My husband and I disagree on a great many things, but he is brilliant and we do agree on this: bottling a wine is like a child being born. The goal is to maximize uneventfulness. I would imagine launching a space ship might also fall into this category but my area of expertise falls drastically short of that genre.
By definition, only bad things happen during these processes. The results are often fantastic- who doesn’t love babies and spaceships and wine? But at no point during these particular days does one look up and think “man, we just made that wine a better wine than it was 20 minutes ago.”
You can bottle a wine when it is too oxidized, reduced, oaky, sulfited, bacteria or yeast-flawed, tannic, poorly blended, hazy, cold-unstable and so on. Once it is bottled, there is your amber.
Whether you believe philosophically in the validity of fining, sulfiting, cold stabilizing, yeast hull additions, sterile filtering or reverse osmosis is beside the point. You have, as a winemaker, made all of the decisions you will be making on this particular creation. The birthday has arrived. The truck is here and the tired crew is gazing at you timidly and doggedly from behind their steaming cups of black coffee.
The capsules may not fit, argon may run out, hoses may be too short, labels too long, the wine too lees-y. The list is long and tortuous.
So I am proud to say that our Flying Trout and Waters bottlings last week were uneventful and I look forward to an incredibly boring TERO bottling on September 2nd.
Have a great weekend, Ashley