44 Live: Q&A

Apr. 25, 2017


More often than not, if you have a question about wine then someone else is probably asking the same thing.When folks enter the tasting room for the first time or the tenth time, there is always something more to learn.We'd like to take this opportunity to answer some of those repeated questions as well as some new ones asked on social media. 

What makes good wine?

Personal perception determines the quality of wine mores than any specific chemistry parameters. While we certainly use chemistry and objective measurement on our wine we are first and foremost in pursuit of balance and symmetry. These concepts are typically discussed when talking about beauty and quality in many art forms, and wine is one of them. So when pondering if the wine you’re drinking is “good” or not, ask yourself, “do the aromatics you smell, flavors you taste, and finish you savor, blend harmoniously together?” and there you’ll find your own answer.

Do you add fruit to your wines?

No. At Parallel 44 and Door 44 we focus exclusively on wines grown form grapes. Sometimes when people read our tasting notes or the backs of labels that describe the wines, they see reference to fruit flavors or aromatics. Those references are made to give a preview of the scents and tastes you may experience in the wine. However, those expressions are the result of the flavors derived from the grapes, hey they were fermented and how the expression evolved over time.

Do the grapes change from year to year and how does it affect the name of the wine?

Yes we experience different flavors and aromatics from year to year with the same varietals due to the varying weather during the growing season. For example, Petite Pearl will always taste like Petite Pearl, but its expression can change from one year expressing red fruit aromatics and flavors in a cold season to the next year being more dark fruit expression in a warmer and sunny growing season. The primary difference in how it is labeled or named is that it will have the date of the year in which it was grown. 

What do I look for when I purchase wine?

Steve: It often depends on the mood, the season and who I will be enjoying it with. Often times I am drawn to a bottle by its label. In general, I look for what is called the appellation. It is the geographic region form where the wine came. Usually the more specific the geographic region, the more likely the wine’s distinction. For example, a bottle that says Napa Valley versus a bottle that says California. I like to explore and constantly try new wines from new regions. I call it R & D, research and development.

Jeremy: Being in the early stages of my wine tasting experience, I tend to base my purchases off recommendations. If I know an avid wine drinker, I can ask that person which wine they recommend for a certain occasion. As I learn more about the grapes involved and how wines are created and developed, I find myself appreciating EVERY bottle of wine because I see firsthand the hard work, balance and gamble that goes into the process.

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