Greetings First Crushers:
On a Personal Note…
Diane and just returned from a few days in Florida. Thankfully, we had great weather during our week’s stay and our batteries are now recharged anticipating the Cape’s busy season ahead. We attended a private optometry study group conference, called PMA (Practice Management Associates) in Fort Lauderdale. During my professional eye care career, I was one of 12 members of PMA from around the country that met semi-annually to learn and share experiences for the sole purpose of improving our business and professional skills. In my career, it was a very special component of the never-ending quest to strive for excellence. I am proud to say that my son Matthew is now a member and I now enjoy emeritus status. It was great to spend time with our long-time friends. Time marches on, and I now make wine, full time, and make puny jokes, part-time.
Wine Availability Update…
This month, we will be engaging up our robotic bottling system, Lucy, to bottle 2017 Rapture (Sangiovese), and 2017 Amore (Super Tuscan). As planned, we will be ready to distribute both by the end of May or early June. 2016 Fusion (Cab Blend), and 2016 visZINary (Zin Blend) remain available. Some of our 2017 versions of both will be bottled by mid-summer. Coop members are welcome to any and all. 2017 Star Spangled (Sauvignon Blanc), and Innocence (Rosé), are available now.
Our current annual production is pushing 55,000 bottles. So much for retirement!
Our June Spring Social…
Save the date… Saturday June 16th, 4-6pm. Our socials are attended by our Coop members and their guests. For our new members that may not be familiar with our social habits, couples are asked to bring an appetizer to share, and singles can mooch. There is a fee at the door of $10.00 per person. That fee includes one complimentary glass of wine, whereby, additional wines are at $5.00 per glass. At the door you will receive a ticket for your complimentary wine and the ticket stub will be returned to us for an opportunity to win a door prize. As always, we will have musical entertainment for your enjoyment.
We will fire up our new wine slush machine later this month. We will have a red and white frozen wine slush beverages available. On occasion, we will make a cranberry slush option as well. At the June social we plan to have wine slushies available for half price per cup. When we were at our annual winery conference in March, these machines were the most popular new attraction for winery tasting rooms. Wineries that installed the units last year gave them two-thumbs-up enthusiastically. Since our winery is located on the Cape Cod Bike Trail, we thought it would be a popular addition for our visiting guests during the season.
Help, I Need Somebody…
Not just anybody… but not every Beatle need apply! We are looking for part-time help on busy tasting days during the upcoming season. It requires an adult with an outgoing personality and multi-tasking skills. It’s a fun job. Visitors are happy to visit us and make them even happier. Interested parties can email Frank and Diane at [email protected]
An Interesting Book about Wine…
While on our vacation I read a provocative book. The title is “The Great Wine Swindle”, by the accomplished English author, Malcolm Gluck. His book enlightens its readers as to the misconceptions surrounding wine, a corrupt wine industry, and how consumers are duped. In the second section of this update below, I will provide a passage from one of its chapters. As a result of this post, I expect to hear soon from our grower Ron, in CA. Ron has graduated me over years from being responsible for 15%, to now 20%, of the final outcome of our wine’s quality. The other 80-85%, Ron claims, is from the terroir of his vineyards. Terroir, a French word, referencing the soil and the climate a grape is grown in. After reading the passage below, from the book, I may petition Ron for a higher percent of the credit. Wish me luck!
The crew and the secret service were scrambling to launch a boat to retrieve it, when Trump waved them off, saying “Never mind boys, I’ll get it.”
Donald climbed over the side of the yacht, walked on the water to the hat, picked it up, walked back on the water, climbed back into the yacht, and handed the Pope his hat.
The crew, the security team, and the Pope’s entourage were all speechless.
No one knew what to say, even the Pope.
That afternoon, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN all covered the story.
Their banner headlines read: “TRUMP CAN’T SWIM!”
But first, a Coop Funny…
A man walks into a bar, notices a very large jar on the counter, and sees that it’s filled to the brim with $10.00 bills. He guesses there must be at least ten thousand dollars in it. He approaches the bartender and asks, “What’s with the money in the jar?”
“Well, you pay $10.00 and if you pass our three tests, you get all the money in the jar and the keys to a brand new Lexus.”
The man certainly isn’t going to pass this up, so he asks, “What are the three tests?”
“You gotta pay first,” says the bartender, “those are the rules.” So, after thinking it over a while, the man gives the bartender $10.00 which he stuffs into the jar. “Okay,” says the bartender, “here’s what you need to do: “First – You have to drink a whole quart of tequila, in 60 seconds or less, and you can’t make a face while doing it.” “Second – There’s a pit bull chained in the back of the bar with a bad tooth. You have to remove that tooth with your bare hands.” “Third – There’s a 90-year old lady upstairs who’s never had sex. You have to take care of that problem to win the money in the jar.”
The man is stunned! “I know I paid my $10.00, but I’m not an idiot! I won’t do it! You’d have to be nuts to drink a quart of tequila and then do all those other things!” “Your call,” says the bartender, “but, your money stays where it is.” As time goes on, the man has a few more drinks and finally says, “Where’s the damn tequila?!” He grabs the bottle with both hands and drinks it as fast as he can. Tears stream down both cheeks — but he doesn’t make a face — and he drinks it in 58 seconds! Next, he staggers out the back door where he sees the pit bull chained to a pole. Soon, the people inside the bar hear loud growling, screaming, and sounds of a terrible fight. Then nothing but silence! Just when they think that the man surely must be dead, he staggers back into the bar. His clothes are ripped to shreds and he’s bleeding from bites and gashes all over his body. He drunkenly says, “Now…, where’s that old woman with the bad tooth?”
I don’t suggest we drink to that,
Paraphrasing from: “The Great Wine Swindle”, by Malcolm Gluck, Chapter Four… “Vines Do Not Make Great Wines”
“Terroir is the belief that vineyards make wines great, not humankind. It is the biggest thing wine experts will tell you about. Yet vineyards grow only grapes. Let me explain the matter with a brief disquisition on the peach.
We can all, I think, accept that a peach grown in Provence will taste different, even if it was the same variety, as one grown in Tuscany. Indeed, we can prove it simply by eating one of each. Similarly, we know that the same variety of apple grown in one orchard can taste somewhat different from one grown in an orchard only a few miles away. I can go along with this, because if growing conditions differ, then so will the fruit. And the growing conditions in orchards only a few miles apart can vary because the climate, and day and night-time temperatures, will be peculiar to each; these factors can influence fruit development sufficiently to affect flavor, and aroma.
This is an encapsulation of what terroir means. But what is the crucial difference between a peach (or and apple) and a wine grape? It is that one is eaten from the tree, and the other is poured from a bottle.
In other words, a huge level of human manipulation is involved with the latter product which is entirely absent from the former. We eat peaches and apples raw, oblivious of what growing practices the producers might follow. But with wine, where the notion of terroir is so fancifully and widely applied, not only are the growing practices, viticulture as it is called, widely different but, above all, the creation of the finished wine from the raw fruit is different, often unique to each individual wine maker. But the terroirists, the wine merchants and producers, the toffee-nosed wine writers and so-called experts, want you to believe that in spite of all this individuality and all this science (called oenology) the wine is merely the slave of the vineyard itself; that each individual vineyard expresses itself in the wine so that the terroir is distinct. You hear the word terroir bandied about, misused, abused, misunderstood, and so accepted as received wisdom that the wise sage who believes Elvis Presley is alive and living on the moon are rationalists in comparison.”
Food for thought!