Guts & Glory

Opening thought: MSix Wine Group will open up ‘futures’ purchases within 12 months. It is crazy to think we will finally have wine in bottle and ready to sell so soon. We are going to purchase Chardonnay grapes this year, to add to our Pinot Noir and Sparkling wine. Fall 2013 will be the time frame for the release of the 2011 Pinot Noir and 2012 Chardonnay. Our Sparkling wine will age for upwards of five years so the release date of the 2011 Brut Sparkling wine will be Fall 2017. More information regarding the release of our 2011 Pinot Noir and 2012 Chardonnay will follow soon.

Champagne & Fried Chicken is coming into its final month leading up to the big night on May 14th. With over $4,500 worth of food, wine and travel experiences donated for our silent auction to date, we definitely have a shot to surpass our goal of raising $10,000 for Wine to Water. We will open up to silent auction online for those who would like to help the event by bidding on our 3L bottles of wine or weekend stays in Napa Valley. There will surely be more information given regarding the silent auction as we move forward. Bidding is tentatively set to open April 30th.

Back in the day, we used to write much more regarding happenings in the wine industry, in an effort to help educate those who want to learn more about wine and the wine industry; we got away from that. Today, we move back towards that philosophy. Starting with: sparkling wine.

As most of you know, MSix Wine Group is producing a sparkling wine from Pinot Noir grapes harvest back in October 2011. We bottled the sparkling wine March 9th, commencing the onset of secondary fermentation in bottle; this fermentation takes about six weeks to finish. Ok, if the fermentation is done in six weeks, only one question remains: why wait five years for a release? The answer lies in the yeast. After the yeast are done converting the sugar in the base wine into ethanol and carbon dioxide, they die. Yes, dead things in your wine. But… you should thank them for their ultimate sacrifice; it is what gives sparkling wine its character.

Do the yeast produce the bubbles in sparkling wine during secondary fermentation in bottle? Yes (given, it is Method Champenoise). But, it can be argued their greatest influence on the wine is in the afterlife. When yeast die, they go through a process called autolysis. Autolysis is essential the splitting of yeast cells, which in turns spills their guts everywhere. Yum! Yeast guts! Their guts (proteins and such) give aged Champagnes and sparkling wines their rich, creamy characters. Most vintage Champagnes (Champagnes of which the grapes in the bottle are solely from one single year) are aged at least three years, with the higher quality bubbles ranging from five to ten years. It is these guts and this time that produces the amazing Champagnes that are so coveted around the world.

So, next time to pop open a bottle of your favorite yellow labeled bubbly, thank the yeast who gave their little lives so you could drink that flute in peace and harmony (well, the peace and harmony wasn’t really their doing but good bubbles can bring peace and harmony to any situation).


My only problem with sabrage is all the bubbles lost. I mean, I’m down with big swords and bottles of bubbles; don’t get me wrong.


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