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.

"Watch what you feed your mind"

~ The Zen Winemaker ~

3 terms, 2 quotes, 1 question

August 20, 2021

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.

Subscribe to this newsletter

3 - Wine Terms - Styles of Chardonnay

Chardonnay is often referred to as the "Queen of Wines" since there are more acres of Chardonnay vines planted worldwide than any other varietal. More Chardonnay wine is produced than any other type and is produced around the grape growing regions of the world.

I often refer to Chardonnay as a "chameleon" because this varietal is so widely diverse based upon where it was grown and how it was produced. For you "ABC" (Anything But Chardonnay) people, you may be missing out due to a bad experience with a few Chards not of your particular style.

Today we will focus on the production and finishing differences opposed to climate which is a deeper and longer conversation. There are 3 predominant styles of Chardonnay.
  1. Naked Chards - we prefer this expression since it is so visual versus "stainless steel fermented". Steel tanks do not impose any flavors into a wine and limit the oxygen absorption during fermentation so the wine is neutral so what you tasted comes primarily from the grapes and secondarily from the yeast selection and fermentation temperature. This style of Chardonnay is often crisp and clean with a low complexity making is suitable for a wide ranges of occasions and food pairings. This style is great to have on hand no matter what life throws at you. Koi Zen's 2018 Chardonnay is Naked with clean fruit structure, lighter weight and very approachable.
  2. Oaked Chards - Oak and Chard are often a perfect fit. While Naked Chards can sometimes taste "steely" the addition of oak rounds and fills out the wine delightfully. Depending upon the amount and type of oak (French, American or Eastern European) the flavor profile will range from a "touch" to licking a "tree". Oak often adds creaminess, weight, and structure to the wine allowing to be more robust and complicated.

    Hush - don't tell anyone be we have about 20 cases of 2018 Oaked Chard not yet released so stay alert.
  3. Buttery Chards - Almost all red wines and a few white wines go through MLF (malolactic fermentation) which is a bacterial process that converts tart Malic acid (tart apple taste) into Lactic acid which adds a creaminess, complexity, and softness to the wine. During this processes secondary chemical compounds are also produced and in the case of Chardonnay, a big one is Diacetyl which is responsible for the movie theater buttered popcorn flavor. In Chardonnay, the higher the concentration of Malic acid, the more buttery the wine will be. I saw a wine called "Butter" on a retailers wine rack - in this case, there is truth in advertising.
Then we come to the blending of Chardonnay which can be Naked (lean, refreshing, and crisp) to Oakey Butter bombs that pour like maple syrup. To each his own and each has their purpose, but it is your job to become a wine explorer and try new things.

2 - Quotes from Me:

1. "Each wine has a purpose, some are to drink and others are not" ~ The Zen Winemaker

2. "One does not grow by doing the same thing over and over again" ~ The Zen Winemaker

1 - Question to ponder:

Over the COVID crisis I may have put on a few pounds (well maybe more than just a few) and probably (most definitely) didn't get as much physical exercise as I could have. But now is a time to change all of that. Right?

If we watch what and how much we eat, biasing our food choices towards leaner, greener, and healthier combined with more water and physical exercise we can shed those extra pounds and become healthier.

We know that if we change the oil in our cars regularly they will last longer. We know if we take care of our clothes and belongings they last longer. We know this and do this to the best of our abilities and it is innately obvious.
The better our choices, the better the results.

However many people don't spend as much time taking care of their minds as they do their bodies and belongings. We know that if we shop in the junk food isle we tend to make poorer choices than if we walked down the veggie isle. We know if we don't take care of our house, it will soon be in disrepair.

It is so easy to "feed" our brains with junk and as they say: "garbage in is garbage out." We probably watch too much hyper-sensationalized news feeds, consume hours of click-bait, social media (which is not social at all), or unreal reality shows. It is so easy to become addicted to this constant stream of unhealthy input and just addictive as that stack of brownies or potato chips. Everything is okay in moderation, however many of us suffer mental addition to junk.

Becoming aware of this, we can easily become more mindful of what we feed our minds. If we feed it with junk it will become junky. If we feed it with nutrition it will become more vibrant and healthy. It's a simple choice once you are aware of it.

I challenge you, to the best of your ability, to take a week long mental cleanse. Think of is as a cathartic flushing of the toxic mental things consumed through our daily senses.

Limit TV, don't read the news (if the world explodes you will know about it), limit or avoid social media. Read non-fiction opposed to fiction. Take a walk, meditate, or have genuine loving conversations with family and friends.

It will be a challenge for many. Many won't even try and others may fail. But everything is hard the first time.

Accept the Challenge?


~~ Notice ~~

The myriad beauty surrounding you every day.



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.'

Become Inspired:

Stay In Touch - Subscribe:

Something to ponder:

If you shared this newsletter with 2 people, who then each share with two people, how many times would this need to be done to reach every human on earth? Answer