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.

" Understanding through books, is like eating a picture of a cake"
~ The Zen Winemaker ~

3 terms, 2 quotes, 1 question

December 24, 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.

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3 - Wine Terms - Styles of Wine

The vast majority of all wine made classified as "still" wine, meaning lack of effervescence; however there are two other primary styles of wine that we will talking about today. In the United States, the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) is responsible for classifying, approving, and collecting tax on wine and have developed three classifications -  each with a different cost basis.

The TTB defines WINE as any fermented fruit juice that contains over 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) - a typical table wine has between 12-16% ABV.
  1. Still Wine - according to the US government, any wine with greater than 0.5% and less than 16% alcohol, produced from fruit and has less than 0.392g CO2/100mL (amount of carbonation) is considered still wine and receives the lowest tax rate of $1.07 per gallon or $0.214 per standard 750ml bottle.

    Prior to Prohibition, a large percentage of alcohol tax paid for our government prior to the introduction of Income Tax.
  2. Fortified Wine - yeast can only ferment sugars up to about 16% alcohol; to produce a fortified wine, grape spirites (distilled wine) can be added to wine to increase the alcohol content. Since you are getting a bigger bang, the government wants a bigger share and boosts the tax rate to $1.57/gallon for alcohol contents 16% to 21%.

    Wineries are allowed to fortify up to 24% and pay $3.15/gallon or $0.63/standard bottle.

    Geek Note: If any additional ingredients are added to wine, the winery must first seek a "Formula" approval where the recipe must be disclosed, evaluated and approved.
  3. Sparkling Wine - sparkling wines has effervescence above a government approved level and are taxed at the highest rate of either $3.30/gallon for force carbonated and $3.40/gallon if naturally occurring (I guess they figure natural is worth more than forced)

    Only sparkling wines from the Champaign region in France are allowed to be called Champaign - all others must be called sparkling - except for ONE company - Korbel.

    Korbel is a winery based in California and has been marketing their sparkling wine as Champaign for over 100 years much to the dismay of the French. In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was signed and in it were limits on the use of the word Champagne. But Korbel Champagne had been in production long before, as early as 1882. For years Korbel and France battled over this and in 1996 it came to a head when Korbel was officially grandfathered allowing it to use the Champaign name officially - the French are sill upset.

2 - Quotes from Me:

1. "Find your lighthouse - it will show you the way" ~ The Zen Winemaker

2. "Planning is passive - achieving is active" ~ The Zen Winemaker

1 - Question to ponder:

Stop Making Resolutions

As a year would come to a close, I often would become reflective of the past year and would begin to look forward to the next year. I was the habitual planner and goal setter: New Years was all about resolution.
  • "I'm going to loose 15 pounds"
  • "I'm going to work out 30 minutes each day"
  • I'm going to eat better - give up the junk food and blah, blah, blah.
How did that work out? Not well. Even with the best self encouragement, excitement and stringent goal setting - I failed. In fact, I failed almost every time. For 25 years I told myself I would quit smoking as the bell dropped on New Years - crushing the pack of cigarettes in defiance only to be at the store early the next morning of bumming one that same night.

It got to the point when I even knew that my resolution had little chance to succeed even as I uttered it. Why? Because we are creatures of habit and habits are habitual. They are the things we do without even thinking about. And they are very hard to change. But as the ball falls, and the alcohol flows and cheers are raised we kid ourselves that things are different this year - sometimes they are.

I began to view myself as being on a path - a long path and I hope for a long path ahead and sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself - where am I - and where do I want to go?

I call this finding a lighthouse . A lighthouse is a fixed point off in the distance or future that you want to navigate to even though life may toss you around. There will be good days, and bad days. Days of progress and days of loss however if you know where you want to go - you will get there - it's in our nature to achieve.

My first non-resolution was my weight; I wrote my current weight on the bathroom mirror with a crayon and every day I looked at that number and asked - it this were I want to be? Every week I would erase the old number and put the current number. A funny thing happened - I lost the weight (I have to do this again LOL) . Why did this work?  Because I let my unconscious (my habits) navigate the boat. In the step by step process of walking my path - I made slightly better choices leading me towards my lighthouse - my goal.
What are a few things in your life that could act as beacons leading you to a better life?

~~ Notice ~~

Where you are and where you want to go.



Darius Miller - The Zen Winemaker

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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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