Scott Harvey Wines

Blog

Scott Harvey
 
October 25, 2019 | Scott Harvey

Five Wine Myths: Debunked!

There are many common misconceptions about wine that often become unquestioned beliefs. We’re getting to the bottom of five of these fallacies once and for all and addressing some of the most common myths we’ve heard in our 40+ years in the wine industry.

The myth: White wine should be served ice cold

The truth: You may have heard the idea that red wine should be served at room temperature while white wine should be served ice cold. In reality, you'll achieve the best results if both red and white wines are served in between nearly ice cold and room temperature.

If white wine is served too cold, you won't be able to taste the nuances in its flavor. If red wine is served too close to room temperature, it could taste flat. So, when it doubt, chill your wine but ensure it’s not too cold. The proper serving temperatures are 49-55°F for white wine and 62-68°F for red wine.
 



The myth: Sweet wines are for beginners, not educated palates

The truth: Some of the greatest wines in the world are sweet. Sauternes, Ice Wines, Trockenbeerenauslese (a German wine classification for a rich, full-bodied style of sweet dessert wine) are sweet, but are also immensely flavorful and very age-worthy. 

For example, our Angel Eis Ice Wine is a beautiful example of this style of wine. Grown in Mendocino County, this 36-year-old Riesling vineyard produces small yields of flavorful grapes of this varietal. To create this wine, frozen grapes were pressed and fermented slowly for two months. This well-balanced dessert wine with hints of peaches, pears, and apricots boasts a long, lingering finish that’s a beautiful sunny day sipper, or pairs perfectly with blue cheese and your favorite crostini.


The myth: All wines worth cellaring are red

The truth: Older wines deliver a different spectrum of flavors from what you would taste in a young wine. Tannins keep wine fresh, which is why red wines that age well tend to contain greater amounts of tannins.

However, the sugar found in white wines helps to preserve the wine and prevent deterioration. Therefore, the sweeter the white wine, the better it will age which is why dessert wines (such as our Angel Eis mentioned above), a Riesling, such as our Jana Riesling, vintage Champagne, Sauternes, and even some dry white wines are just as age-worthy as reds. 

In addition to high tannins and sweetness, white wines with a higher acidity level are more likely to last longer because low pH levels prevent any chemical changes that would otherwise break down the wine.


The myth: White wine does not contain sulfites

The truth:
One of the most common things we hear in the tasting room is that an individual only drinks white wine because they’re allergic to sulfites. In reality, white wines actually contain more added sulfur dioxide than reds. Sulfites occur naturally during the fermentation process, so all wines — red, white, and rosé — contain some level of sulfites.

That being said, the amount of sulfites in any bottle of wine is actually quite small. In fact, more sulfites exist in common foods like eggs, raisins, cured meats and cheese, and even ketchup. So, if you don’t have any major sensitivities to these items, you’ll likely be able to consume all of our wines just fine!
 

Myth: Screw-top wines are inferior to corked wines

The truth: In many years leading up to the present day, screw cap wines were a symbol of a cheaper bottle of wine. But, times are changing and these days, winemakers (including Scott) have come around to the benefits of these once-scorned metal closures. Why, you ask? While cork may be traditional, it can come with its share of headaches including a risk of contamination with trichloroanisole (TCA), also known as cork taint, which is a chemical compound that can leave the wine with a damp, musty smell or mask its flavors all together. 

We hope we’ve helped to ease your mind by debunking these wine myths, and leave you feeling more confident with your wine knowledge so you can share with your friends!

Time Posted: Oct 25, 2019 at 3:05 PM
Scott Harvey
 
October 10, 2019 | Scott Harvey

The Effects of the PG&E Power Outage

For the last two days while in the apex of harvest PG&E elected to cut power to the whole Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown wine appellations of Amador County. They also cut power to Napa Valley and Sonoma as well. We produce wine at three different wineries that are located in Amador County, Napa Valley, and Clarksburg. They say it is due to high wind danger. I’m not sure about the rest of the wine-growing regions in northern California, but in Amador County, there has been no wind event to speak of. I would think that PG&E would have the ability to turn on and off different areas depending on the danger in each.

This will cost our winery in revenue and potential wine quality and will probably cost the Northern California wine industry millions of dollars.

  • We have two tasting rooms in Amador County and are part of a co-operative tasting room in Napa.  Since the POS (point of sale) system or cash registers are run through the internet and on electricity we are forced to close the tasting rooms depriving us of badly needed revenue to stay alive. 70% of our total sales are direct to consumer and the tasting rooms are a big part of it. Even if we did open the tasting rooms and took down the sales information on paper to enter later, there are no people out tasting because they have heard everyone else is closed. 50% of a winery’s sales revenue is generated in the fourth quarter of the year. Our tasting rooms are open daily during October, November, and December to take advantage of the needed sales revenues. I find my anger mounting when I look outside on a perfectly claim sunny day and can not open my tasting room due to PG&E shutting off the power.
     
  • At the apex of harvest, there is a lot of wines in fermenters. The conversion of grape sugar via yeast to carbon dioxide and alcohol is a reaction that creates heat. We have large cooling jackets on out tanks that dissipate the heat and keep the fermentation cool.  When a fermentation gets too hot, bitter-tasting components (phenolics) start to come out of the skins and seeds. This lowers the overall quality of the wines. The cooling system is run on electricity. Luckily, for us, all of the fermentations we have in tanks right now are past the peak period where they are producing high amounts of heat. By leaving the winery doors open the cool night air is enough for us to limp along.
     
  • Delay of harvest.  We want to pick grapes at their optimum ripeness. Not under ripe and not overripe. Two days ago, we were scheduled to pick Vineyard 1869. One most prized 150-year-old Zinfandel vineyard.  Now we have rescheduled for tomorrow depending on PG&E turning the power back on.  Hopefully, it will not be delayed too much longer.

There needs to be some better answers to this problem than just shutting off the power to all of northern California’s wine regions. Otherwise, I can see the lawsuits flying at PG&E at a time they can hardly afford any more lawsuits. The other answer is to put in a permanent high-powered generator for such occasions. Probably at a cost of $20,000 or more. 

Scott Harvey
CEO and Winemaker

Time Posted: Oct 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM

Mailing List Sign Up

Sign up for our mailing list to keep in top of news, new releases, events, and promotions.