…

Save the date: Saturday, September 8th, 4-6pm. Don’t miss all those apps, all that music, all that wine, and all those great jokes! Socials are for Coop members and their guests. The Harvest Social is especially exciting since it is the pep rally for our wine making season just days away.

I will provide the timing of Coop participation in grape crush and wine press events as we get updates from our Suisun, CA growers, the Lanza Family. I expect some timing news by the first week in September… to be discussed at the September Social.

Sensory Evaluation of Red Wine…

In the section below, you may want to read an article I wrote a while ago on this topic. You may pick up a tip or two. I especially like to share with visitors to the winery the observation of the rim on the wine that meets the glass. Enjoy!

Coop Funny…

Paddy had been drinking at his local pub all day and most of the night.

Mick, the bartender says, ‘You’ll not be drinking anymore tonight, Paddy’.

Paddy replies, ‘OK Mick, I’ll be on my way then’. Paddy spins around on his stool and steps off. He falls flat on his face.

‘Damn’ he says and pulls himself up by the stool and dusts himself off. He takes a step towards the door and falls flat on his face, ‘oh bloody damn!’

He looks to the doorway and thinks to himself that if he can just get to the door and some fresh air he’ll be fine.

He belly crawls to the door and shimmies up to the door frame. He sticks his head outside and takes a deep breath of fresh air, feels much better and takes a step out onto the sidewalk and falls flat on his face.

‘Be-Jesus… I’m in bloody trouble,’ he says.

He can see his house just a few doors down, and crawls to the door, hauls himself up the door frame, opens the door and shimmies inside.

He takes a look up the stairs and says ‘No bloody way….’

He crawls up the stairs to his bedroom door and says ‘I can make it to the bed’. He takes a step into the room and falls flat on his face. He says ‘damn it’ and falls into bed.

The next morning, his wife, Jess, comes into the room carrying a cup of coffee and says, ‘Get up Paddy. Did you have a bit to drink last night?’

Paddy says, ‘I did, Jess. I was bloody pissed. But how did you know?’

‘Mick phoned … You left your wheelchair at the pub.’


BY: Frank Puzio

The sensory evaluation of red wine happens first with the eyes, then with the nose and finally the senses of taste and feel in the mouth.

CLARITY and COLOR:If you are fond of rubies and garnets, a glass of red wine can dazzle your senses through your eyes. To evaluate, pour a small sample of wine into a clear and proper red wine glass and hold the glass on its side and up to a light. Some suggest you first drink the color of red wine with your eyes. The color of red wine should be pleasing, a brilliant ruby red and never dull. The purity of the color of a fine red wine should be astonishing!

LOOKING AT THE RIM: Using a white background such as a white napkin or tablecloth, tilt the glass at 45 degrees. This will cause the red wine to thin out as it approaches the rim by allowing more light to pass through.

The transition layer, or meniscus in chemistry, between the wine and the glass should reveal a clear water-like rim or layer. It should be crystal clear despite the redness of the wine.

If you observe a discolorization to the rim layer, brownish, golden orange color, it indicates a wine that has begun to oxidize or spoil. It is no longer at its peak and was compromised in some way due to age, cork failure, lack of preservative protection or excess air in an opened bottle over time. This is the same oxidation we observe in an apple or banana when exposed to oxygen.

THE LEGS:To this day many people falsely evaluate the structure of wine by analyzing the intriguing legs that form on the side of a glass of swirled wine. In reality, all wines that have alcohol have “nice” legs. Legs are simply formed due to a difference in surface tension between the alcohol in the wine and the side of the wine glass.

Swirl for a short time, hold the glass still and hold up to a window or a light. The longer and slower the legs fall simply indicates higher alcohol, not quality.

THE NOSE: The nose of the wine includes an evaluation of varietal aroma, bouquet, oak and off-smells.

The aroma is primarily the particular smell of the grape variety such as the hints of bell pepper in Cabernet Sauvignon.

The bouquet is the odor produced by the yeasty smell of fermentation and the flowery smells of aging.

Oak smells can detract if excessive. When a wine is oaked just right, the nose gets a whiff of vanilla, rather than of a heavy wood. Off-smells may be nutty in nature, hints of sulfur, rotten egg smells, etc.

When varietal aroma, a flowery bouquet, and a hint of vanilla oak all mingle in harmony, the result is a great wine. It is said that the sense of smell is closely linked to memory. Many feel that a great wine with a balanced nose is as sensual and pleasing an experience as you could ever expect form something to drink.

RETRONASAL AROMA: Direct aroma is evaluated by the nose, specifically the nostrils. A richer aroma, called retronasal aroma comes from the mouth when the wine is sipped and “chewed” to fully coat the inside of the mouth. The quality of the wine is evaluated by the intensity and persistence of this retronasal aroma or the long vs. short finish of a red wine. A great wine will continue to unfold both complex aromas and flavors in the mouth for quite a long time.

THE TASTE: Our senses have four tastes components: sweet, bitter, sour and salty. Salty is not a component of a good wine; however residual sweetness, a slight bitterness and a light acidity are all parts of a balanced red wine. Any of them in excess, or missing, detracts from wine quality. For great red wines, a wine needs all three in mildly detectable amounts.

THE BODY: A final component of wine in the mouth is its body, fullness, or mouthfeel. It is said to be difficult to describe but experienced red wine lovers knows when it’s there. Lesser wines feel thin, watery and one-dimensional in contrast. With a great red wine should be velvety-smooth and concentrated, with a huge elongated finish that yields new flavors long after swallowed.

Contact Information
First Crush Winery ~ Cape Cod
Dr. Frank D. Puzio, Winemaker
Winery: 527 Main Street, Harwich MA 02645 (Tours by Appointment Only)
Business Office: 83 Thacher Shore Road, Yarmouthport, MA 02675.
phone: 508-362-2423 or cell: 508-737-6867
Join Our Mailing List

Like us on Facebook