What is Veraison?

Grapes don’t give a fig if we make wine from them. Like every other species they are only concerned about spreading their DNA hither and yon. Man comes along many millenia after Nature has solved the problem and names the turning of baby green to ripe red – veraison.

The use of color to signify ripeness is manifold in the animal and plant kingdoms. For grapes, the point at which little green berries start to turn into the gorgeous red grapes thatsan veraison lead to gorgeous red wines is, in many ways, the turning point of the season.

In six weeks or so, we will harvest. In between today and then, grapes have already developed the number of cells they will have and those cells will now expand. Skins will start to soften, sugar content will increase, various acids will decrease, and a couple of weeks after the birds have gotten their fill, we will pick for the wines that will sit upon your table three years hence.

Thus the season proceeds, and thus the magic and beauty and hope that is the greatest part of this crazy business.

Everything Tastes Better at the Beach

I was able to sneak away from the winery yesterday and head down with June to Capitola, one of our favorite places.

Home to Pizza My Heart’s original location along the beach and this day, playing host to what seemed like a million kids at Life Guard Camp, Capitola shone (even in the intermittent sun).

The town itself is tiny and when you look at from the end of the pier it resembles – in its multi-colored buildings rising up away from the water – like a kid’s exuberant and capitola imagetemporary block sculpture. There are nice shops and decent beach food and the weather always seems ideal, sun or not. Capitola is the same as a lot of beach towns in California in all these regards, but there is just something about how it has all come together that makes every experience a little more heightened. A little more perfect.

This is the way the wine experience at a winery ought to be. You are as close to the source as you can be. As close to the grapes hanging pendulously in the vineyard, as close to the crush pad where that fruit is started on its way to vinous glory, as close to the hospitality and the stories that make that one winery different than any other. That’s the way it should be.

And just as a slice on the beach will never taste better, that glass of wine (in that setting with the winery’s folks’ careful attention to helping create your extraordinary experience), will be this close to perfection.

Can Fibonacci Sequence Un-Muddy Wine’s Cloudy Ratings Picture?

Because it’s hard not to compare things, especially (for me) barrels of wine that will ultimately fit into one of a few different categories, I developed a full-proof, easily understood rating system composed of Negative ( – ), Neutral ( O ), and Positive ( + ).

Now, of course, there have to be gradations of each of these three primary categories, right? We’re comparing a lot of wines to each other…there have to be finer shadings so as to capture the whole panoply of my tasting experience. Voila! There’s ++, +-, ++-, O++, +-+, etc. Totally transparent, yes?

Well, over the 4th of July weekend I was mercilessly skewered for my innocent little system. My wife, June, going so far as to call it ridiculous and stupid. Consequently, I’ve re-thought this whole ratings thing and decided on a much simpler system…

fib imageFrom now on each wine will be given a rating based on the Italian mathematician, Fibonacci’s sequence. Found all over nature, the Golden Ratio (based on Fibonacci’s sequence in decimal form) was used by illustrious artists like Da Vinci to define perfection. So my new system has that going for it…the third-party endorsement of one of the greatest artists of all time. It also has size.

The longer the string of numbers…what I call the F-Seq, (ef-seck), the better the wine. So, I had a Zin yesterday…1,1,2. The Chardonnay – 1,1,2,3,5. And, the Cabernet? Brilliant – an F-Seq of 1,1,2,3,5,8,13!

We’re a comparing species; there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Grab some wine, give each one an F-Seq. Grab some apples, forks, carburetors…give them F-Seqs too!!

That’s the beauty of the Steven Mirassou F-Seq System™. The System fits everything, and everything fits the System!

The next time you want to differentiate two of anything, use The F-Seq. My gift to you, free of charge.