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WINE SAMPLING: SMELL & TASTE

Smell: When you first start smelling wine, think big too small. Are there fruits? Think of broad categories first, i.e. citrus, orchard, or tropical fruits in whites or, when tasting reds, red fruits, blue fruits, or black fruits. Getting too specific or looking for one particular note can lead to frustration. Broadly, you can divide the nose of a wine into three primary categories:
• Primary Aromas are grape-derivative and include fruits, herbs, and floral notes.
• Secondary Aromas come from winemaking practices. The most common aromas are yeast-derivative and are most easy to spot in white wines: cheese rind, nut husk (almond, peanut), or stale beer.
• Tertiary Aromas come from aging, usually in bottle, or possibly in oak. These aromas are mostly savory: roasted nuts, baking spices, vanilla, autumn leaves, old tobacco, cured leather, cedar, and even coconut.
Taste: is how we use our tongues to observe the wine, but also, once you swallow the wine, the aromas may change because you’re receiving them retro-nasally.
• Taste: Our tongues can detect salty, sour, sweet, or bitter. All wines are going to have some sour, because grapes all inherently have some acid. This varies with climate and grape type. Some varieties are known for their bitterness (i.e. Pinot Grigio), and it manifests as a sort of light, pleasant tonic-water-type flavor. Some white table wines have a small portion of their grape sugars retained, and this adds natural sweetness. You can’t ever smell sweetness though, since only your tongue can detect it. Lastly, very few wines have a salty quality, but in some rare instances salty reds and whites exist.
• Texture: Your tongue can “touch” the wine and perceive its texture. Texture in wine is related to a few factors, but an increase in texture is almost always happens in a higher-alcohol, riper wine. Ethanol gives a wine texture because we perceive it as “richer” than water. We also can detect tannin with our tongue, which are that sand-paper or tongue-depressor drying sensation in red wines.
• Length: The taste of wine is also time-based, there is a beginning, middle (mid-palate) and end (finish). Ask yourself, how it takes until the wine isn’t with you anymore?

Be sure to stop by on Saturdays as we offer complimentary tours in which you can pair with a wine tasting! Reservations required!

WINE FESTIVAL SEASON IS HERE

 

Wine and food festivals are paradise for wine obsessives — they’re ideal opportunities to explore wine regions and styles, to taste through dozens, even hundreds of bottles.  Hundreds of food and wine festivals are held in the U.S. each year. Some, like the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, are decades-old events that attract foodies of all types. Others are first-time efforts in smaller towns.  No matter their size, a typical food and wine festival will feature tastings, pairings, demonstrations and “dine-arounds” held at local restaurants, often with regional wines.  Camelot Cellars participates in dozens of festivals each year throughout Ohio.  Here is a list of a few festivals we will be attending starting this weekend!

 

Friday, June 8th- Marysville Wine & Jazz Fest.

 

Friday, June 15th – Saturday, June 16th- Grove City Wine Fest

 

Saturday, June 23rd- Riverside Wine Festival

 

Saturday, June 23rd- Fayetteville’s Toast to Summer

 

Saturday, June 30th- Toast of Ohio

FARMERS' MARKETS AND WINE

Farmers' Markets give you a chance to get some of the best home grown food around. Shop from local farmers and businesses every week for seasonal vegetables, fruits and flowers, plants, baked goods, honey, sauces, oils and vinegars, beef, pork, eggs, wine and cheese. Enjoy cooking and wellness demonstrations, food trucks, live music and interactive kids’ crafts. 

Camelot Cellars is part of the Pearl Market, Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers’ Market and the Baltimore Farmers’ Market.  Last year was the first year that wineries could be in farmers’ markets and sell their wines!  According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Markets Directory, there are 313 reported markets in Ohio. As the interest in locally grown food has expanded, the market for locally produced wine has expanded as well.  One bill, House Bill 178 by state Rep. Nathan H. Manning, R-North Ridgeville, allowed wineries to obtain a license to sell wine at farmers markets. The wineries also could distribute samples at the markets to show off their products.

Another measure, House Bill 342 by state Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, allow wineries that make all of their wine from grapes grown on their own land to obtain an "Ohio Farm Winery" permit, making it easier for estate wineries to promote the fact that their wines are entirely locally grown.

 

THE HISTORY OF ROSÉ

In ancient times, red wines were more like rosé than the hearty, deep-hued and tannic red wines that we drink today.   Lighter colored wines were more desirable and considered to be of a higher quality than wines that would see longer skin contact and have darker hues.

A great example of this can be seen in Clarets – today, these Bordeaux style red wines are dry, dark in color, and present concentrated flavors.  In the Middle Ages, however, Claret wines (clairet in French) were actually light-bodied, fruity and easy drinking.

From about the 5th Century through to the Middle Ages, Champagne was producing still, pink colored wines made from Pinot Noir.  These wines were made to compete with popular red wines from Burgundy, but the climate of Champagne would result in grapes whose juice was low in sugar, high in acidity and thin-bodied.  In some cases, elderberries were added to improve the taste and darken the color of the wine.

 After Dom Pérignon was able to perfect the technique of making truly white wine from red grapes in the 17th Century, some of these “white wines” would be re-colored with red wine to produce rosé for those who still wished to consume pink wine.

At Camelot we bring in the juice that has been sitting with the grape skins for a certain amount of time.  The skin contact stays with the juice for a few hours and then strain the skins off which brings out the pink, blush, salmon color that you see.  Some of the aromas found in rosé include raspberry, strawberry, almond, banana, grapefruit and even cut hay.  Our California Sauvignon Blanc Rosé has tropical notes of pineapple and peach with raspberries and cherry. 

Rosés are not meant to be cellared. Rather, they should be consumed within one year for best quality. No excuses, drink up!

FRUIT WINE

The most basic definition of wine is an alcoholic drink produced by the fermentation of sugars in fruit.  Any fruit can be used to create wine but most of us are familiar with grapes being used in the wine making process.  Our fruit wines are slightly lower in alcohol content compared to a typical white or bold red wine.  All of the fruit wines at Camelot Cellars are handcrafted on site by taking a concentrated grape juice, imported from vineyards all over the world, and then adding a back sweetener of a fruit juice concentrate.  The back sweetener is added during the last stage of production, this allows for the flavor of the fruit to instantly be tasted when you take your first sip.  Our number one seller of fruit wine is the Green Apple Riesling.    

Fermentation 101

The natural fermentation process is what turns grape juice into an alcoholic beverage (wine). How does this chemical process work? It's pretty simple, really.

Grape juice is loaded with natural sugars. When a strain of yeast is added to the grape juice, the yeast consumes the juice's sugars, converting them into alcohol (more specifically, ethanol/ethyl alcohol) and the chemical by-product of carbon dioxide. Fermentation is an extremely important process in wine making - in fact, without it, wine cannot be produced. While fermentation is a natural process, it can be manipulated, delayed, paused, accelerated in many different ways - all of which will surely be reflected in the end result. The temperature and speed of fermentation can be controlled by the wine maker for the best effect, and other factors like the oxygen levels in the must/juice are also carefully monitored and considered. The fermentation process can happen in a stainless steel tank, as is most common today, or in a wine barrel or even individual bottle as the case may be.

At Camelot Cellars, we begin fermentation in our stainless steel tanks and glass carboys. 

THE CORK DEBATE!

Here at Camelot Cellars, we use synthetic corks to seal our wine bottles. For years, many have debated which cork is better, synthetic or natural? The natural cork has been in practice since the seventeenth century. In fact, it was first put into use by the famous champagne maker, Dom Perignon. The natural cork is associated with hundreds of years of tradition, elegance, and sophistication.
Cork comes from the bark of a specific species of oak tree found in the Mediterranean and Portugal. While they have an average lifespan of one hundred and fifty years, the cork can only be harvested every nine to twelve years, making this resource very valuable, especially since the number of wine bottles produced each year keeps rising. About seventeen billion bottles of wine are produced each year, and natural cork production just cannot meet that demand.
The response to the issue surrounding natural cork is synthetic cork. Synthetic corks have been serving nine percent of the annual wine production. The synthetic cork can be branded just as the natural cork can. Synthetic corks do not crumble or break inside the bottle and transmit no foreign odor to the wine. They are easy to withdraw from the bottles and replace natural corks within the wineries with no additional cost to convert to the synthetic product since they are mechanically the same device. This leaves them as the more trouble-free alternative.

LEGS FOR DAYS!

We often get the question at wine tastings, “What do legs in a wine mean?” Very valid question as some will stare intently at them as they swirl a wine, while others wonder, what are they looking for exactly? So what are legs? “Legs” in a wine glass are the tears that stream down the side of the glass after you swirl it. Some take special notice of these legs – are they fast or slow? Thick or thin? Whatever speed and shape they take, what does it even mean?

Well, we can tell you what it DOESN’T mean – the legs of a wine show you nothing of the wine’s quality. Legs are created in a glass by several different relationships between the liquid and the glass surface and between the water and alcohol components of the wine. The way the legs fall usually has to do with the level of alcohol in the wine and the speed at which it evaporates, which means, in easier terms, that thicker and slower legs can indicate a higher alcohol level. That said, sugar in wine can also lead to slower legs, so a sweet wine may showcase legs that slide down the glass more slowly. So, in short, watching the legs flow down a glass may be pretty, but won’t give you much insight into the wine. You can, however, guesstimate that heaver and thicker legs may equate to higher alcohol and/or a touch more sugar in your wine. So remember, legs have nothing to do with the quality of the wine and that very dry whites and reds have no residual sugar indicating it has no legs.

OUR WINE AND FOOD PAIRINGS 

Foodies love indulging in some of their favorite dishes as well as adventuring out and trying something new or unique.  Foodies also love finding some of the perfect pairings of food dishes and wines.  Here at Camelot Cellars, we partnered with Chef Ed Bisconti on our new Italian Gastropub, The Osteria, to offer made-from-scratch Italian dishes such as flatbreads, pastas and much more.  Our Osteria menu offers our hand selected wine pairings for an unforgettable combination and taste. 

Our truffle is house-made cavatelli, sautéed wild mushroom mix, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, drizzle of truffle oil, toasted garlic bread. Paired with our house-made wine, the Estate Barolo.  We chose the Barolo because the Nebbiolo grape grown in in the Piedmont Region of Italy gets its flavor profile from the soil.  The mushroom flavor of the wine pairs well with the mushrooms and a touch of truffle oil, as truffles are grown in the Piedmont Region as well. This is a perfect pairing of earthiness taste. 

Join our Chef and winemaker, as they walk you through a locally inspired wine pairing dinner. Learn as they explain the cooking methods used and how the wines enhance and complement the flavors of the artfully prepared courses. Seating is first come, first serve. Reservations can be made here.

 

 

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AND WINE, THE PERFECT COMBINATION!

 

It is everyone’s favorite time of the year! Girl Scout Cookies are back! The cookies are a sweet treat for both kids and adults, but we decided to add a little extra treat for the adults with our Girl Scout Cookie and Wine Pairing event coming up on Saturday, March 17th from 5:00p- 8:00p at our winery! Want to know what wine would go great with that box of Thin Mints or Sonoma’s?  Click here to buy your tickets and attend an educational event where we pair our favorite wines with our favorite cookies! And yes, we will have cookies and wine for sale!

Arguably the most famous and popular of all the Girl Scout Cookies, Thin Mints have that addictive quality that makes it way too easy to eat an entire box in a matter of minutes.  Chocolate and mint combine for a satisfying, oddly refreshing treat that chocolate lovers across the country go mad for! The only wine to drink with a distinguished cookie such as a Thin Mint is a deep, intense red blend tailored for chocolate pairings! We recommend one of our limited-edition wines, the Italian Barbera, which is a light to medium bodied red with notes of cherry and red fruit.  Most Italian wines get their flavor from the soil, so this wine has an earthiness taste to it.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy #tastebudtuesday! We are here again with #ColumbusCurdNerd. Today's pairing is Herve Mons Pyrenees with dried apricots paired with Camelot Cellars Pinot Grigio.

Pyrenees is a creamy and sweet semi-firm sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees region of France. It is made by Herve Mons, one of France’s top cheesemakers and affineurs. Upon tasting, Pyrenees melts in your mouth. It tastes of sweet cream. I like pairing this one with dried apricots. The bright acidity of the apricots cuts the creaminess and balances it out. 

The uniquely Italian version of the well known Pinot Gris grape, picked earlier in Italy than in all other regions and well before its characteristic loss of acidity at ripening, for a bright, crisp, dry white wine with a gentle perfume and a detectable spiciness. Fresh, fragrant and lively, its flavors include a certain flintiness with hints of citrus and almonds. The perfect pairing to enhance the intense flavors of the dried apricot but not over power the creamy delicateness of the Pyrenees.

 — at Camelot Cellars.

 

 

 

WE ARE PROUD TO BE PART OF OHIO PROUD

We are now part of Ohio Proud! Created in 1993, Ohio Proud is the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s marketing program that identifies and promotes food and agriculture that are made in Ohio and grown in Ohio. Agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry, contributing more than $105 billion to the state’s economy.  Consumer surveys indicate that those surveyed preferred to purchase an Ohio product over the national brand, and are willing to pay more for the local product.  Choosing Ohio Proud means you buy local products, support your local farmers, increase sales of Ohio companies, provide jobs to Ohioans and reinvest in Ohio’s Economy.  Consumer’s can identify us as an Ohio Proud member by seeing the Ohio Proud logo advertised on our website and other promotional material. 

Here, at Camelot, we source juice from all over the world and in Ohio to make our handcrafted wines.  The fermenting and filtering is done on site. The bottling process is done by hand which includes sanitizing the bottles, filling them with wine, corking and sealing the bottles and adding our own custom label.  We are proud to be one of the almost 300 wineries Ohio has to offer.  We even distribute our wine in over 200 stores throughout the state of Ohio.  

For more information on Ohio Proud, visit http://ohioproud.org/

Our newest collaboration blog with Michelle Vieira#tastebudtuesday We approached her a while back to start a wine and cheese blog since she is passionate about her cheese and we love to pair wine with food! Enjoy these February weekly wine and cheese pairings.

Happy #tastebudtuesday! Starting today, we will be collaborating on wine and cheese pairings with the @Columbuscurdnerd herself, Michelle Vieira!

We wanted to kick off our partnership with Michelle with a cheese that mirrors her mission and our's as winemakers. Windham is a cheese that was born in Vermont at Grafton Village Cheese, but really matured and became its own in Brooklyn at Crown Finish Caves. Crown Finish takes surplus milks from different creameries and ages cheeses in an old, re-purposed lagering tunnel from the 1800s underneath Brooklyn. In the cave, the cheese gets the opportunity to intermingle with all kinds of beneficial bacteria to form a wild, natural rind. Windham is a full-bodied raw milk cheddar that really takes on the taste of the terroir in Vermont. Upon tasting, there is a subtle taste of the grass the cows grazed on. We have paired Windham with local apple butter from Dutch Kitchens and sesame flatbreads from International Passport. Together, it creates a warm, cozy bite of toasty cinnamon.

As we kick off our weekly blog, Tastebud Tuesday, which pairs wine with cheese, it was a natural fit to have Michelle Vieira impart her cheese knowledge! Our Chilean Pinot Noir has a bright ruby color with delicate aromas of red berry flavours. Medium bodied and supple with a hint of herbiness, the mouth feel is very elegant with soft tannins and a subtle oak finish. Vibrant and food friendly. Windham cheese has a subtle flavor that is accentuated with the the local apple butter, which goes well with the elegant herbiness and natural spiciness of the Pinot Noir especially when adding in the apple butter!

If you are in Columbus, take the time to stop in and sample our wines with our very own select cheese board. We are looking forward to future tastebud tuesdays!