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Dave Potter
December 19, 2008 | Dave Potter

Super-Holiday Sampler-Spectacular

Holiday Promo Do you love somebody?  Send them a Super-Holiday Sampler-Spectacular pack of our 2007 wines and save 20%.  Only $40!
Time Posted: Dec 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM
Dave Potter
December 16, 2008 | Dave Potter

What's up with screwcaps?

One of the questions that I am asked most often is why don't you use a cork?  My answer is always, because corks are not as good for wine.   It is really tempting to choose a seal based on aesthetic appeal and familiarity.  Corks are nice.  The seal has a direct impact on minor little things like quality, stability, longevity, etc.  The truth is that the choice of closure can play as much of a role in determining wine quality as winemaking techniques and viticultural practices since a cork-affected wine makes all of your hard work pointless. There are four main conditions which must be satisfied to create a successful wine closure.  It must:
  • offer a reliable seal
  • present an inert substance to the wine
  • be easily removable
  • be available at a low cost
Against these criteria, the screwcap has proven to be the most dependable closure currently available.  Here are 20 reasons for choosing a screwcap thanks to Tyson Stelzer from his book Taming the Screw: a manual for winemaking with screw caps.
  1. Screwcaps remove the risk of cork taint which spoils an average of somewhere between 5% and 15% of cork-sealed wines - that's like one bottle in every case.  Cork taint or TCA is created when the bark from the cork oak comes in contact with chlorine.  The effect on the wine is gross - moldy, wet cardboard, or wet dog characters.  It suppresses the fruit and shortens the length of the finish of the wine.  When it it is really subtle, TCA has a slight dulling effect on the nose and palate.  Low levels (as low as 1 part per trillion) oppress fruit characters by 45%, and at the other extreme, high levels make a wine nastily unapproachable.  It is the frustration with cork taint that has been the primary motivation for the uptake of alternative closures across the wine world in recent years.
  2. Screw caps remove the threat of sporadic oxidation.  The cork can be an awesome wine closure when it works exactly like it's supposed to.  However, corks are natural and natural variation in corks dictates that inconsistencies exist, such that only a small percentage of corks actually achieve this ideal.  After cork taint, the most significant problem with corks is that of sporadic oxidation, aka 'random oxidation'.  It involves arbitrary bottles which develop more rapidly as a result of ingress of oxygen through or around the cork.  The result is premature browning (in both white and red wines), maderized characters, loss of primary fruit, a general flattening of flavors, a shortening of the length of finish and, at its most extreme, a vinegar or bitter taste.  Driven closures such as corks and synthetics rely on the elasticity of the closure to provide the seal between the closure and the glass.  This seal can be corrupted by imperfections in the closure or bottle.  While good natural corks can produce a good oxygen barrier, their inherent variation means that many corks do not provide a good seal.  Natural corks contain large holes, which are often adjoining, cracks, and insect holes which can allow oxygen to pass through or around the cork.
  3. Screwcaps avoid flavor modification.  
Time Posted: Dec 16, 2008 at 2:45 PM
Dave Potter
December 15, 2008 | Dave Potter

Enjoy Bright Red with the Governator

sacramento_large Medicate yourself before your Sacramento flight with a glass of Bright Red - now pouring by the glass at Vino Volo wine bar in the Sac airport. Who knows, Arnie might join you!
Time Posted: Dec 15, 2008 at 2:45 PM
Dave Potter
November 27, 2008 | Dave Potter

Celebrate Repeal Day

Repeal Day is December 5th.  It is the anniversary of the end of Prohibition -- the period from 1920 to 1933, during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption were banned nationally as mandated in the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. Celebrate the 21st Amendment and end of Prohibition by signing up for Club Awesome!  The first shipment will arrive on your doorstep on Repeal Day.  Yay.
Time Posted: Nov 27, 2008 at 2:44 PM
Dave Potter
November 22, 2008 | Dave Potter


I know it is a little off topic, but seriously, this is funny.  The syncopation and perfect timing are crazy.  I think I have seen it 20 times.
Time Posted: Nov 22, 2008 at 2:35 PM
Dave Potter
November 14, 2008 | Dave Potter

Luxurious Lifestyles

Bright White made an appearance on Luxaholics - a new website and franchise of the news-magazine show, Extra, which focuses on delivering the luxury lifestyle at bargain prices.   According to the article, Bright White is better value than a 1971 Langwerth von Simmern Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese (Rheingau, Germany) -- $1,400. Nice.
Time Posted: Nov 14, 2008 at 2:35 PM
Dave Potter
November 14, 2008 | Dave Potter

Young Winos Review Bright Red

Not too long ago, I visited with the Young Winos of LA and brought down some barrel samples of my wines for a tasting.  They had some nice things to say then, so I decieded to send some sample bottles of the finished product down.  They did another nice little write-up, which can be found here. A sample:
..."The “Bright Red” defied its moniker by bearing a dark pigmentation in the glass — “almost opaque,” said Andrew. The nose beckoned us in with some early hints of smoke and charcoal. Jessica got raspberry, and plum notes were observed by several present. I picked up some vague baking spice scents; Myla claimed it was Allspice, and I thought it best not to argue. “Squid ink” became the next point of general consensus, and Jessica followed that up with “brown sugar ham.” Digging a little deeper, I picked up some serious oregano notes, which prompted surprised agreement from several present. Finally, I picked up some blueberry action, but Jessica thought it skewed closer towards “blueberry syrup.” (Again, I chose to bide my time and not make a scene.)..."
Thanks again winos for the review!
Time Posted: Nov 14, 2008 at 2:33 PM
Dave Potter
November 12, 2008 | Dave Potter

Great Press!!

Very stoked to announce that we were reviewed by Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.  This is one of the premier wine publications in the US and a HUGE DEAL!


By: Josh Raynolds Nov/Dec 08 2007 Municipal Winemakers Riesling Bright White Santa Barbara County ($15) Pale straw.  Lemon, lime and talc on the nose, with a faint hint of kerosene adding interest.  Light, refreshingly bitter citrus pith and apple skin flavors nicely focused, with brisk minerals adding bite.  A clean, focused riesling that finishes with plumper melon and peach character. 88 2007 Municipal Winemakers Grenache / Cinsaut / Syrah Bright Red Santa Barbara County ($20; a 33/34/33 blend) Bright ruby-red.  Seductively perfumed nose offers fresh scents of blackberry, cherry preserves, flowers and Christmas spices.  Light-bodied and very fresh, with energetic red and dark berry flavors and gentle cinnamon and clove qualities.  Finishes sweet and brisk, with very good peppery persistence. 89
Time Posted: Nov 12, 2008 at 2:32 PM
Dave Potter
November 8, 2008 | Dave Potter

Bright Red is now available

We don't discriminate.  Anyone can purchase.  Even you - that scruffy guy with a T-shirt and old vans on.  Order Now  No lines.  No cover!   You have waited long enough, I say!  I will now let all you thirsty folks try the delicious 2007 Bright Red - a blend of grapes that I fell in love with while working in France's Southern Rhone Valley.  Bright Red is a vibrant, relaxed, food friendly and refreshing red wine that is all about balance, finesse, and elegance.
Time Posted: Nov 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM