• Tips for Storing Wine

    It is well-known that good wine improves with age, but although bottles of wine do not have an expiration date, wines do expire. Even though it may seem contradictory, no matter how much time works in its favor, wine has a limited time to be in the winery. You might be wondering how this happens? Keep reading to find out the best tips for storing wine.

    For starters it is essential to remember that the wine in a bottle is a living element. A liquid that, in spite of maintaining its balance and characteristics, it is constantly aging even inside the glass.

    Fermentation

    Wine is a careful mixture of grapes and other elements, whose flavor arises during the fermentation process. Tannins, sulphites and alcohols safeguard the fine balance that occurs in the bottle. But not only that, this natural alchemy also plays a key role in its conservation. It is thanks to them that the wine can remain latent in appearance inside the bottle. And it is also thanks to them that, by opening a bottle, we can fully savor its contents. To them we owe the capacity of conservation of the wine throughout time, along with the correct storage of it.

     Storage

    The storage of wine also plays a key role for its duration. It is useless for an oenologist to have delicately designed a specific wine, and to take care of its elaboration process to the millimetre, if during the storage period the premises of its storage are not fulfilled, as a result the wine will suffer damage. From taking care of the cork to avoid the entry of microorganisms to avoiding sun exposure to avoid triggering oxidation: every detail is meaningful when it comes to preserving the wine.

    Time

     In order to guarantee a correct enjoyment of the wine, there are certain points that must be taken into account. One of them is that the fact of keeping a crianza for years in the cellar does not mean that it is going to become a reserva. It is more than likely that by the time we want to uncork it, it will be damaged. Another thing to take into consideration is the type of wine you want to store, as the measures to be taken vary if it is a red wine or a white wine.

    Red wine

    In order to know how long to keep the different types of red wine we will have to be guided by a data that we will find on its label: the year of its harvest.

    Young wines: no more than one year of aging. If we have a wine that has undergone a period of ageing in oak of a few months, we can lengthen it by a few months but without abusing the time.
    Crianza wines: between four and five years from harvest
    Reserva wines: between eight and ten years old
    Gran Reserva wines: maximum 20 years, although the 15 years are the ideal time to uncork

    White Wine

    On the other hand, regarding  white wines, times change considerably. This is because their longevity is shorter, given their characteristics, they have a shorter life than red wines. However, it is also true that in the world of white wines we can find some with an incredible conservation capacity.

    In general, it is recommended to consume a white wine before a year or a year and a half after its harvest. However, it is important to remember that if it is a white wine that has been aged in oak casks, we can extend it up to two or even three years at the most.

    These tips will help you store it in the right way and preserve the irresistible taste and seductive smells that characterize the wine. So, although it is true that good wine is aged, it is important not to get confused, it is necessary but in its right measure. If you’d like to skip these steps, Melis artisan wines save you the trouble of finding out the proper storage time because each one indicates a best to drink date. Learn more about our authentic wines here.

     

  • How Wine Is Made Part II

    Although it may seem like a magic trick, the truth is that behind any bottle of wine is a unique chemical process capable of transforming a simple fruit juice into an elegant drink. A process that did not have any technical improvements until the nineteenth century. This is a way of understanding the reason why wine looks, tastes , and even feels the way it does.  We have already seen the first part of the process that involves the preparation of wine before being tasted. Keep reading the second part of how wine is made.

    Fermentation

    Ancient cultures that processed wine have always used yeast. This was naturally done, believing that fermentation was the result of a chemical catalyst and not an invisible process such as these microorganisms. However, with Pasteur’s first research on the fermentation process, it was understood that yeasts consume sugars generating two key elements: carbon dioxide and ethanol. In addition yeasts have the ability to create other substances such as glycerin, acetic and lactic acids.

    However, despite the importance of these microorganisms, it’s interesting to know that their role in the fermentation of wine only lasts between two and three days. There are three important factors in the fermentation of an excellent quality wine to be considered

    • Density: It allows us to know how much the grape juice lacks to turn completely into an alcohol.
    • Temperature: If the temperature it’s very low it could eliminate prematurely the yeasts, which would block the process of fermentation. On the other hand, a high temperature will cause the loss of aromatic elements and an increase of the bitterness.
    • Air contact or The Pasteur effect: During wine fermentation a small contact with air will stop the process, that’s why the fermentation tanks close tightly.

    Storage and Filtration

    It is the slow oxygenation of the wine, that absorbs pigments and flavors from the wood. The maturation was done in wines from ancient Egypt that preserved wine in clay vases, but it was the Romans who learned the technique of preserving wine in oak barrels. The influence of wood on wine is complex and there are many studies on the chemistry of maturing in oak barrels. They spend between six months and a year in wooden barrels and then rest in the bottle until the third year after its elaboration.  This ageing time improves the qualities of the product and balances aromas and flavours.

    After ripening, the wine goes through a filtration process. In this stage the residues and sediments are eliminated. Filtration eliminates any residue from the winemaking process, ensuring the physical-chemical stability of the wine and microbiological stability. Although before this step was obvious, now it is very important and provides better quality of texture, aroma and flavor.

    Bottling

    Bottling is a quite recent operation. It began when it was possible to produce more robust and affordable glasses. Primitive wine bottles had a convex shape. Bottling is a set of operations (generally done mechanically) for the final conditioning of the wine in order to make its expedition and final sale to the consumer. The current bottles have a standard volume of 750 ml. An important element in bottling is the encapsulation that can use natural (cork stoppers), semi-synthetic, synthetic and metal capsules.  All of them have special and unique characteristics.

    Interesting, isn’t it? It’s a process with centuries of history behind it, with hundreds of variants and possibilities.  If you’d like to see the first steps to produce a high quality wine click here. After theory comes practice, so if you’d like to know more about wines, you have to taste it. We recommend you to try some of unique Melis’ Mediterranean artisan wines.

  • Top 6 Useful Tips About Wine

    Wine is one of the most famous and exquisite alcoholic beverages in the world. However, there are many myths that have been circulated through the centuries. Given the large number of varieties available, you may be wondering what to buy to share with your friends? What is the ideal wine to accompany a plate of seafood or cheese? If so, don’t worry, read on and you’ll find some basic, useful tips:

    The ideal pairing

    You can’t call yourself a wine connoisseur if you don’t know the ideal pairing with each cheese, so here are some basic examples:
    If you have a dry white wine, your best option is to serve it accompanied by a goat cheese. On the other hand, to accompany rosé wine, there is nothing like a great cow’s cheese.

    Regarding red wines:  If you want to enjoy a reserva red wine, there is nothing better than to accompany it with a smoked cheese with a powerful flavour. Now, if sweet wine is your thing, it would be ideal to accompany it with a good blue cheese tapa.

    If you prefer fruity whites, then you have to know that the best pairing for them are soft cheeses. And finally, nothing will surpass a red crianza as an accompaniment to a Manchego cheese tapa.

    Opening the bottle correctly

    Not only is it important to choose the right wine, it is also important to open it well to avoid the cork breaking or falling into the bottle. To avoid these common mistakes, you have to nail the corkscrew right in the middle of the cork in a straight line and without pressing it too much.Open it 10 minutes before pouring it.

    In order for the wine to be oxygenated and its aromas better appreciated, it is recommended to open it approximately 10 minutes before tasting it. It is also highly recommended to serve it in a decanter, so that the wine can breathe properly.

    Choose the right glass

    Depending on the type of wine, a certain type of the glass is chosen. It may seem like a minor detail, but it is very important in order to enjoy the wine properly.  For example, champagne is served in a thin, elongated glass. On the other hand, you will need a glass with a wider top if you want to drink red wine.

    Never fill the glass to the brim.

    The amount of wine to be served is another very important point. It is well known that the glass should not be filled as if you were drinking a glass of water.  The reason why the glass should not be filled is because this will prevent you from appreciating the aromas of the wine, since it will be impossible to move it without spilling it.  Nevertheless, it should not be served meagerly either. The ideal measure is never to exceed half the glass, so use this limit as a reference when serving wine to your guests.

    Choose the best

    To enjoy a high quality wine, typically described as having a full body and velvety palate, layers of opulent black fruit flavors, ripe tannins, and a long, pure finish, you have to try one of our Melis Cellars wines, available in Europe and the US. Click here to buy Melis Priorat or click here learn more about our Mediterranean artisan wine.

  • How wine is made: Part I

    Going to the store, buying a bottle of wine, popping it and serving it in glasses, then enjoying its delicious taste and relaxing effects; this seem like a simple thing to do, but is it really? Well, actually, when you taste a great wine like Melis Priorat, it has already passed through at least eight phases. Do you know them all? Keep on reading to find out what some of these phases are and the important role they play in the elaboration of good quality wine.

    Planting

    It is not easy to plant a vineyard. Starting from the soil, not all of them are suitable for this the type of plant required to make great wine. If the soil is very dark, it would produce a large quantity of grapes but of low quality. On the other hand, if the ground is very cold or exposed to low temperatures, it would produce green grapes. The spear vine is characterized by its deep roots so the ground must be up to one meter deep. Additionally, the land must be free of holes that could freeze or dry the vines.

    Traditionally 2,000 and a maximum of 4,000 vines per hectare are planted and the transplanting of the vines takes place between the months of December and May, in which the climate favors the easy growth of the vines.

    Harvest

    Depending on the climate and soil conditions, the first grapes are obtained 18 months after planting, however you should wait a while until the fruits are fully ripe. The harvest period varies between February and April (in the southern hemisphere) and July and October (in the northern hemisphere). Therefore, the harvest time varies depending on the harvest times of each region.

    There are two harvesting methods: the manual one is used for the production of high quality wine such as Melis Priorat and sparkling wine, for which it is necessary to be more selective when choosing the grapes that will be used. The mechanic method requires little manual labor and is much cheaper than harvesting by hand. In order to carry out this type of harvest, the crop must be trellised.

    Pressing

    Pressing is a fundamental operation in vinification since the quality of the future wine depends on it. Pressing refers to the separation of the juice. The direct pressing of the cluster is not useful in the case of red grapes since the woody remains from the cluster must be removed, but the skin must be kept with the liquid throughout the process until fermentation.

    If we go back in the past, the first pressing method was with feet, in other words, stepping on the grapes. This method is still used in wineries that produce small quantities. The vertical press is another of the most traditionally used presses. The grapes are poured into a wooden or stainless steel cylindrical cage where pressure is exerted by means of a lid, normally anchored to a hydraulic screw. Horizontal rotary presses are the most common today, in which the progressive pressure increases and the time of the pressing cycles can be precisely adjusted.

    The three steps described above are the beginning of obtaining the elegant drink that cheers hearts, wine. In the second part of this blog series, you’ll find the remaining steps in producing high quality wine. If you want to just skip this process and go straight to tasting delicious artisan wines, visit our online store. Melis Cellars offers wines with finesse and complexity, without detracting from the character and strength that characterize the wines of the Priorat region. Learn more about Priorat Wine here.

     

     

  • Top 8 benefits of drinking wine that you may not know

    For some time now, several studies have been made to discover the health benefits of red wine. Studies have shown that drinking wine moderately can result in the improvement and prevention of various conditions and diseases. Many have heard about it, but you may not know them all. So, read on to discover the top 8 benefits of drinking red wine:

    It’s an ally for losing weight.

    Although the consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with weight gain, red wine is the exception, as it activates a gene that prevents the formation of new fat cells and also allows us to stimulate the existing ones in order to purify them and gradually eliminate them. This means that red wine has positive effects on metabolism. To see the results on your silhouette, you should not drink more than one glass per day. The process is accelerated if you also accompany it with a balanced diet.

    Reduces cholesterol


    As it is rich in polyphenols, including resveratrol (a chemical rich in antioxidants), red wine helps to care for blood vessels by preventing the formation of clots. At the same time, it contributes to the reduction of so-called bad cholesterol.

    Delays aging


    Because red wine is rich in resveratrol, meaning antioxidants, it slows down aging. In fact, some claim that thanks to moderate consumption of red wine there is a higher longevity rate in certain areas.

    Reduces the risk of depression


    According to a study carried out by several Spanish universities, it was found that people who drank between two and seven glasses of wine per week were less likely to be diagnosed with depression. This is because red wine increases the release of endorphin, also known as the happiness hormone.

    Combats urinary tract infections

    Red wine can prevent bacteria from adhering to our bladder or kidneys and also optimizes the filtering and purification of these organs, thanks to its antioxidant and astringent properties.

    Prevents gum infections

    Given the fermentation of the grapes, the wine has compounds that prevent the appearance of streptococcus and bacteria linked to cavities as well as being very effective against gum bleeding caused by gingivitis, or periodontitis.

    Brain Enhancer

    Because it contributes to improved cognitive processes, several studies have determined that red wine can help prevent degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimers and dementia.

    Prevents arterial degeneration

    Wine not only prevents brain degeneration, but also contributes to the prevention of diseases caused by degeneration of arteries such as atherosclerosis, and that’s not all, wine also fights its symptoms.

    Moderate consumption of red wine can be beneficial both physically and psychologically. Are you craving wine right now? There is nothing better than an artisanal, organic red wine! Melis Cellars has excellent quality priorat wines available in both Europe and the United States, Learn more about our wines here.

  • 5 things you need to know about Priorat Wine

    Priorat is a small wine region in Catalonia, Spain. It has recently caught wine lovers’ attention due its flavor-rich wines, one of them being our own 2016 Melis Priorat. The classic Priorat wine is typically made from two grape varieties: Garnacha and Cariñena and has concentrated aromas of licorice, tar and brandied cherries. However, this region has many secrets and mysteries many wine advocates don’t know. Keep reading to learn 5 things you need to know about Priorat wine.

    1.   One of the most distinguishable characteristics of Priorat wine is the soil where its grapes grow. The region’s leading soil type is llicorella, a free-draining, nutrient-poor soil made up of partially-decomposed slate and quartz.
    2.   This region rose from being almost unheard-of on the international wine market to being one of the world’s most expensive wines.
    3.   Most Priorat wines are aged in oak for at least 12 months. This is because the official Priorat DO production laws recognize three levels of wine quality based on maturation periods.
    4.   Priorat’s relatively recent rise to fame and glory belies the region’s long history of winemaking. Winemaking dates back at least as far as the 12th Century, when monks of the Carthusian Order established a the Priorato dei Scala Dei monastery and planted vineyards there.
    5.   It is always sunny in Priorat. Summers in this region are long, hot and dry, and annual rainfall averages 500mm, making this one of the warmest, driest areas in Spain.

    If you’re looking to try an authentic Priorat wine, we recommend giving our Melis’ products a try. All our Mediterranean artisan wines are made in this one-of-a kind region. Learn more about our products here.

     

  • Spring in Priorat

    This spring of 2018 has been characterized by heavy rainfalls and relatively low temperatures.

    These conditions have generated an extraordinary vegetative development in the vineyard. Fortunately the persistent rains have allowed a good flowering with good fruit set that announces an important yield. The privileged situation of the MELIS vineyard, with a great exposure to wind, the soil of slate, and a careful green prunning, are helping us to avoid the tipical deseases of this season.

  • Espai Priorat

    Espai Priorat is the principal wine event in the DOCa. Priorat wine calendar. The third edition of the event.

  • This is a unique Priorat.

    Rich Cook of www.WineReviewOnline.com talks about Melis 2015:

    Cellers Melis, Priorat DOQ (Catalonia, Spain) “Melis 2015 This is a unique Priorat – certainly the ripest, boldest style that I’ve tasted from the region.  That said, it works very well, with cedary spice balancing rich blackberry and black cherry fruit, with notes of dill and vanilla adding interest.  It’s up to spicy high-end tapas or a fancy cheese course, where it will shine brightest.  

    Continue reading This is a unique Priorat.

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