Wine Making Journal by Lydia

First I must say that I was very impressed with the entire operation at Red Hook Winery, they are doing great work over there. Our visit to Red Hook Winery helped to solidify my understanding of the winemaking process. Bob Foley made my understanding of how the entire process of making wine works deeper. He especially bought home two aspects for me. The first is the fact that there are three things produced during the wine making process (CO2, heat, and alcohol.) Before the tour I just couldn’t remember all of those three things, now I have them in my head. The other thing that Bob helped me to understand is that fermentation through the yeasts found on the grapes could be done but it is risky and you don’t know what you may end up with. Before the tour I honestly felt that most wineries chose not to use the natural yeasts because it’s easier to use what they choose and not have to guess at what kind of wine they will end up with. I feel to some extent that that is the case, however I now realize that it is also about the fact that they could run the risk of the fermentation process stopping all together, and I would surmise for most wineries that is not a risk they are willing to take.

Bob also broke down the entire process of wine making for us and again I will say that for me it was a huge help, because his explanation of the process in the winery provided me with visual stimulus. So moving forward I have a more in depth memory and therefore better understanding of how the wine making process works. For example, I now have the picture of the huge de-stemmer and grape crushing machine that they have in my mind for when I think of the process that red grape varieties go through.
The tastings that we did on some of the wines at Red Hook Winery was enjoyable for me. The blends that they made we interesting. I did not like the white blend that they made, the “Buttercup Curee”, I found it to be very acidic and the taste lingered on my tongue, for me not in a good way. However I did like the Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend (unusual for me as I tend not to like reds), I found it to be low in tannin (the tannin is what I don’t like about most reds), dry, a bit of oak, with a smooth finish.

The entire visit to Red Hook Winery was enjoyable for me. From the look/decor, to the smells, to the wine tasting, overall I found the whole experience enjoyable and in turn a great learning experience. I hope that this program is continued for future students, it is a wonderful opportunity for students to see first hand what really goes on at a winery, I know it was for me.

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Wine Blending Group 5

Me, Lavon, and Rick were fortunate enough to be on the same team for this amazing experience at Red Hook Winery. As a team, we decided to create a wine that is dry, fruity, structure, and aging potential. We were given two flasks with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. We agreed that we liked the Merlot more than Cabernet, so our first blend was 70 Merlot and 30 Cabernet. We thought our first try was incredible, it smelled like rose and plum, tannic, and we were shocked. We played around, made a couple other blends. At last, we thought that our first blend was the blend we liked the most. So, we sticked with it and called it the “Eastern Bluebird” because this bird represents New York. Unfortunately, we didn’t guess our wine right and our wine was not the best, but that was because the blend tasted different from our blend. The owner Mark Snyder was kind enough to make another blend and explained to us why the blend did not taste the same. After we tasted the new blend, we also agreed that Professor Goodlad’s group’s blend tasted better on the palate. In the end, we think that it was a really great experience and opportunity. Thanks to the Julia Child Foundation, all the professors that participated, and Red Hook Winery.

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Team #3 Reflect on Blending Session Process

As a team we agreed that we wanted a smooth, easy finish white wine with a floral scent and fruit taste.  We first started off with 2 types of fermented chardonnay wines; oak fermented and stainless steal.  We did not like the stainless steal fermented chardonnay as much so we asked to switch for a different wine.  We all came up with the buttercups cuvee that we all enjoyed on our tasting visit to the winery.  So we asked for a cup of the buttercups cuvee.  We took turns creating a blend for the wine that we wanted.  Richard randomly created one that we really like so we kept that in our heads to go back to it later if we could not find a better blend.  We kept trying many blends but we were not satisfied.  We remade a couple of the blends from before to see if we missed out on any details of the blend.  Finally after trying 7 different blends we went back to the one Richard had made from the first time he blended.  We kept trying it again and again to see if we really liked it.  We saw that most of the other teams have chosen their blend and we really liked the smooth taste from the mix we used.  Some difficulties we faced was trying to have more of a smooth taste and not a long finish where it lingers in our mouth.  Most of or blends were too dry and we did not like it.  We took longer than most of the groups, I think we were the last to choose a blend but we were really satisfied with it.  Our final blend’s ratio is 50% Oak fermented Chardonnay, 35% Buttercups Cuvee, and 15% Riesling.  We we’re very satisfied with the smooth taste of the wine we blended.

Our team members are Mary, Irma and Richard (Team #3)

We were able to identify our blend when we did the tasting for all wines.  Our team was chosen by everyone else as the winning blend of wine.  We were very excited that everyone enjoyed our blended wine.  We named our wine “Butter My Toast” because the buttercups cuvee was what made our wine come out perfect.

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Shelf Talker Group 3; Mary, Irma, Richard

The name of our wine is “Butter My Toast

It is a smooth and fruity blend of white wines.  50% Barrel fermented Chardonnay, 35% Buttercups Cuvee, and 15% Riesling.

The wine starts off with a floral scent, a hint of vanilla and a hint of oak.  The wine is dry because of the Riesling but the buttercup cuvee balances it out and gives it a smooth buttery taste. It has a hint of oak taste because of the Chardonnay.  It pairs well with pasta and a light cream sauce, poultry, maybe seafood with butter sauces.

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Team #6 Shelf Talker (Red Blend)

Our “bordeaux blend”style  will expand your palate with these exquisite flavors and textures of the these three wines (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot) . It is filled with black cherry, blue berries and a hint of tannis to the palate. This blend will go great with Lamb, Pork and Steak.

Components :

Cabernet Sauvignon: 35%

Cabernet Franc : 40%

Merlot: 25%


Team #6

Jennifer , Gloria & Moemu

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Hook Tech Red

Thanks for voting for this wine to be served in the Janet Lefler Dining Room

Created by the students in the fall 2014 Wines of the World Class

Nose: Plum, Vanilla, Blackberry with Hints of Oak

Palate: Blueberries and Blackberries with notes of Black Pepper with a Long Slightly Bitter Finish and Balanced Tannins

Food Pairing: Skirt Steak Chimichuri and Veal Stew with Spatzle

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Wine Blending! (Team #6)

Team #6 : Moemu Seo, Gloria & Jennifer

Blending wine was all of our first time doing it . It was such a wonderful experience , we were able to play around with the different wines and change the percentages of each wine to create a different flavor and texture to the pallet.  As a team we went through 3 different batches until we finally were able to create the blend that we loved! Our blend consisted of Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot & Cabernet Franc. We had so much fun creating our blend and it was also a time to combine all of our ideas and knowledge of wines to create our blend. Even Though our wine was not the winner , we believe our wine is a perfect treat to have while eating lamb, pork or steak with. It was high in acidity but it also balanced out with the tannins that lingered at the end. It was filled with black cherry and blue berry flavors with a hint of black pepper.  We would love to go back to Red Hook Winery and try to create another blend! We would definitely love to do this again! Once again a big thank you to the Julia Child Foundation for letting us have this wonderful experience!

-Jennifer Medina

“I truly enjoyed our two day visit to the Red Hook Winery it was a great experience to have had the chance to blend 3 different wines. The experience helped us understand the depth & importance of blending & also allowed us to be creative.” – Gloria

“This experience has helped animate and bring context to my experience with wines on what I have been spending the last year reading, writing, and studying about. I now understand that blending has a purpose; it not only helps to bring forth complexity that you won’t necessarily achieve with a single varietal, but the process itself is there to help understand each grape variety as its own individual and to learn how to work with it. It it not a matter of manipulating the characteristics of the grapes but rather learning how to marry them into one harmonious wine. Though our team did not win the challenge, we certainly took home with us plenty of new knowledge and for that we would like to thank everyone at Red Hook Winery and the Julia Child Foundation for making this happen.”

– Moemu Seo

red hook winery 3

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Shelftalker: Group 2, Annie, Marjorie, Minjung

Mid- Harvest Blend
Green apples, peaches, short finish
Pairs well with fish not too fatty – Steamed Tilapia with a light butter sauce

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Wine making team extrodinaire!

red hook 102014

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Shelf Talker: Group 1 Lydia, Deneisha, Erica

Citytech Blanco

Semi-Dry White

This is a crisp, medium bodied, smooth finishing wine.

It would pair well with something like a Seafood Linguini, or Grilled Pork, or even a Caesar Salad.


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