Category Archives: Applications & Techniques

Honor Your Wine by Decanting

decanters blog

Whether enjoying a cellared vintage, special occasion bottle, or everyday table wine, the one unifying trait is how beneficial decanting is. Aside from the obvious benefit of introducing oxygen and allowing a wine to reveal the layers beyond the first blush, there are other uses as well. The impressive style of presenting a decanted wine to your guests, no matter how casual the gathering, gives your wine a special place on the table – especially for the holiday season! It shows that you care enough to pay attention to the small details. When serving older vintages, you are able to reduce the amount of sediment that would otherwise end up in a glass. When serving younger vintages, a sneak peek is allowed, showing how a wine might evolve with time in the cellar.

When decanting, always take the time to decant older wines with a gentle hand, and don’t be afraid to use a little vigor with younger vintages. Certain whites benefit from decanting as well; youthful higher end Burgundy and Chablis, and the sweet wines of Sauternes almost always do well with a little air.

When wine is decanted, guests are more likely to finish the bottle rather than pour it back into the original container. So go ahead – pick up that extra bottle and enjoy!

A Sommelier’s Best Friend: The Double-Hinged Corkscrew

In the midst of all the wine tools and accessories on the market, the most basic and perhaps most important is the corkscrew. Big, small, short, and tall, there is a corkscrew in every size, shape, and color. Each corkscrew has its benefits and drawbacks that can either help or hinder the user. For example, while the leverage and stability of the Countertop Corkscrew makes opening wine very easy, it’s not the most practical for someone who is opening wine on the go, like a waiter.

For ease, mobility, and price, the traditional waiter’s style corkscrew, often called a “wine key,” is still one of the most popular styles. However, not all waiter’s corkscrews are created equal. Picking the best corkscrew, like picking a “best” wine, is up to personal choice. However, for those that are not aware, we would like to explain the benefits of the double hinged waiter’s corkscrew.

With most waiter’s corkscrews, there are two steps. First, the worm is twisted into the cork. Second, the lever is used to ease the cork out of the bottle. The double hinged corkscrew features a second hinge that makes this process much easier. For those who have difficulty with waiter’s style corkscrews, the double hinge could be your answer.

Typically, with a single hinged corkscrew, the user needs to make sure the worm is far enough into the cork that they have enough leverage to ease the cork all the way out. However, if you over twist the corkscrew, you will be unable to place the hinge on the lip of the bottle.

This is where the double hinge corkscrew becomes superior to the single hinge. Notice the middle hinge on the image below. To use the second hinge, insert the worm into the bottle like a normal waiter’s corkscrew. Instead of having to remove the cork in one motion, rest the middle hinge on the lip of the bottle. Use this hinge to ease the cork partially out of the bottle. After the cork is 1/3 to 1/2 of the way out, use the hinge at the end to EASILY remove the cork from the bottle.

744 Action Double Hinge Corkscrew by True Fabrications

While insignificant sounding at first, the two piece hinge makes opening wine twice as easy. To visualize the difference, consider going up a flight of stairs one step at a time. It’s controlled, easy, and you could probably do it with your eyes closed. Now consider trying to jump up five steps at a time. Which one of these routes to the top sounds easier and less likely to end with injury?  The same is true for opening wine—the double hinged corkscrew allows for a nice, 2-part removal that is akin to climbing one step at a time whereas the single corkscrew is the equivalent to taking the leap. If you have trouble with waiter’s style corkscrews, give the double hinge a try!

How to Store Wine: A Refresher on Proper Storage

Proper storage is essential for getting the most out of your wine. Whether you have a cellar in your basement, or just a few bottles in the pantry, taking good care of your wine will allow you to get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of each bottle.

There are a few basics to remember when storing wine long term. First, make sure your wine is kept in a dark area. Too much exposure to light can be damaging to wine. This same effect is true for beer. Next, make sure the selected dark space is cool and climate regulated. Wine stored in an area that is too warm can be problematic. True Fabrications recommends avoiding kitchens, laundry rooms, or any other space that can be heated up by appliance usage.  While dark and cool is good for wine, make sure the storage space does not get too humid. Humidity can cause mold to grow, ruining the flavor of the wine. If you own an extensive cellar, consider a device that controls the humidity in the room. This will help to fight off mold growth.

StorVino Wine Storage by True Fabrications

Next, make sure your bottles with real corks are stored on their sides. Wines that are stored upright for long periods can be affected by dry corks. If a cork dries up, it can let too much oxygen into the bottle, ultimately causing the wine to go bad. Once you’ve found the ideal space, consider a way to store your wine. Try the Storvino Modular & Transportable Storage System to let your wine rest. These six-bottle, U.S.-made crates snap together and can either be stacked up to create a large rack, or taken apart to be used as six-bottle crates for easy transportation.

Once you’ve found a good place to store your wine, consider how you want to organize it. Make sure to keep notes as to what wine is being stored in your cellar. Keeping notes will allow you to enjoy each wine’s peak drinking window. Consider cellar tags for easy viewing and a program like Cellar Tracker to keep tabs of your wine. Cellar Tracker allows you to keep track of your collection, while giving you each wine’s optimum drinking window.

Whether your collection has 10 bottles or 10,000 bottles, storing your wine correctly is the best way to enjoy each bottle to its fullest.

To Aerate or Not: How Oxygen Can be Detrimental to Wine

Oxygen and wine have a tumultuous relationship. For some wines, the right amount of oxygen can make their best characteristics shine through. However, for other more delicate wines, oxygen can be the quickest way to turn your wine into vinegar. Knowing how and when to mix oxygen and wine can increase your enjoyment of wine overall.

Traditional Decanter by True Fabrications

Wines that require exposure to oxygen are often termed “big reds” that need time to mix with oxygen in order to reach their full potential. By exposing wine to oxygen, you allow the flavors and aromas to open up and expand. Traditionally, this would have been done in a decanter with a broad base. The more surface area exposed to oxygen the better. However, decanters can require multiple hours to work their magic. This can be great for the first bottle you serve your guests. However, without foresight and multiple decanters, it probably won’t work for your second, third, or fourth bottle and so on.

Vinturi White Wine Aerator by True Fabrications

To decrease the time that wine takes to open up, True Fabrications offers a line of very successful aerators. These aerators are designed to rapidly infuse your wine with oxygen. Aerators can do the work of the decanter as the wine is poured. The speed and ease of aeration using our aerator line has made them one of our most successful lines over the past few years. However, some wine drinkers still maintain that decanting is still the best way to introduce your wine to oxygen. Whether you prefer decanting, or the ease of aerators, both parties can agree, that allowing your wine to mix with oxygen will ultimately improve your wine drinking experience.

Oxidization of wine is a unpreventable, natural process. By learning how to control the relationship between wine and oxygen, you can learn to improve and better enjoy each wine that you drink. Check out our line of decanters and aerators for all your wine needs.

How to Preserve Your Cooking Wine

Before we dive into this discussion, we must first make a distinction between American cooking wine, and wine used for cooking. Cooking wine in the U.S. often has salt added to the wine to help extend the shelf life. However, this same salt will also add extra salt to your meal. To cook with regular wine, people often choose a bottle that is past its prime. This wine can act as a sort of vinegar to cook with. If you’ve ever made it through half a bottle of wine and then returned a few days later to find your bottle of red smelling more like vinegar than cherry with tobacco notes, this would be the perfect time to use your wine for cooking.

Wine’s varying complexity in flavor profile and sugar levels work well with a variety of dishes and recipes. To preserve your vino for cooking, the next step is trying to figure out the perfect way to keep flies out, and safely store your wine to prevent spills until you’re ready to cook. Heat tends to be the number one enemy of open wine because it speeds up the oxidization process. Keeping the wine cool in the fridge will help slow this process and extend the life of your bottle. For longer storage, a wine stopper or pump is the best option.

Multi-Colored Silicone Corks by True Fabrications

True Fabrication’s 705 silicone stopper is the perfect product to help you out. This tapered stopper becomes gradually wider, allowing it to create an air-tight closure in any sized bottle. This stopper also allows you to lay the bottle down on its side for easy storage in the fridge. The 705 silicone stopper combined with refrigeration is a sure fire way to keep your wine until you’re ready to cook.

Journey from Grape to Glass: Guide to How Wine is Made

As food and drink is made more convenient, we often get further and further away from knowing where our food comes from and how it is made. In a world where salads come ready in bags, meat is deboned and ready to cook, and bread is bagged, pre-sliced and ready to serve, the origins of our food and the processes used to make it can become a mystery to the average consumer. True Fabrications is a company that focuses on wine tools, gift bags and entertaining items so we thought we would go over a little “Wine Making 101” with our fans!

Most wine drinkers know that their wine comes from grapes grown in vineyards. But, what happens to take grapes from the vine to your glass? Knowing the steps that go into making wine is important. The differing processes that go into wine production are often what give a wine its distinguishing characteristics. This will help you identify wine traits that you like. After that, you can use this knowledge to make educated buying decisions for your future wine purchases.

First, as grapes grow in the vineyard, the winemaker keeps close watch on his/her grapes by testing the flavor texture and sugar levels. Once it has been decided that the grapes are ready, they are harvested as quickly as possible. The weather and harvest date ultimately affect the quality and characteristics of the wine. This can often explain variations from vintage to vintage. Grapes are then carted away to either an onsite or off site location where they are crushed. This is where the process changes for white and red wine. The skins and seeds stay with the wine when red wine is made. The skins and seeds are removed for the production of white wine.

Wine Grapes | True Fabrications

Next, the recently crushed grapes are transferred to fermenting tanks (often made of stainless steel). After yeast is added, fermentation begins giving off alcohol as a bi-product. The next step after fermentation is often the transfer back into oak barrels. The amount of time spent in the barrels is up to the winemaker. The time in the barrels, combined with the age of the barrels, will contribute to the distinct characteristics of the wine. Knowing whether or not you enjoy oak flavor in your wine can help guide you towards wine with less, more, or no oak at all. While not all wines are put in oak, the time wine stored and the way it is stored, ultimately affects what arrives in your glass.

Wine Cellar | True Fabrications

Knowing how wine is made is important because it will help you find more wines to enjoy without having to try your way through styles and varieties that you are less fond of. Salud!

Image: xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Decanters and Aeration

Dear Retailers,

2010 continues to show strong sales of all wine accessories related to aeration, decanting, and breathing.  Wine retailers continue to indicate that their customers are interested in learning more about when to aerate, when not to, and what what the differences are between between products.

As you are probably well aware of now, the Red Wine Vinturi Wine Aerator continues to show strong sales even after a very strong 2009.  The White Wine Vinturi Aerator, although not as popular, has great growth potential but requires more hand selling as consumers aren’t aware that white wine can be aerated.   Show and educate your customers that certain white wines can benefit from it.

Similarly, Decanters have shown tremendous growth in sales as they both aerate, separate sediment, and provide a better aesthetic to serving wine.   There is no substitution to the beauty of being served wine in a decanter (or from my perspective the fun of actually pouring wine into a decanter).   The variety of shapes and sizes of decanters screams at the notion that art and function mix well .  One suggestion we always have had is to serve wine during your tastings in decanters to allow customers the opportunity to see the aesthetic they provide.  This is an essential product as consumers prepare for more house guests and parities during the fall and winter months.

One added note is that as decanter sales continue to grow, so to do the decanter accessories such as decanter funnels, cleaning brushes, and cleaning beads.

Cheers,

True Fabrications

More Interesting Ways to Review Wine

As merchants, it’s important for us all to remember that not only are people changing the way they purchase products (i.e. online), but they’re also changing what they’re buying. Consumers have a lot of information and a lot of choices — the easier and more memorable you can make the process of choosing wine, the better. Figure out new and interesting ways to showcase different wines other than the just tags on the bottle showing the points and the score. Your store should be a whole different way of helping the consumer than what they can find online (notes, reviews, etc.) Make it fun and personable…what favorite novel does this wine remind you of? What quote reminds you of this wine? As a physical merchant, remember your competitive advantage is seeing, knowing, and engaging with the customer.
All this makes the consumer a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more engaged and little less overwhelmed with the choices…and much more likely to purchase your products.