Zen Breath 3-2-1

Note: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly 3-2-1 newsletter or you subscribed to the Koi Zen Cellars newsletter. Every Friday, I share 3 wine terms, 2 quotes from me, and 1 question for you to ponder. Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on habits and self-improvement.

"Friends don't let friends drink bad wine."
~ Zen Winemaker ~

3 terms, 2 quotes, 1 question

April 1, 2022

Happy Friday! Time to wrap up this week and get ready for the next! Take a deep breath and kick off the weekend on a positive note. Let's consider where we have been, improve it, and move forward next week. Packing the most content into the least words and trying to change the world, one glass at a time.

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3 - Wine Terms - Styles of Chardonnay

Chardonnay is often referred to as the Queen of Wine; more Chardonnay is produced than any other varietal. Cabernet Sauvigon is a close second but generates more dollars than Chard earning it the title of King of Wines.

I often describe Chardonnays as being chameleon: the flavors adapt to the environment and the winemakers influence. Today we will talk about 3 distinct styles of Chardonnay.

And if you are an ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) you are missing out on a wonderful versatile wine. And saying you don't like Chardonnay is similar to saying you don't like food.
  1. Naked Chardonnay - this moniker is often used to describe Chardonnay that is produced in stainless steel without the influence of butter or oak.

    Naked Chards are clean, crisp, and refreshing. They express fruit and often mineral notes and pair with lighter foods compared to the other styles of Chards.
  2. Oak Chardonnay - Winemakers often ferment and age Chardonnay in oak barrels which is unusual for a white wine. During the aging in oak, the wine will increase in complexity and body. The distinctive oak notes can range from raw wood notes through heavy smokey toast. Being more full-bodied, these wines pair well with heavier food and can stand up to red lean meats.

    Winemakers will often leave residual sugar on oaked Chardonnay appealing to a greater range of casual wine drinkers especially at the value price points.
  3. Buttery Chardonnay - Winemakers can also induce a secondary fermentation on Chardonnay, which is common in red wines but not white wines. This process is called MLF (malolactic fermentation) which converts Malic acid into Lactic acid and in the case of Chardonnay also produces the "buttery" flavors.

    When overdone - you end up with "butter bombs"
Winemakers can also produce Oaky/Buttery wines that have the fullest, rounded, most complex combination.

Note: Our current Wild Wine is a very limited release of out 2018 Oaked Chardonnay. We only have 9 cases left, so swing on by for a complementary splash of this limited release.

2 - Quotes from Me:

  1. "It's the same - just different." ~ Zen Winemaker
  2. "Never underestimate your impact on the world." ~ Zen Winemaker

1 - Question to ponder:


Last fall I offered a winemaking class and we had about 30 people sign up for the class. They learned about how to make wine, the process, the protocols, and the procedures. The students could choose grapes from any of the lots we processed last year.

During harvest, the students took their grapes home and made about 5 gallons of wine. After fermentation, their wine aged and over the last two weeks we bottled their creations.
It was amazing that even though they all used the same batches of grapes, each of their creations was different - and often vastly different that their peers using the same varietal.

They each received the same instructions, followed the same process, but the results were different. Some added oak. Some induced MLF. Some did both, some did neither. Each wine is unique, just like their maker. In the wine world - we call this the winemaker's influence


What is your influence on the world - is it positive or not?

Zen Giggles:

When life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.

2 tourists are driving through Wales...
They stop for lunch in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

As they sit down for lunch, one of the tourists asks the waitress:
"Can you settle and argument for us please?
Can you pronounce the name of where we are right now?"

The waitress leans over the table and mouths very slowly:
"Burrrgerrr Kinnng.."

~~ Notice ~~

Notice the signs of spring


A favor:

We strive to foster a community who are excited to learn about wine and create a better world for all. We are a small business and appreciate your support. Please encourage others to subscribe to this newsletter and build the community of like minded people. And don't forget to give me some feedback on what you want to learn about - I love hearing from you.

Also, if you are at a point in life where you desire change, but don't know what, where, or how - I suggest taking my online class on Finding Your Passion HERE. It might be the best investment you ever made.


Darius Miller - The Zen Winemaker

P.S. Let me know what you think of the 3-2-1 newsletter - or better yet, share with your friends - it would be much appreciated.

Author of a #1 best seller:
'The Zen Winemaker - Follow Your Dreams & Overcome Your Fears'

Creator of:

'The Zen Wine Tasting Journal - Life is too short to drink bad wine, or to wear ugly underwear.'

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