Arizona Wines At Their Best
 
     
Wine Tip Wednesday
LDV Winery’s award-winning wines are a direct reflection of the unique high altitude terroir in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills in Southeastern Arizona. Our monthly blog From Vineyard to Table shares how we celebrate the spirit of place through LDV’s sustainable practices, entertaining approach, food & wine pairings (including original recipes), and winemaking techniques. Wine Tip Wednesday provides you with easy to apply tips to expand your wine and food enjoyment that we have been employing for years. Share your wine tips with us!

September 20 to September 27, 2017: Sweet Wine Preference? Or Something Else?

We really enjoy getting to the real issues when a wine taster states they only like sweet wines. Sweet wines are typically ones that have residual sugar that remains after alcoholic fermentation. Upon further conversation, we often find that it is not the sugar that the taster desires, they just don’t like the acidity or bitterness of many wines that the sugar masks. A significant number of wine drinkers start learning about wine with sweet or off-dry wines (e.g., White Zinfandel) and over time, gravitate toward dryer wines.

While LDV Winery ferment our table wines to zero residual sugar, which is considered a dry wine, we strive to create wines with balanced acidity and soft mouthfeel. Our mountain-grown grapes also produce very fruit forward wines (i.e. fruitiness). Many of those who thought they only liked sweet wines find our wines pleasing and are very surprised.

However, there are a lot of folks that will never enjoy dry wines and that’s ok. Variety is the spice (or sweetness) of life!
  LDV Winery

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September 13 to September 20, 2017: Regional Wine Preferences

LDV Winery tasting room has been open for a little over two years and we learned a lot about our customers’ preferences. Our non-statistically valid or unscientific research indicates that there is a regional preference for types of wines.

People from the Midwest and Upper Midwest seem to prefer sweeter wines. Visitors from the east coast ask for white wines. Folks from the northwest are interested in Arizona Grenache because it reminds them of Pinot Noir.

California and Canadiens seem to be more adventurous; willing to try anything and have fun doing it.
  LDV Winery

There are those that prefer wine blends and others are intrigued by the fact that LDV Winery produces single varietal wines. The U.S. has many different growing areas producing wines from many varietals. When you visit the southwest you need to experience southwestern inspired cuisine. The same should go for Arizona wine. Explore and enjoy the uniqueness of each region’s wine. Don’t come to Arizona and expect a sweet Muscadine wine.

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September 06 to September 13, 2017: Wine Tasting Etiquette


Rude behavior still surprises us. Restaurants and tasting rooms seem to bring out the worse in people. Someone close to us loved her chicken salad and measured every restaurant by this particular dish. She would order chicken salad at Italian restaurants and complain if it did not meet her standards.

For the most part people are at their best in our tasting room. However, we have experienced the obnoxious person that speaks so everyone around them can hear about their wine opinions or an inexperience wine taster that believes that all wine should be judged against her favorite boxed sweet Pinot Grigio.
  LDV Winery

Wine Tip: Don’t trash wines in a tasting room if you do not like the taste. Just use the dump bucket and move on to the next wine. Everyone’s palette is different and your outbursts ruin the experience for other tasters. If you think it is bad, let the wine staff taste for quality. Wine that has passed its time or is corked does happen.

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August 30 to September 06, 2017: Earth’s Fruit Come Full Circle

A key LDV Winery objective is emblazoned on every one of our wine bottles – Earth’s Fruit Come Full Circle. This is our commitment to ensure our growing and winemaking processes are as sustainable as possible while we make the highest quality wine.

From our effective water and soil management in the vineyard to our winemaking process, the LDV team is constantly identifying ways to reuse, recycle, and reduce to maximize our precious resources. If you have been to the LDV Wine Gallery in downtown Scottsdale you sat on the patio at one of our pallet tables or at the bar that is filled with our vineyard rock. Or your purchased some LDV soaps made from our grape juice, seeds, and skins. Or noticed that the size and weight of our wine bottles changed a few years ago reducing impact.

We use 100% recyclable packaging and repurpose corks and salvaged vineyard wood into retail products that we sell. The LDV rose garden keeps flowers on the tables when in bloom. As our orchard matures, LDV will have jams and other products soon for sale. We are committed to making a difference while producing great wines.
  LDV Winery

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August 23 to August 30, 2017: What is port?

LDV Winery recently released a port-like dessert wine called “The Epilogue,” a 100% Petite Sirah aged 40 months. We are often asked why we call it port-like? It is a fortified wine and enjoyed extended barrel aging. Flavors are similar such as blackberries and other dark fruit, chocolate, and caramel. The Epilogue also pairs well with the same foods including blue cheese, caramel desserts, or smoked nuts. Or by itself as dessert.

A port wine is a fortified dessert wine from Portugal that is sweet. Red Port has dark fruit flavors and a Tawny Port features caramel and nut flavors. A Vintage Ruby Port or 10+ year barrel-aged Tawny Port can express even broader, nuanced flavors.

Port is served in smaller glasses below room temperature in about 3-ounce servings. If properly preserved, a Ruby-style Port can last up to 2 weeks and a Tawny Port for about a month after opening. Ports are made to improve with age and Vintage Ports can be cellared over 100 years. We will see about the Epilogue!
  LDV Winery

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August 16 to August 23, 2017: Traveling Tasters

Spending the week in Temecula, California wine tasting reminded me about the following 3 tips when being a traveling taster.

1. Focus on what is unique to the wine region. Find out the difference between that wine region to the one that you might be most familiar.

2. Learn about the grapes being grown there and try them. It still amazes me when after I have explained our Rhone varietal wines and then someone asks can I have Pinot Grigio or says I only like Pinot Noir.
  LDV Winery

3. Ask questions about the winemaking style. Do they do full berry fermentation? Do they use traditional Methode Champenois-style for their sparkling wine? Asking these types of questions will help you uncover the wine region’s specialties and expand your wine knowledge.

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August 09 to August 16, 2017: Vineyard Mushrooms

Wandering through the vineyard this past week I was surprised to see mushrooms amongst the vines. The mushrooms sprouted in response to the six inches of rain over the past two weeks. The amount of rain is not atypical, but it started late.

Usually the Arizona monsoon begins in the Chiricahua Mountains in June but this year heavy rains started in late July creating an environment for mushrooms to grow along with a lot of Arizona grasses. Of course, the water was a welcome relief for the vines stressed from the unusually high temperatures.

Every year there is a report about someone dying eating wild mushrooms they foraged so we will not be harvesting these vineyard mushrooms to eat. However, here is one of our favorite mushroom recipes that pairs well with the 2013 Grenache.
  LDV Winery

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August 02 to August 09, 2017: Grilled Fruit & Wine: 3 Ways

Summertime means grilling everything, including dessert. Fresh fruit from your local farm stand is perfect and peaches are a favorite. Choose ripe but firm white peaches. Cut in half and remove the pit. Brush the cut-sides with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Grill cut-side down until slightly caramelized about 3 minutes. Watch the peaches closely so they don’t burn. 3 ideas to serve.

(1) Slice the grilled peaches and place in white wine with blueberries and raspberries.

(2) Make a Wine Syrup: reduce 2 ½ cups of red wine (e.g. Grenache). Add ½ cup of peach nectar, ¼ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of honey, cinnamon stick, and one vanilla bean split with seeds removed. Optional: half cup of brandy. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer until syrup is thickened about 10 minutes. Strain and drizzle syrup over peaches.

(3) Turn peaches cut-side up and sprinkle with Gorgonzola blue cheese and melt slightly. Remove and drizzle syrup over peaches.
  LDV Winery

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July 26 to August 02, 2017: Pre-Harvest Prep

Wine Country comes alive this time of year no matter where you are in the country. In Arizona, it appears that harvest may come early. In fact, our neighbor harvested Sauvignon Blanc last week. There is so much to be done at LDV Winery in preparation for harvest.

The key activity is to finish bottling a lot of wine to empty and prepare the barrels to receive wine from this vintage. Unfortunately, our 22,000 corks have taken a 6,000-mile road trip across the country for three weeks instead of taking the direct route from California to Arizona which should have taken a day. We are still waiting.

Other pre-harvest activities include: Checking all equipment in the lab and winery to ensure it is in good working order. Check all drains and replace any cracked or damaged drain covers. Ensure extra hoses and parts are on hand.

Come visit LDV Winery on August 5 for our annual BBQ to see first-hand how we prepare for harvest. In fact, we may even be beginning the process. Call to register 602-320-1485.
  LDV Winery

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July 19 to July 26, 2017: Heat Stress

Hot. Hot. Hot.

Perfect description for the 2017 wine grape growing season in Arizona. Unusually hot temperatures in Southeastern Arizona has had some impact on our vineyard.

In June, we have experienced ten days in a row over 100 degrees. It stayed extremely hot until July 4th this year.

Since 2008, when we planted our vineyard, we have never seen temperatures this high.

Following are some of the vineyard indicators of heat stress.
  LDV Winery
  • Yellowing of the leaves indicates that the vine is not getting adequate nutrients and water.
  • Canopy development stops resulting in less leaves impacting photosynthesis sun and shade for the grapes.
  • The berry stops growing in size resulting in smaller crop yields.
Unfortunately, only time will tell if heat stress will impact the berry flavors or juice quality.

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July 12 to July 19, 2017: Wine Reduction

It’s a fallacy that everyone knows how to cook basics. Case in point, someone asked for a wine reduction recipe recently. A wine reduction is a great way to enhance a dish, but also a great excuse to drink wine while cooking. Here are 3 tips for reducing wine.

1. Sangiovese or Tempranillo have an earthiness to them which when reduced are perfect with beef and mushrooms.

2. Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or Syrah are bolder wines and the fruitiness will be expressed when reduced. These wines are sometimes higher in alcohol and when reduced will be sweeter as the alcohol breaks down into sugar.

3. Recipe: Add wine to a sauté pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer and reduce by ½ volume. A cup of wine will produce a ½ cup when reduced. You can vary the flavor by adding springs of rosemary, sauté shallots first then add to the wine, add some balsamic vinegar, or other flavorings. Salt and pepper to taste.
  LDV Winery

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July 05 to July 12, 2017: What’s Table Wine?

I’m Italian and I grew up drinking table wine in grape jelly glasses at every dinner. This might be red or white wine usually from a big jug. The label really didn’t tell you much about the wine grapes or where they originated. From my memory, the wine seemed lighter and sweeter than the wines I enjoy today.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau that regulates the wine industry defines table wine as grape wine having a maximum content of 14% alcohol by volume. Table wine may also be designated using terms such as light wine, light white wine, red table wine, or sweet table wine.

As we have discussed in the past, we hope your interest in what you put into your body goes beyond just organic food to include your wine. There is a reason cheap table wine is cheap. It is directly related to the grape quality and winemaking process. Buy local and get to know your winemaker.
  LDV Winery

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MORE WINE TIPS:

05-03-17 to 07-05-17

03-01-17 to 05-03-17

01-04-17 to 03-01-17

11-02-16 to 01-04-17

09-07-16 to 11-02-16

06-29-16 to 09-07-16

05-04-16 to 06-29-16

03-02-16 to 05-04-16

01-06-16 to 03-02-16

10-28-15 to 01-06-16

09-02-15 to 11-04-15

07-15-15 to 09-02-15

Back to Current Wine Tip Wednesday

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