Friday, June 29, 2012

First Nights in the Truckee Condo!

Joe and I have been lusting after our own place in North Lake Tahoe for some time now. We completely lucked out this year and came across a 2 bedroom condo that we could actually afford! So, we put in an offer this spring and just received our keys last week! Needless to say, we're really excited. The place needs major time work (non-functioning heating units, toilets that don't work, etc, etc.) but they're all things we can tackle this summer and fall. Here are a few images of us and the new place:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tasting Room Closure: June 22-25

The Foursight tasting room will be closed June 22-25, during the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.

My apologies to some of the organizers and all those good folks who will come over for a taste and find a closed door. However, we have a simple shortage of capable bouncers working for us, so we've opted to take a short vacation instead of going through the recruitment process.

We'll be open again for regular hours the next weekend! Fri-Mon, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

When Wine Can Kill You... Literally.

There are a few things in life that make me shudder: sharks (never seen one in person, hope never to), any kind of bug in proximity to my bed (the rest of the house -- no big deal), and Velcorin.

For those who don't know what Velcorin is, it's Dimethyldicarbonate, which is a chemical that's added to some wines and many of the fruit juices out there on the market. It sterilizes wines and you can still label them as unfiltered. Even though it's very dangerous in its original form, it breaks down into Co2 and methanol within about 24 hours.

There have been several articles about this substance in the wine world. After all, it's been approved here since 1988. However, today's announcement that Velcorin can now be deployed at all stages of wine production in all wines in the European Union just reminded me of how creepy I find this product.

1. Velcorin is dosed into wines by men wearing hazmat suits and an array of other safety equipment.
2. It can be very dangerous in its original form and absorbed through skin, eyes AND fumes, causing everything from irritation to collapse, coma and death. Yes, death. (See the MSDS for more info.)
3. It's colorless and "The odor of Velcorin is not strong enough or immediately irritating enough to act as a warning that one is being exposed." Makes you all warm and fuzzy, right?
4. If you drink a wine within 24 hours of when it was dosed with Velcorin, it can kill you. This is the safety warning from one service provider: "Velcorin is a potentially dangerous chemical which can be moderately toxic if ingested within 24 hours after application. Do not ingest wine or juice products during this time

It is expensive, and I'm sure that there are other winemakers like me that find it downright frightening, no matter what it breaks up into, so don't assume every wine is dosed with it. However, the idea that my favorite fruit juice or unfiltered wine had this added to it still gives me the heebie-jeebies. And because of that, you can be sure we'll never use it at Foursight. We just keep a clean cellar with clean wines, then opt not to filter them.

I keep trying to come up with other situations where you can drink a wine (albeit in a limited time frame), and it can kill you, but I can't. If you know of one, please let me know. I'll add it to my heebie-jeebies list. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wine Spectator Magnum Party Fun

This was our second year being invited to the Wine Spectator's illustrious Magnum Party. Being a small Anderson Valley brand, we're always honored to be invited to this event, along with the magazine's New World Wine Experience.

Held at the Hotel Healdsburg's restaurant, Dry Creek Kitchen, the event was fabulous, as always. We enjoyed chatting with the Spectator crew, along with vintners that Joe and I used to know and work with during our time in Sonoma and Napa. The food was amazing, and we even had the chance to meet celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, who actually sliced our meat (how cool is that?).

We were there with a solid group of Anderson Valley vintners, who we are always happy to see at events. They included Toulouse, Goldeneye, Black Kite, Handley, and Breggo.

The whole premise of the event (obvious in the name) is to bring a magnum of your wine to share. They line up magnum after magnum, throughout the entire restaurant and hotel. Searching for our magnum is always a bit like a treasure hunt, but one where you get a taste of wine every time, even if you don't find the prize. In every room, different food items are being served, from fresh oysters, to charcuterie, pizzas and more. And, because Marvin Shanken also publishes Cigar Aficionado magazine, really good cigars are passed around at the end of the evening.

Here are a few photos of us at the event, and a link to the Web site, where we actually made the cut for the photo short list! haha

Foursight Winemaker, Joe Webb, and Breggo Cellar Master, Dan Rivin

Joe Webb & Kristy Charles, enjoying the event
 Here's the link to the official party photos: