Sommelier Select: The Next Step

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Poetry, captured in sunlight


(noun) The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: ‘a fortunate stroke of serendipity’

Winemaking is a journey of serendipity. The earth, sun, wind and rain give the winemaker fruit, and it's their responsibility to curate that fruit into delicious wine. The winemakers themselves can only reveal the grapes true character, they can't improve it or change it--that's nature's job. 

Part of the journey is also that harvest comes to a vineyard once per year, and that's your only chance to pick, crush, press and make wine. It's sometimes nail-biting to watch the weather and hope for clear skies and a last few days of sun to bring the grapes in. You have to be right there, either tending your own vineyard, or living in wine country to seize the opportunity. 

Wine Any Time of the Year

That's us! 

That's where Master Vintner comes in. We buy grapes from the best wine regions around the world, seeking fruit from Appellations with the right combination of soil and climate. We crush, press, and blend to adjust the grapes, and right at the moment when it's time to pitch yeast, we flash-pasteurize the juice. Shelf-stable and easy to ship, this means you can make wine any time of year. 

The first kit we made, Winemaker's Reserve, is a blend of pure single strength juice and varietal concentrate that makes 6 US-gallons (23 liters) of delicious varietal wine that's ready to drink in only a few months. Even better, cellaring Winemaker's Reserve for a few months (or a year!) will turn it from good wine to great wine, exactly the same way wineries do it. 

Good Wine, Better Wine

Buying commercial wine you'll see that there is a huge variation in pricing--you can get a 'Two Buck' version, or buy a single bottle for the same price as a compact car. Obviously the more expensive wines command a higher price because they're more desirable. 

That desirability comes from a number of factors

  • In-demand varietal grapes
  • High-demand growing regions
  • High demand vineyards
  • Age-worthiness 
  • Intensity of character

The very same thing applies to wine made from kits. A value-priced wine, like the Two Buck version will often be made from standard varietals, from growing regions that are geared to produce volume, won't be from a denominated vineyard, are intended to be drank pretty much the day you buy them, and while almost always pleasant and tasty, don't usually offer a 'blockbuster' flavor experience. 

Wine O'Clock comes every day! 

But that's not their mission: those wines are there to give you a good value in a tasty wine that you'd be happy drinking any weekday. Heck, we know that well enough that we have our own Weekday Wine. Simple, fast, easy and tasty, just what you need. 

Going Big(ger)

Not that kind of bigger

When you are looking for a bigger, bolder wine experience, you don't just get better flavor for your money: you get a more intense wine with huge varietal character, showing off the increased complexity of a perfectly situated growing area, and the terroir of the vineyard it came from. 

You also get a wine that will improve with age and develop character. If you've ever put a bottle of your own wine away for a year (or two, or three) you'll know what this means. The wine changes in profound ways, becoming far more than the sum of its parts, growing in some ways, becoming sleeker in others, and transforming into a more complex, interesting and flavorful experience. 

And guess what? Master Vintner has you covered. 

Sommelier Select

The prettiest thing I've seen all year

Years of development, sourcing grapes, choosing vineyards, testing, blending, and tasting, and today I'm proud to announce our new Sommelier Select wine kit. 

Heck, who am I kidding. I'm not proud, I'm giddy! 4.2 US gallons means a lot more pure, single-strength, varietal juice, delivering you the one-two punch of increased intensity and character, and ageability to take advantage of that character to its fullest. 

For you (and me, because I'm making a dozen batches, right away) this means you'll get a richer, fuller, more intense wine right away on bottling day, and you'll get an even more complex, subtle and rich wine as it ages. It's a premium product with a higher price tag (about dollar a bottle more in most cases) but you'll see instantly where your extra money went. 

In addition to giddy, I've got a serious case of pride going. My partnership with Master Vintner has been one of the best things I've ever done, and putting together a premium kit with the best raw materials and excellent blending and winemaking skills (I'm not bragging me up. Well, a little bit: but our winemakers are the real MVP's, and they've done brilliant work) is incredibly fulfilling. I love making wine, I love sharing the hobby with others, and I love that I get to bring out great new wines for you to enjoy with me. 

In a few weeks I'll get a bunch of them going and report here with my results. I'm looking forward to barrel ageing them and doing some sur lie and battonage with the whites (ooh, wait'll you see what you can do when you really stretch your muscles with a wine kit!) and I'll be conducting ongoing tastings as they ferment through. 

Sommelier Select--bring a little serendipity into your winemaking!

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