I was recently asked a great question…
“At a recent wine tasting we kept hearing the phrase ‘Malo’ or
‘It’s not 100% malo’, or ‘There is no malo’. What does this
mysterious phrase mean?”
~ M.Z., Milwaukee, WI.
And I answered with this…
It is encouraging to hear that you are attending wine tastings. It
is time to ‘mellow out about malo.’ Malo is short for malolactic
fermentation, which is the conversion of the strong, harsh malic
acid (which is normally present in new wine and apples) into the
weaker lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Lactic acid is the acid of milk.
This transformation makes the wine less harsh, less tart, and more
supple. It can also add flavor and complexity to both red and white
wines and eliminates the chance of the fermentation occurring
after the wine has been bottled. This result would be a wine that
is gassy and cloudy. The process is not at all related to alcoholic
fermentation. Malo almost always happens after alcoholic
fermentation, which is why it is sometimes called a ‘secondary
fermentation’. Mastery of this fermentation process was one of
the great developments in winemaking in France and the world
in the 20th century. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally
when the temperatures become warmer in the spring. There can,
however be too much or not enough malo which means and a
control system is the key to perfecting the wines.
Chardonnay has a great affinity for malolactic fermentation,
creating soft, creamy almost buttery textures. Chenin Blanc,
Riesling and Gewurtztraminer show their true colors with the
fresh fruit acidity that makes them so great tasting. A wine that
is bottled and meant to be drunk immediately would not
need malo. Most red wines naturally go through malolactic
fermentation. It is the white wines, generally Chardonnay,
that are monitored and stylized. It all boils down to the
winemaker’s discretion and the style of wine she/he wishes
to produce. It is fun to buy several different styles and see
which ones suit your tastes and recipes. So have fun and
see what you prefer.
This looks so good…..I sat imagining the flavors and it hit me. A Sicilian Grillo! This wine was the leanness to hold up to the cheese and the saltiness (not really sodium) to compliment the tapenade….can’t wait to try it!
Makes one big sandwich
2 slices rustic bread, sliced
4 tablespoons black olive tapenade
2 slices mozzarella cheese
2 slices tomato
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Pat tomato slices dry, sprinkle with salt, and set aside while you assemble the other ingredients. Spread each slice of bread with two tablespoons of the tapenade. Top with cheese, and the sliced tomato. Butter outside of sandwich, and cook in a skillet over medium heat until cheese melts and bread is golden brown.
You can find the wine here: Sicilia Grillo, Wine of the Month Club
and the recipe here: From Away
Yesterday during tasting day (tasted about 56 wines); I had a visit from a sales manager of a large distributor. He was rather inquisitive about what was happening with our business. I felt a bit uneasy with some of the questions. Usually when a salesman is trying to understand my business, the questions are not so direct. It seems he was trying to get at whether or not I am getting enough wines to sample in the price ranges that we offer.
You see, there have been short crops in California for the 2010 and 2011 season, however the 2012 season was amply larger. What this gentleman didn’t understand was that we get wines from all over the world, and from many sources including: vineyards, brokers, suppliers, imported in tankers, cases, barrels, and tanks.
We get wines direct from the vineyards from all over the world because we have licenses to sell, import, and manufacture wine. There isn’t a method in the wine industry we don’t employ to find the best values from the best places. His reply… “Oh”.
PS. As I write this, I received an email from one of my operatives in Napa Valley who just found some great Chenin Blanc; another WOMC winner!
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This event has become so popular…the wineries and restaurants call us now! They want in on the action and plenty of action there is:
Wine tasting. Horse racing. Fine cuisine. Art show. Silent auction. And just a plain ol’ good time.
This is really fun. Living in Arcadia, California we are fortunate to have one of the great horse racing facilities in the country right in our back yard. I can’t tell a lie…I like the ponies.
So when they approached me to sponsor a wine tasting event, how could I say no…and when they added that the proceeds will benefit the youth of the San Gabriel Valley, I was sold
We are on it…We will have the opportunity to taste 105+ wines, taste the cuisine of 20 plus restaurants and enjoy a day at the race track. Included in the $60.00/per person ($40.00/under 16) fee is parking, cuisine, wine tasting, a grandstand seat, art exhibit, daily racing program and a souvenir wine tasting glass. The event starts at 12:00 pm (first post is at 12:30 pm).
I can smell this recipe just reading it…wow…and another tough pairing. Most dishes with Indian spices are hard to pair and wine just doesn’t do well with spicy foods. Traditional wisdom puts a Riesling or Gewurztraminer with this dish…I am out on a limb suggesting our Picpoul de Pinet from Felines Jourdan.
You can find the recipe here: The Amateur Gourmet
Don’t forget to check out the wine here: Wine of the Month Club
This is one of the best wine events in California. Wine, food and horse racing. Does it get any better than that? Please join us on April 13th at Santa Anita Race Track for the greatest event them all!
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ON the surface this looks pretty straight forward…then the cumin and coriander turns it toward an Indian dish (and I love cumin). I was searching my wine list to grab the variety of flavors and not compete with them. Bingo….our Babcock Cabernet from Santa Barbara. Mmmmm.
Get the recipe here: Amateur Gourmet
Get the wine here: Wine of the Month Club