Winesday with The Wine Shop – Keeping Things Cool
Tasting Kauai is happy to partner with the O’Connells for Winesday with The Wine Shop. Owners Dan and Ellen O’Connell are a delightful couple whose passion for wine is infectious, their knowledge is vast, and their service is friendly. Their beautiful store carries everything from wine and spirits to gourmet foods and sweet treats. Check in with Tasting Kauai every Wednesday to learn about their favorites. ¡Salud!
Ever wonder how that bottle of wine got on the shelf at your favorite wine and gourmet store, The Wine Shop? It’s quite a journey from vineyard to your table and everything in between.
The crush, which is the process of harvesting and starting the fermentation process of wine, has just finished for the 2013 vintage. All but the late harvest, high elevation and slow to ripen fruit is at the wineries already. The wine goes through its first process, fermentation and initial coloring. After this action, the wine is divided into barrels, stainless steel tanks or concrete vats. Each option depends on the method and flavor the winemaker is trying to achieve.
After a period of time that suits the winemaker’s direction—white wine eight months to two years and red wine one to four years—they move on to the next step of blending. The winemaker assigns specific barrels or tanks to a particular blend and can even narrow it down to which rows of grapes go into a particular barrel.
The bottling process begins at either the winery, or an off-site location designed for smaller wineries without the capacity for a bottling facility. From there the cases are stored at the winery for a period of time, from six months to one year and shipped to distributors.
The liquor laws in Hawaii are very explicit and state that retailers are not allowed to resale any alcohol that is not dispersed in Hawaii by a state of Hawaii licensed distributor. Now comes the fun part! Here’s the difference between The Wine Shop and a big package store. The Wine Shop insures that distributors deliver our wine, from all over the world, in refrigerated containers. Consumers may not think about this process, which can cook wine before it’s even placed on our shelves. A best case scenario is that the wine, which leaves the West Coast to Honolulu, takes eight days, and delivery to the outer islands, takes another seven days. That’s 15 days in a non-refrigerated container, which a lot of the big chain stores use. Although the use of refrigerated containers is more expensive, it is well worth the cost and peace of mind when you choose that special bottle of wine to share with your friends and family.
Our next wine tasting is Saturday, November 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. Featured wines include Chalone Monterey Sauvignon Blanc, Rosenblum Vintners Syrah and Zinfandel, and Velvet Crush Pinot Noir.
See you at The Wine Shop!
Dano and Ellen O’Connell
The Wine Shop is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. On the first Saturday of each month from 4 to 7 p.m., they host monthly wine tastings. For more information call 808-742-7305 or visit www.thewineshopkauai.com. The shop is located just across the street from the Koloa Post Office.