What. A. Vintage.

Wow. Where did the year go? As the writer for this blog, I can tell you our participation has not been up to par. That being said, I am back! Now we write…

Well, as a quick recap, our inaugural vintage can be described in a couple words: fortunate, near perfect. We got our fruit off the wine the morning of the big rains in Napa. Fermentation went wonderfully. Clean and smooth for native fermentations is all you can ask for. The wines, quite frankly, are fantastic at this stage in their lives. We are so excited to see how they progress over the next 12-15 months before we bottle.

If you don’t know, we called an audible at the line midway through harvest. We were offered Pinot Noir fruit for free! One catch, we had to pick it. Of course, the young-buck winemaker thinks, “Free fruit?! Hell, I can pick that!” Six hours and only 700 pounds later, the young-buck and his friends were exhausted… but sooo excited for the fruit. Again, our native fermentation went smooth. Slow but smooth. We are currently midway through our clarification and stabilization of the base wine and will hopefully (fingers crossed) have our wine bottle on New Year’s Eve to pay our respects for the festivities. This way, every NYE we can pop a bottle in celebration and determine how the wine is aging and when we want to disgorge and prep for sale. Needless to say to 300 bottles of bubbles we should get out of this side project will be well worth the wait.

Check out our Facebook page for the most recent images of our Board Meeting in Carmel!

-MSix

If the powers that be won’t let a youthful and driven generation have a seat at the table, we will build our own table; not to sit at but to stand on, allowing the world to hear our voice.

Kettle Corn + Chardonnay: Sunday Night Special!

Happy Friday all! Exciting three day weekend upon us! A great time to spend the closing days of summer with friends and family, drinking wine but it very important to be safe! Always designate a sober driver!

This week’s pairing. Simple: Kettle Corn and Chardonnay. I chose Kettle Corn over regular popcorn because Kettle Corn is lighter and if you are like me and do not love drinking Chardonnays dripping buttery tones, regular popcorn could be a bit disjointed. Plus, the little extra sweetness in Kettle Corn will actually tie in the right amount of oak, since, as we know, oak gives wines a bit of sweetness from the vanillin family of flavor compounds. A great pairing for a Sunday night movie, outside with some close friends.

As we brainstorm regarding branding and bottle design, I couldn’t help we drawn to these bottle designs this week. Enjoy!

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Again, have a fun and safe weekend! Proposal writing from us at MSix for our philanthropy event! Final steps! Stay tuned!

-MSix

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.
Albert Einstein

Later, Wine-Tasting Egos!

After a day off, we are back. September first! Where has the year gone?

I help but feel a little nostalgic about this time of year: the weather starts to turn a little nasty, the grapes start to reach full maturity, and every waking moment is wine. It is a very exciting time for a new company. So much potential. So many possibilities. The key is taking life day by day and not getting lost in what we have to do, rather live in the moment, in our triumphs, our failures, and really experience starting MSix Wines. Days like today only happen once.

Enough mushy stuff for a Thursday! Fantastic article regarding wine-tasting egos was posted yesterday. A MUST read. An excerpt:

So please, peeps, spare the world any of your wine-tasting egos. In fact, banish the damn wine-tasting ego totally, and free up some time and energy for sharing your wine experiences and helping others get more involved in loving wine – there’s more of a spiritual pay-off, it’s more fun, and will fill up your soul with more joy than waxing philosophic about your own tasting abilities ever could.

I could not have put it better myself. I tell you, it is refreshing to know that I am not the only one with this opinion.

We are in the final FINAL stages of wrapping up the layout and details for our charity event. We are just waiting for a couple forms to be filled out and finalize before we can announce our event. I have had the opportunity to share my idea with a couple close friends and have been pleasantly surprised with their overwhelming excitement.

More tomorrow! I am really excited for this week’s food and wine pairing!

-MSix

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.
Saint Augustine

Wine: A Great Vehicle Towards “The Real World”

Welcome back! We hope you had a wonderful weekend. The poll this week consists on music and wine pairings and is another overwhelming success. Vote for your chance to win a bottle of our 2011 Pinot Noir.

This post is less about wine than about your why we are here. I have mentioned before that we plan to use this space to help educate whomever wants to learn about wine. I attended a birthday celebration this past weekend in San Francisco and while I was there to have a great time with my friends, I couldn’t help to notice one thing in particular: young people LOVE wine and LOVE learning about wine. The plethora choices available have only added to young people’s ability to express themselves through whatever is in their glass but now most want to learn what they are drinking and what makes wine A different than wine B. In a time in our lives where we, the young people, are finding our transitionary state of being, between college chaos to a mature adult, we look to certain likes and hobbies to create another rung in the ladder towards our final stage of being an “ad-ult”. What better than wine?

I often say winemaking is more of a lifestyle than a job. Sure, I work. I make wine. But it is everything around wine that makes the job twice as fun. Great food, great music, fine arts, fun people; this is why my job is so fun. All things equal, wine is the best medium for a young person to transition to the adult world. The life and culture surrounding wine makes tasting and drinking wine that much more appealing. I know not everyone loves wine. Heck, I didn’t love wine until my second full year in school. I am just glad I learned to love it.

MSix Wines’ goal is to create a fun, cocktail-party-like atmosphere with our wines and events but also maintaining the integrity of the incredible attention to detail that our winemaker prides himself on. Wine and the life around it is meant to be fun not stuffy; we are here to ensure this happens.

-MSix

Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.
Michael Broadbent 

Part Two – Clefs & Vins: The Ultimate Pairing

Friday Eve! Welcome back to the conversation regarding wine and music pairings. Yesterday, we laid the groundwork to my theory regarding the validity of music’s significant influence on how a wine is perceived. Today, I get into the actual pairings themselves. I wish I could through each wine but unfortunately, my editors ask me to keep my word count down! If you have a specific wine you would like to get paired, please email us at info@msixwines.com and we will do our best to set something up for you.

Let’s start with Sauvignon Blanc. Most people characterize Sauvignon Blanc as fresh and crisp with notes of citrus and tropical fruits; its a fun and summertime wine. What better music to play with a fun, summertime wine than Jason Mraz with “I’m Yours”, the king of kickback. Any music with a fun light-hearted feel to it would pair perfectly with a Sauvignon Blanc and Jason does it better than most!

Next, Chardonnay. Depending on the style, a Chardonnay can either be opulent and mouth-watering with expressive notes of stone fruits and just the right touch of oak. Or, if it is a stainless steel fermented and aged Chardonnay, it can be much like a Sauvignon Blanc, only with higher notes for tropical fruits such as mango, papaya and pineapple. Regardless of your Chardonnay of choice, Sara Bareilles is your girl – Big, oaky Chard: “Not Alone” or steely, mineral-laced Chard: “Bottle It Up”. A little sass coupled with a passion and depth of her voice and lyrics, Chardonnay and Sara are a great match.

Onto reds! Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of the wine jungle in California, you have to team up the strength of a Cab with an artist with an amazing voice! For your big, bold “Napa Cabs”, I strongly recommend an artist like Adele with “Hometown Glory”. The strength of Adele’s voice, coupled with the power and cadence of her songs, this type of artist suits a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon from The Valley!

Finally, my two favorite wine types/styles: Champagne and Pinot Noir. For the subtle, sexy and slightly hidden flavor profile of certain Pinot Noirs from the Cote d’Or, you may want you stick to Norah Jones and “Shoot The Moon”: an artist that no matter the weather, makes you wish you were inside with your loved ones, bundled up by a fire – much like a good red burgundy! Perfect match!

Bubbles is perhaps the easiest pair out of them all. The priceless class associated with Champagne could not be paired with any other artist than Frank Sinatra. “Fly Me To The Moon” is one of the few songs I can listen to and physically yearn for a glass of Champagne, a tuxedo, a beautiful woman and a dance floor. Frank and bubbles are the perfect setting for a beautiful night!

What is your favorite pairing? We will post a poll this upcoming Sunday. Vote enter your chance to win a bottle of our 2011 Pinot Noir!

-MSix

Music is the poetry of the air.
Richter

Part One – Clefs & Vins: The Ultimate Pairing

Festivus of the week! MSix Wines is close to announcing our first ever philanthropic event. Stay tuned! As a company, it is extremely important to us to use our blessings and our platform to help those whom haven’t got the breaks in life that we have. One person, one company can change the world. But first, you must convince yourself.

There have been extensive studies regarding food and wine pairings. It seems no matter where you are in the world, every restaurant has a suggested food and wine pairing on their menus. Recently, there has been a movement towards wine and music pairings. If you think about it, this makes as much sense as food and wine pairings, if not more. Food can be attributed towards unlocking the true potential of wine, allowing the release of hidden flavor compounds that are unable to be expressed by only tasting wines. I think if you go to 100 people on the street, over 90 will say they believe in the validity of food and wine pairings. What about food and music? Maybe ten people out of 100? Well, I am one of those ten.

Why am I one of the ten people? It is pretty simple, actually. The atmosphere around tasting wines is just as important as the wine itself. I cannot tell you how many times I have been out with some great friends, having a blast tasting wines all day, and bought a bottle because I thought it tasted just like DRC, only to taste the wine two months later and regretting my purchase. I know for a fact I am not the only one who has experienced this. I mean, I am a wine professional and still, I am victimized by great-at-THAT-moment wines. Was it the people with me? The “tasting room” experience? Or was it the “having a blast tasting wines all day“? Probably a combination of all three. Nonetheless, the atmosphere plays a significant on how we perceive wines. I don’t think there is much objection to this fact.

So, back to the music. If we can all agree that the atmosphere plays a role in how we perceive wines, then we can at least venture to say music, which sets an atmosphere with its presence, also plays some role in how we interpret wines. From there, we can start to dive into wine and music pairings.

With food and wines pairings, there is the simple rule of “white [meat] with white [wine]” and “red [meat] with red [wine]”. From this simple split of wines, we can dive and say Cabernet Sauvignon with steak, Pinot Noir with duck, Chardonnay with chicken and Sauvignon Blanc with fish. Futhermore, you can get into the sauces and accoutrement to classify whether it is a fruit-forward Pinot Noir versus a earthier, more Burgundian style. As you can tell, the division and classifications are endless. With music, I fear that these divisions and classifications are even more severe and endless, as there are more, different songs in the world than different wines. Let’s stick to the basics. I won’t use a simplicity approach, as I did with “white [meat] with white [wine]” and “red [meat] with red [wine]”, but I will not dive into the different bands in different years on different albums – that could be a pretty awesome book though!

Tune into tomorrow! I will continue with what guidelines I think one should use for selecting what music to pair with what wines and finally lay out a couple selections from today’s music and wine scene.

(Yes, the “To be continued…” sign just rolled across this blog, just like your favorite “Full House” episode. Did I just date myself? Definitely.)

-MSix

In music the passions enjoy themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Where The Hell Did All Of These Bubbles Come From?

Hello, Tuesday! We recently posted a question on Facebook regarding which wine style people preferred the most. It was an overwhelming success. Not only did people vote and comment why the preferred one wine style over another, they also added their own categories to further classify their selections, creating an even deeper discussion. MSix Wines will look to post a question similar to this every Sunday evening. Make sure you vote and comment to enter to win a bottle of our inaugural Pinot Noir! Thank you to all that participated!

If you missed yesterday’s post, we will be making an extremely limited production of sparkling wine in honor of the bicentennial of 1811, a very important year in wine history. This post will dive into the world of making sparkling wine and attempt to provide the cliff notes version of how this effervescent wonder is created.

Sparkling wine (or ‘champagne’ if it is from the region of Champagne in France) is created from a normal, ordinary white wine. After the base wine has completed primary fermentation (sugar -> alcohol + CO2), the wine is bottled and a slurry of wine, yeast and sugar, known as ‘triage’, is added to the bottle; this step is what produces the bubbles we love. As time passes, the yeast will further break down the sugar into more alcohol and CO2, but since this fermentation (known as the secondary fermentation) occurs within the confined space of the bottle, the gas is not release and instead, dissolved into the wine. Sparkling wines will sit anywhere from three to ten years sur lie – French for “on lees” – before the process of riddling occurs. Riddling is the spinning of champagne bottles and inverting the bottle to shift all of the yeast remnants towards the neck of the bottle. After the riddling process is complete, the champagne is disgorged; this occurs by placing the next of the champagne bottle in a sub-zero solution, freezing the yeast bodies in a solid ice cube, making their removal very easy. The bottle is then opened and the internal pressure forces the yeasty ice cube out. The champagne bottle is topped up with more champagne and bottled for sale. Voilá! Bubbles!

A few pictures from our trip to Champagne this past summer. The three day excursion throughout Champagne and Epernay was met by perfect weather, great food and even better company!

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Subscribe! Facebook us! Follow us on Twitter! Doing all the above with increase your chances of winning a bottle our inaugural 2011 Pinot Noir (heck, maybe even a bottle of our own bottle of bubbles!).

-MSix

Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman more beautiful after drinking it.
Madame De Pompadour