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.

" When the hard is done first, the rest is easy."
~ The Zen Winemaker ~

3 terms, 2 quotes, 1 question

February 11, 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 - Blending Rules

Each wine has strengths and sometimes a few deficits. Through the process of blending a winemaker can alter the final product to increase appeal and today we talk a little about the reasons and laws revolving around wine blending.

Some wine has a great nose, or great finish, but may be lacking something else - though the addition of other wines the overall experience can be improved. The exact methodology is part science and mostly art. However, with any art, some will like it and others may not, but that is what makes this world so interesting.
  1. 75% Blend Rule - according to US federal law, if a wine has at least 75% of one varietal - it can be labeled as that varietal. For example, our 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon contains 5% 2018 Merlot - since this is less than a 25% addition, I can legally label it as Cabernet Sauvignon. Otherwise it must be labeled as red wine, white wine, or wine.
  2. 85% Vintage Rule - another federal law is that at least 85% of the wine was derived from grapes harvested in the stated calendar year.For example, our 2018 BB5 is a blend if 3 barrels of 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 barrels of 2018 Merlot, 1 barrel of 2018 Malbec, and 1/2 barrel of 2019 Petite Verdot. Since the 2019 Petite Verdot is only 7.6% non-vintage I can still label the wine as 2018. Otherwise is would have to be labeled without a date specified.
  3. 85% Location Rule - the federal government has broken the country down into a set of nested AVA (American Viticulture Areas). The largest AVA is the entire US, then nested are state designations, then nested sub-regions.  For example, our 2018 Malbec comes from Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA, which is nested inside the Santa Barbara AVA, inside of the Central Coast AVA, inside of the CA AVA, inside of the US AVA.

    If a wine contains at least 85% of grapes from a region it can bear that regions name, otherwise it must be labeled with the AVA which contains both sub-regions. For example, if someone made a blend of Sonoma fruit and Paso Robles fruit, it must be labeled as CA since this AVA contains both regions.
Geek Tip: When a wine says "Produced and Bottled By:" it specifies that that winery made the wine and bottled it. If it says things like, "Cellared and Bottled By", or "Aged and Bottled By", the winery purchased wine from another source, bottled it and put their own label on it.

2 - Quotes from Me:

1. "Work hard at learning how to work less" ~ The Zen Winemaker

2. "Busy and Productive are often incompatable" ~ The Zen Winemaker

1 - Question to ponder:

Action Faking

There are tasks we like to do, and those we do not. Most people jump on the favorable tasks and avoid the rest.
One of the best ways to avoid doing something is through a process of Action Faking.

Action Faking is when you do everything BUT the task at hand. For example, instead of writing the bills, you clean off your desk, or sort your paper clips. While having organized paper clips and a clean desk are nice, they don't accomplish the task of getting the bills paid.

Some people have made Action Faking so efficient that they a busy little bees that get nothing important done and complain there is always too much to do.


Everyone Action Fakes to some degree. What are your go to Action Faking tactics? Send me an email and let me know.

Zen Giggles:

On March 10th, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell makes the first phone call ever...
and moments later he was notified that his car warranty had expired.

~~ Notice ~~

The trees as the spring leave are budding


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.


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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