European Winemaking Techniques and How They May Benefit You 
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From the April 2015 Newsletter. Looking at how a seemingly small amount of wine consumed can cause a headache, not a hangover, and how sweeter wines using arrested fermentation instead of back adding sugar results in wine with little to no glucose and a lot fewer calories:

But back to the Max’s Small Batch Red #42 and the Turtle Run Winery philosophy on wine making. Too many folks wake up today with headaches from drinking too much wine the day before, or so they think. Perhaps, they think that maybe they are now allergic to wine, or a wine type in general. I don’t think it’s from too much wine, and I don’t think it’s from a newfound allergy. I think the headache and other maladies are caused by the explosion of additives that have crept into the wine industry. I’ve had too many conversations with too many consumers over the years (such as “I can go over to Europe, drink their wines and feel fine the next day”), that philosophically, I have become more and more entrenched in relying on winemaking techniques not chemistry books to make our wines. Our 2013 Pinot Noir, for instance, got a tannin and structure boost by taking the pressed cabernet sauvignon skins and adding them to the pinot noir tank, then re-pressing the pinot noir 6 weeks later. This technique of double use of skins is something we developed here after learning that wineries in the south of France used this idea well over 100 years ago, before powdered tannins came into vogue.

Our challenge for the Max’s Small Batch Red #42 was realized a year ago at this time. We simply didn’t have the red wine inventory in barrels to provide us well aged wines for the spring of 2015. But how would I soften reds from the 2014 harvest? Naturally? I think the root of the red wine headache comes from a common practice in today’s modern winemaking – additives and fining agents, none of which I have an inherent aversion to using, but the combination of added tannins, Gum Arabic products, and fining agents, to me, has to be at the root as to why these headaches and other maladies have become more commonplace. Nothing else has changed in the past 15 years or so except for more additives available for winemaking.

The reds in the Max’s 42 are Sangiovese, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc, all reds with a pop of tannin that typically takes aging to soften. Over the past 15 years, we have intently studied every facet of red winemaking that affects the final flavors and structures in our red wines – temperature, pump-over versus pressing, pump-over intensity and duration, bacteria, yeast strains, skin contact weeks, press intensity, and press fracturing to name a few. What we discovered was an adaptation from white wine making – sur lees, or stirring the lees or spent yeast cells, but with a twist – all done with red wine while the wine remained in contact with the skins. It is well known that some contact with spent yeast cells for white wine will soften whites and add a silky mouth feel to the wine. The cost for doing this process is the scouring of some fruitfulness in the wines. So timing is everything in determining what the proper length of time is to keep the wines on the yeast. We also use this exact same technique to build body and mouth feel with our “My Mind” wines, sweeter reds and blushes made from American grape varieties.

Speaking of those “My Mind” wines (Red My Mind, Lost, Crossed, Blue, and Slip) we start “My Mind” fermentations at room temperature, then promptly “freeze” them at 6% alcohol and let them very, very slowly ferment over the next 8 weeks with some of the spent yeast cells breaking down into the wines to enhance body and mouth feel without a spike in alcohol. The “My Mind” wines have a silky full mouth feel structure of wines with 14% alcohol but are only at 10% thanks to old yeast cells decomposing into the wines while fermentation is slowly inching along. We thus avoid Gum Arabic and all other smoothing additives.

This process for the “My Mind” wines, is high risk winemaking. Leaving sweet wine on yeast for an extended period of time runs the risk of potentially having the wine finish with not enough residual sugar – you see, the yeast want to eat all of that sugar, glucose first, then fructose last. And we want to keep some of that sugar – we only want fructose though and the yeast are very respectful of what we want. We want the yeast to do so many things for us to make the “My Mind” what they are: sweet wines with a clean refreshing finish, no sugary aftertaste, fruit forward with a nice full flavored expression that is much lower in calories than the typical American sweet wine. We need yeast to consume sugar to make alcohol, and we want them to consume the health challenged sugar first, glucose (glucose is what cancer feeds on, it’s the sugar of diabetes, etc), and impart body and mouth feel which can only be done with extended time of the yeast in the wine. Cold fermentation is the way to do this. This idea dawned on me back in 2004 while teaching a wine appreciation class. We had a German Riesling at 8% alcohol, slightly sweet that had body and mouth feel of a wine with a much higher alcohol percentage. Because it was a highly rated QMT wine, it couldn’t have any added juice to sweeten it. Historically, German white wines have always been sweet and low alcohol. As an aside, yeasts can naturally ferment juice up to and slightly above 17% alcohol. Due to their latitude and continental location, German wineries traditionally have picked their grapes well into October to get the fruit as ripe as possible. As fermentation begins, winter sets in, and since no central heating existed for many centuries, fermentation typically started then stopped, frozen in time due to the cold climate. Over several weeks, some yeast de-compose back into the wines, adding luscious mouth feel and complexity. Then by spring, the clean wine on the top of the tanks was / is racked, siphoned or pumped leaving the yeast behind. So all we do to make the “My Mind” wines is following that approach — duplicating traditional German winemaking processes through the use of extended cold temperatures in the vats. As another quick aside, we discovered EMSL labs in New Jersey several years ago. Having them test what sugars existed in juice and the final wines gave us an idea that yeast are preference based organisms. If my math is correct, if given a blended liquid of glucose and fructose, yeasts will consume glucose over fructose at well over a 90% rate.

Understanding this softening affect of yeasts with German wines and the “My Mind” wines, and already having done research on tannin reduction through extended skin contact, which seems counterintuitive, the fall of 2014 we set about to make bold, dry red wines, which were ready to drink early, but would have no fining agents or any other additives put into play.

All 3 wines aged 7-8 weeks on the skins. All were rigorously pumped over during the first week of fermentation twice to three times a day for 45 minutes each session. All tanks were sealed with 2% residual sugar remaining to build a carbon dioxide head in the skins to add complexity to the wines. Afterwards, the wines were sub circulated every 3 days under the skin cap to speed up the yeast integration process. All were pressed at slightly heavier press settings than in previous years. After another 6 weeks passed, each wine was lightly filtered to remove particulates including yeast. The result, very fruit forward, full bodied red wines with nice tannin structure that lack any harsh astringency and with only one additive – sulfur dioxide.

One more thought on the “My Mind” wines. After exhaustive research and extensive lab tests, we unlocked several positive attributes to how the German Riesling and the Turtle Run sweeter wines are made, a process known as “arrested fermentation.” We discovered that yeasts are highly selective organisms, choosing to ferment glucose before fructose. No wonder bees make their honey into fructose – so yeasts won’t break it down. Arrested fermented wines contain just over 60% less calories than sugar added wines. For instance, fructose has 3 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram in glucose and sucrose, and with a taste that is 2.2 times sweeter than glucose and 1.72 times sweeter to taste than sucrose, fructose is the best natural sugar option. Add up the calorie difference per gram with the fact that the perceived sweetness of fructose is far greater than any other sugar, and the result is we can greatly drop our percentage of residual sugars over sugar sweetened wines. Add in the alcohol calories, and a wine which starts with the same grapes as us, but is fermented dry then has sugar back-added to create sweetness to the perception level of our wines, will have 62% more calories than our wine – a benefit for everyone! But there is another benefit. Diabetes is ravaging our country, and the sugars which cause diabetics problems are sucrose and glucose. Arrested fermented wines have very little to no glucose left behind. Thank you, yeasts!!

Some of this is re-iteration, but here is part of an email I sent to some other winery owners I’ve gotten to know in the US. I attached our lab results to this email, but I can’t figure out how to get them attached to this blog.

I wanted to send this information along to you so you could see that yeasts are very selective when it comes to fermenting sugars. While fermentation is ongoing, yeast will consume all types of sugars concurrently, however, it’s looking very conclusive that they have an extremely strong preference towards metabolizing glucose before fructose.

I’ve submitted wines over the years to EMSL to gather data about yeast activity, but I was especially curious about some wines from this year.

We chaptalized, or added sugar, before fermentation for all three of these wines. For vignoles, we chaptalized by adding cane sugar by 5 degrees brix. For the other two wines, we chaptalized by a gaudy 10 degrees brix. We arrested fermentation via filtration, leaving vignoles much drier than the other two.

There is no trace of glucose left in vignoles, which I knew would be the result due to the 5 degree addition and the percent of R/S I was leaving behind. Too many previous lab tests over the years told me vignoles would be devoid of glucose. However, there is very little glucose left in the other two, especially compared to fructose. The yeasts really attacked the glucose and with the sugar addition, there was a lot of glucose to start with.

I’ve done the math. If Winery A starts with a juice at 23 degrees brix and arrests fermentation at 3-4% residual sugar, and Winery B completes fermentation then back-adds sugar to the same sweetness by taste level as the Winery A wine, if the same ounces are poured, the Winery A wine will have approximately 38 calories, and Winery B will have approximately 100 calories. Half of Winery B’s sugar calories will come in the form of glucose, which is the sugar that causes more health related problems than fructose such as Type 2 Diabetes.

I am not marketing this information. But there are too many sick people these days, taking pills, seeing physicians, etc.

I pretty well knew what would happen when chaptalizing by 5 degrees as we have run that test in previous years. However, I thought the yeast would have a tough selective problem on their hands with so much sucrose added to the juices when we chaptalized by 10 degrees. Nope. Glucose first. And “mother nature” already had the pathway established. Bees figured it out many years ago. Make honey into fructose and not glucose and the honey would be yeast resistant. Of course degrees brix plays a role, but the bees figured that out too.

My conclusion from running this test is very simple. I’m just not a fan of adding sugar at bottling. It’s a banned practice in Europe and the back-adding of juice is either banned for some wines or is severely frowned upon. Aside from making wines that are much more tolerable to our diabetic society (new stat: over 40% of the US adult population over 35 years old are diabetic or pre-diabetic) due to much lower calorie content, low to no glucose remaining, which is the sugar that affects diabetics the most, they taste better with arrested fermentation. The sugary aftertaste seems to be more associated with glucose and not fructose. Try diluting honey which is fructose in water and comparing it to sugar water. We have actually been able to monitor fermentations without lab equipment just through the residual sugar aftertaste. Once that sugary aftertaste is gone, then we know it’s time to test for alcohol concentration and sugar levels. Consistently, that number at first testing is 8.25% – 8.75% alcohol.

I thought you would be interested in this information. It costs me a decent amount of money to do these lab tests, but it’s good information. Customers love the clean taste which is the number 1 reason we only do arrested fermentation. But knowing we are making wines in the healthiest way possible allows me sleep well. We can’t market much about it, but that’s okay.

The philosophies of Turtle Run Winery are simple: First, make exceptional quality wine enjoyed with food and friends. Second, make it in the most health conscious way. Make it beneficial to the consumer in more ways than one.

We just gave away a ton of secrets on how Turtle Run Winery wines are made. We sincerely hope you, the consumer, appreciate our health conscious approach. Too many people are feeling the effects of today’s modern winemaking in the morning. Perhaps, many folks are deciding they can no longer drink wine or a certain style of wine. I’m saying not all wines are made equally, and if you have been having problems with wines, please give ours a try.

Health Benefits of Wine 
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Health Benefits of Wine

Every single article I’ve read about wine and health say not to over-consume.  You will have to be the judge as to what your personal limit is, but the ceiling seems to be around two glasses per person per day.  But if you are thinking of adding wine to your diet for health reasons, yes, these are some neat studies, but check with your physician first.

From the site:

The Benefit: Promotes Longevity: Wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers. Source: a Finnish study of 2,468 men over a 29-year period, published in the Journals of Gerontology, 2007.

The Benefit: Reduces Heart-Attack Risk: Moderate drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack than nondrinkers. Source: a 16-year Harvard School of Public Health study of 11,711 men, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 2007.

The Benefit: Lowers Risk of Heart Disease:  Red-wine tannins contain procyanidins, which protect against heart disease. Wines from Sardinia and southwest France have more procyanidins than other wines. Source: a study at Queen Mary University in London, published in Nature, 2006.

The Benefit: Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Moderate drinkers have 30 percent less risk than nondrinkers of developing type 2 diabetes. Source: research on 369,862 individuals studied over an average of 12 years each, at Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Center, published in Diabetes Care, 2005.

The Benefit: Lowers Risk of Stroke:  The possibility of suffering a blood clot–related stroke drops by about 50 percent in people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Source: a Columbia University study of 3,176 individuals over an eight-year period, published in Stroke, 2006.

The Benefit: Cuts Risk of Cataracts: Moderate drinkers are 32 percent less likely to get cataracts than nondrinkers; those who consume wine are 43 percent less likely to develop cataracts than those drinking mainly beer. Source: a study of 1,379 individuals in Iceland, published in Nature, 2003.

The Benefit: Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer: Moderate consumption of wine (especially red) cuts the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent. Source: a Stony Brook University study of 2,291 individuals over a four-year period, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2005.

The Benefit: Slows Brain Decline: Brain function declines at a markedly faster rate in nondrinkers than in moderate drinkers. Source: a Columbia University study of 1,416 people, published in Neuroepidemiology, 2006.

From the November 2014 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine.

The Heart: Wines contain quercetin, a blood pressure lowering flavonoid found in red wines.  A Spanish study showed drinking a little red wine daily lowers blood pressure by several points in four weeks

Sulfites in Wine:  Sulfite sufferers are rare—less than .005% of humans according to a study in Journal of the American College of Nutrition.  The law came about in the 1980’s when diners became sick after consuming foods from salad bars in which sulfur was used as a preservative.  Sulfites occur naturally in plants, including many fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, asparagus, and dried fruit such as apricots.

Bones:  Over-consumption disallows the body to absorb calcium and vitamin D.  Men over the age of 50 who drink wine regularly increased bone density.  For women, regularly drinking wine reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Cholesterol: Wine increases HDL, the good cholesterol and reduces LDL, the bad cholesterol.  This helps to keep your arteries clean, thus reducing the risk of a heart attack.   In a Denmark study, people who drank two glasses of wine daily for a month increased their HDL levels by 16%.

Brain:  Alcohol does not kill brain cells.  And a Norwegian study proves it.  Over 5000 people tested showed that those who consumed wine outscored their non-drinking buddies on cognitive function tests.

Your Waistline:  A Purdue University study showed that a compound in wine called piceatannol, a chemical very similar to the antioxidant resveratrol, slows fat cell growth by 20%.

Sex Drive:  Do I have your attention?  Researchers at USC found regular red wine drinkers have higher levels of testosterone, which boosts libido for both sexes.  As an aside, I have seen a study that shows an increase in testosterone helps reduce the good ‘ol waistline.

Liver:  Drinking to excess will destroy your liver.  In moderation, red wine can protect it.  According to researchers in Portugal, the antioxidant resveratrol, helps fight fat buildup in the liver.

Digestive System:  Tannins aid good digestive bacteria, and they help prevent colon cancer.  In a Spanish study, folks who drank a glass of Merlot every day for 20 days showed an increase in the bacteria that helps increase the cancer fighting power of any type of antioxidant.

The biggest organ – The Skin:  The anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids and phenols in red and white wine can increase collagen, which helps delay wrinkles.  Cool, huh?

Jim’s conclusion: Drink a moderate amount of wine and you’ll look younger by having nicer skin, and less of a belly.  Your partner will think you’re witty and smart on your feet, and of course, more physically attractive, and he or she will be able to see you better.  A great sex life will ensue, and you’ll have longer lives together…or something like that. J

From the site:
Nearly one thousand components have up to now been identified.

The mineral composition of wine is special as it contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, sulfates, phosphoruses, all of which necessary to cover daily needs of human beings.

Wine contains vitamins of the group B, and, above all vitamin P which reinforces the cell-wall of capillary vessels, lessening the risks of hemorrhage and oedema.

Wine also comprises more specific components which give it its personality (aroma components) such as phenolic components. The phenolic component is an element whose molecule incorporates several phenolic functions among which are phenolic acids, anthocyanes and tannin.
During the TV broadcast “60 minutes” presented in November, 1991 on CBS, Doctor Serge Renaud gave several millions Americans the opportunity of discovering the “French Paradox”.

He showed that in most countries, a high consumption of saturated grease is largely correlated to an important number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases.

It is not the case in France, and in particular in the Toulouse region (South West), famous for its Cassoulet (baked beans with fat duck or goose, pork…) where death due to coronary disease is low.
After the talk about “French Paradox” on American TV Doctor Klasky decided to review his study.

Among the patients of “Kaiser Permanente” medical center, the analyses showed that wine-drinkers presented less risk of death due to cardiovascular disease than non-drinkers.

In fact, according to Professor Masquelier of Bordeaux University (France) wine present in blood accelerates the elimination of cholesterol.

Can wine help cure cancer ?

Laboratory-mice genetically inclined to develop carcinoma received food containing solid red wine extracts.

The result was that it took much longer than normal for those mice to develop cancer and their life expectation increased by 40% in comparison with that of mice normally fed.

This surprising study was carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Davis – California.

Researchers attribute this result to the presence in red wine of polyphenols, in particular to catechine, and to their antioxidizing properties (see composition of wine).

The same protection exists in tea and in a great number of fruits and vegetables.

A recent article in the New York Times said that it seems that resveratol, present in the skin of grapes, inhibits the action of agents favourising cancer. It is the case in leukaeamious cells.

Paradigm Shift on Wine Glasses — Red Wine Glass? Perhaps Not 
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Paradigm Shift — Pair the Wine You Prefer in the Shape of Glass You Prefer. And What Shape is Yours?

In November 1992, Laura and I were back from our honeymoon, and we just sat down for a nice evening at our Douglas Hills apartment in Middletown, Kentucky. We received lots of different wine glasses for our wedding – big and small. We opened a Chardonnay, probably a Meridian as that was one of our favorites back then. We grabbed some very basic glasses with not much curves to them at all. At that time, we were not aware with shapes of glasses affecting the flavor of wine, or at least if they had, it wasn’t widely published. We’ll, I really liked Meridian and in that wine glass that chardonnay had no “pop” to it. So I got up, grabbed a much more curvy glass and came back to the couch with an empty glass in hand. Laura looked inquisitively and didn’t say a word. I took the wine from the straight glass and poured it into my curvy glass, tasted, and exclaimed, “Much better!” Then I learned about marriage. Laura looked at me again in total bewilderment. The first bewilderment was, “Really, the wine tastes different and better in the curvy glass?” “Second, where’s my curvy wine glass?!?!” Uh-oh. We had no clue, but we knew we discovered something, something real, that wasn’t in our imagination. Wine does taste different out of different glasses.

Today’s wine industry has become loaded with rules about glasses and everything else. You are expected to enjoy Chardonnay out of one glass, Cabernet out of another, Riesling out of a third, and so on. If you are a “real expert”, you have a specific glass for chardonnay grown in Burgundy, France and one for a Napa, California chardonnay. When I talk to consumers who know about these “rules” they are seemingly in complete lock-step with them. When I ask them why and if they have experimented with the rules, and used a chardonnay glass for cabernet sauvignon or drank a cab out of a Riesling glass, stunned bewilderment expresses itself both in facial expressions and reactionary words. However, some folks have that inquisitive look of “hmmm…I never thought of that.”

A good friend of mine posted this on Facebook. I thought I’d share:

Thanks, Tim Hanni, Master of Wine, for the picture! Think about it, is there the right car, the best color a care should be, the right house, the right job, the best type of spaghetti sauce, the best chili, the best fried chicken, even the best steak and how a steak should be best prepared? I like the steak analogy because when you go to a restaurant, they’ll ask you how you like your steak prepared, from rare to well done. There may be some light debate at the table, especially between the rare’s and the well’s, but nothing much comes of it. No one is really wrong. But what if one of the patrons wants to order a sweet Moscato to go with that steak? Hmmm….eyebrows are raised. And perhaps the wait staff may suggest that the steak will taste better with a dry red. But they won’t argue about cooking the steak rare to medium to well done, will they? But wine a “wrong” wine pairing? Moscato and steak?!??! Holy cow! You can’t do that!!!

On the cover of Tim’s book, “Why You Like the Wines You Like” he states that he’ll prove to you that you should “pair the wine to the diner, not the dinner.” Anyway, that got me thinking…thinking of glasses, and thinking back to that Meridian chardonnay back in 1992.

The main point of this blog is to write about wine glasses, but before I can get to glasses I need to lightly set up the other points within the title to make the point that instead of trying to enjoy a style of wine out of a particular shaped glass that you have been told you should use, maybe it may make sense to find a preferential glass and use that glass for most of the wines you enjoy.

Enjoy the wine you like: I could write forever on this subject, but instead, if you want to know more about this subject in greater detail, come to a Turtle Run Winery Wine Appreciation Class and / or read Tim Hanni’s book “Why You Like the Wines You Like”. Check out Tim’s site at, or if you would like, we sell the book at Turtle Run Winery for a few bucks less than Amazon sells it. For a quick overview, humans range in taste bud count from as few as 500 to more than 12,000. Yikes! So a simple question is this – does someone with 500 taste buds interpret taste differently than someone with 12,000? You betcha! Someone with 12,000 taste buds is super sensitive to taste. There are 5 primary tastes – bitter, sweet, salt, acid, and umami (savory). For someone at 12,000 taste buds, they are simply more stimulated by taste than someone with 500. Typically when it comes to bitters, suppression is the name of the game and sweetness and salt are the main weapons of choice to minimize the impact of bitter flavors. You could also say, bitter is the rage of the 12,000 folks, and sweetness and salt are their saviors. Stepping outside of wine, black coffee can be bitter, hence a lot of the higher taste bud types will add sweeteners and crème to knock down the bitters a notch. With beer, the high taste bud types receive lots of flavor enjoyment from the light beers. Just don’t try to get them to enjoy the porters or stouts – normally they are too intense for these folks. Conversely a lower taste bud count person may call that light beer “piss water with no flavor” and they’ll ask light beer drinkers to quit drinking the wimpy light stuff and “step up to a real beer” like a porter, IPA or stout. Coffee? Black!! I’ve just simplified Tim’s 200 page book down to a single paragraph, thus doing the great work no justice. But I simply wanted to demonstrate that people with varying degrees of taste buds will either try to heighten or suppress certain flavors through choosing what they eat and drink and how they modify it.

Temperature: A lot of how we consume foods and beverages and their accompanying temperatures are cultural. In the Unites States, soft drinks are consumed cold, whereas in Europe, they are consumed at room temperature. Ask someone from the US to drink a warm soft drink, and you may get the look of utter confusion. Soup – Warm in the US, cold in Europe. There are more examples, but let’s take a closer look at wine and some generalizations that we can reach.

Here are some basics on temperature of wine and temperature’s effect on flavor recognition. Taste is a small aspect on flavor recognition. Aroma determines a lot more on flavor recognition than does taste. Aromas, through the vaporization of volatile chemicals affect the olfactory (smell) sense to create most of what we determine as flavor. So the warmer something is, the quicker and more intense the flavors will be. So is warmer foods and beverages better for everything consumed? Let’s take a look at cola, for instance. Most people have probably had an icy cold cola and most have probably had a warm one as well. The sugars and the flavors are more pronounced with the warmer cola, due to the fact that warmer liquids take less time to vaporize into flavors, but most people opt for an icy cold one. This is partly based upon tradition, but it’s also based upon preference. Because of the use of high fructose (glucose) corn syrup and sucrose in sodas, glucose and sucrose tend for most folks to be the sweetener that leaves a sugary aftertaste, almost a hair on the tongue sweetness, the warmer the beverage is the faster the flavors can be vaporized and thus the more, for me, annoying sugary aftertaste is left. When icing down a soda, you can significantly reduce the sugary aftertaste because the beverage doesn’t have time to fully vaporize in your mouth.   Yeah, it’s sweet, but the perception of sweetness is far less than what it would be if the beverage was warm when consumed. Try it sometime – compare the taste of a warm cola to a cold one and see if you can taste the difference.

Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, so any increase in the temperature of wine will make the wine taste more alcoholic. Additionally, any flavor compound that is more associated with or bound to alcohol will be more pronounced the warmer the wine is. Take a wine and try a glass warm and compare it to a glass that’s refrigerated and the warm glass will taste more alcoholic than the colder glass. Why is that? Alcohol boils at a lower boiling point than water so the warmer a wine is tasted the more volatile the alcohol is in the solution. Additionally, since oak flavors from barrels bind with alcohol, oaky aromas and flavors will be more prevalent in warmer temperature wines too.   And the same with fruity esters – more prevalently noticed at warmer temperature wine than in cooler temperature wine. Conversely, flavors directly associated with the fruit will be more prevalent at cooler temperatures. Wines will taste more acidic at lower temperatures and tannins / phenolic compounds will be more prevalent at colder temperatures as the alcohol chemicals become more suppressed at lower temperatures. According to this new way of a paradigm shift on the rules, keep both your reds and whites warm if you prefer the fruity, oaky, and alcohol flavors in the wine. If you prefer less of those and more impact from the acids and tannins, then cool the wine down.

In the glass you prefer: The wine industry can thank Riedel Stemware of Austria for discovering that the shape of the wine glass greatly affected the flavors and aromas of wine. First discovered by Riedel to my knowledge in 1961, but in reality the concept didn’t take off right away. Even through the 70’s this concept really wasn’t in vogue, to my knowledge. I know in college in the 1980’s, the concept of using specific glasses for specific wines wasn’t even broached. So when Laura and I stumbled upon this concept in 1992, we did it without any preconceived notion that anyone else had ever noticed this.

A few years later, Laura and I were “all in” on this concept. Riedel had done a phenomenal job of creating very intricate glasses designed for specific wines, and it seemed like no matter what wines we poured into the glasses, the wines were enhanced. Their work on glass geometry is simply second to none. I have the utmost respect for what they have done and contributed to the wine industry. Other companies have since come out and copied their glasses or at least close to it, so there are plenty of glasses that exist in the market today designed for specific wines. For the total wine geek, this is cool, but for the average wine consumer, this can be confusing. Overall though, we see a decent number of people understand that a bigger glass is designed for a red wine and one that’s a little smaller is designed for a white wine, so the marketing of this concept of specific glasses for specific wines has taken hold. Take any trip to a fine restaurant and you will see that if some of your group orders glasses of red wine and others order glasses of white wine, the glasses you will be served will be different shapes. Overall, I think this has been a great enhancement in consumer’s wine experiences as aromas and flavors have been enhanced. Today’s glasses are certainly far and away better than the glasses that were generally available in stores back in 1992.

However, Laura and I started experimenting ourselves, pouring white wine into red wine glasses, red wines into white wine glasses, pinot noir in chardonnay glasses, chardonnay into cabernet glasses and so forth. What we discovered was new experiences, none seemingly either tasted right or wrong.

In working with Tim Hanni, I discovered personal traits and likes and dislikes tied directly to taste bud count. For instance, Tim discovered that people with close to 12,000 taste buds received a burning sensation in wines when the wine contained over 12.5% alcohol. We also discovered that tannin concentration really mattered for these high sensitivity folks too. So for people with high sensitivity taste buds, or people with a high concentration of taste buds on their tongue, items that are disliked have a stronger bearing on whether they will consume the product over items that they like. Translation: A very sweet Port wine with nice tannin structure, an alcohol concentration of 20% or so, but very sweet, may not be a wine of choice for the high taste bud count person, unless those tannins and alcohol can be suppressed – through the shape of the glass.

The shape of a cabernet sauvignon glass is designed to enhance tannins and alcohol perception. A glass designed for Riesling is created to suppress the perception of tannins and alcohol concentration. A couple weeks ago, with the help of a very good customer, John, we opened a bottle of syrah, placed 4 glasses in front of us: A Riesling glass, Cab glass, pinot noir glass, and a chardonnay glass. The pinot glass brought out the most tannins and alcohol, followed by the cab glass, followed by the chardonnay glass. By the time we tasted out of the Riesling glass, neither one of us could really perceive the alcohol or tannins. In the Riesling glass we simply tasted an over-abundance of fruit. Conversely, the with the pinot and cab glasses, yeah, we got the fruit, but the fruit flavors were secondary to the tannins and alcohol. Overall, lower taste bud count people tend to like the flair and intensity that comes from tannins and alcohol. But the higher taste bud count people do not. So could John and I have stumbled upon an entirely new concept? Instead of selecting a glass for the type of wine, perhaps maybe a glass should be selected for the type of person. So someone with a high number of taste buds, who is looking for fruit, who is not looking for alcohol or tannins, would be best served wine, any wine, in glasses that highlight fruit and negate tannins and alcohol – a tall and slender Riesling glass. Conversely, a consumer who wants bigger, bold expressive flavors should then look for glasses that will make wines more big, bold and expressive – a big, wide cabernet glass. Funny enough, over time, without us even discussing this topic, Laura has gravitated to one specific glass at the house for all the wines she drinks and I pretty well stick to two glasses. And we will both enjoy any and all wine out of those glasses. I tend to want a little more “umph” in my wines, so I tend to drink with a little larger glass than Laura. My choice for all wines is a chardonnay glass. Laura seeks the fruit, and thus she normally uses our regular tasting room glass for all of her wines. We fully recognize that wines taste different out of different shaped glasses. That’s an absolute. What we have gravitated to is using glasses that suits our individual taste profiles, and definitely NOT a cab glass for deep red or a smaller glass for a white wine. If the wine is barrel aged, I want to taste the oak, therefore I want to taste wines out of glasses that enhances the oaky aromas and flavors, not one that suppresses them. Sometimes oak can be a little over the top for Laura, so she tends to like more even keel glasses. My recommendation to you is this. Yes, try cabernet out of cabernet glasses; try chardonnay out of chardonnay glasses. My guess is over time, you will start gravitating to a specific shape glass no matter what the wine as that glass, and you may start using that cabernet glass as your every day wine glass or perhaps the chardonnay glass as your every day wine glass, or perhaps another shaped glass.

So how does the science work? How can the shape of a glass affect the flavor of wine? It’s both simple and complicated to answer. Before looking at the shape of the glass, let’s look at how humans interpret flavor. Most of what you perceive as flavor is aromatics not taste. Simply put, we humans smell nearly everything before we consume them, and we go through this basic process – we smell for safety first, so is the food or beverage safe to consume, yes or no? If yes, have we had a past experience either positive or negative? If negative (like you got sick off of peach schapps 15 years ago, so anything peach elicits a negative memory), you won’t consume it. If positive or neutral, it’s time to eat or drink. Once the food or beverage enters the mouth, vaporization of aromatics occurs, triggering olfactory nerves in the sinus system to identify the aromatics you are experiencing. The more vaporization, the higher the perception. The less vaporization, the lower the perception or experience of flavor that you will have. If you don’t believe me, take simple cinnamon. Using your left hand, pinch your nose. With your right hand, lick a finger, coat it with then place the cinnamon on your tongue and try to taste it. Nothing. Nada! Then let go of your nose. Cinnamon!!!! Yeah, that’s right, you’ve never ever tasted cinnamon. You’ve sensed the flavor of cinnamon through smell, but no, you have never tasted cinnamon. Let me repeat it another way, you’ve smelled cinnamon, but you have never tasted it. Half of you who have read this far are now finished reading. I’ve made you mad. The other half has left their computer and are getting cinnamon.

The shape of the glass affects volumetric pressure and vapor pressure.   The more a glass can allow volatile chemicals to escape as aromas, the more you will be able to perceive them. The warmer the temperature the wine is, the higher this perception will be. Again for someone with high taste bud count, less volatility probably creates a better experience. With fewer taste buds, more volatility probably creates a better experience.

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Theories About The Red Wine Hangover 
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This has been a question that has bugged me for several years now.  And I know people are not drinking wines because of it.  I don’t know how many times I have heard this, but here it goes.   “I can drink European and some American wines like Turtle Run Wines and I don’t get a headache the next day, but if I drink other wines, whammo!”  I’ve toyed around with this question for many years, and here are my thoughts.  I looked on line to see what others thought, and found two websites that I think are worth referencing.  Check out http://www.7× and


In my ADD / ADHD world, I’ll reference the second one first.  I think Lisa Shea provides great insight, especially with the food you eat while consuming wine.   There is not much I can debate about what she writes.  She nails my sulfite thoughts with her dried apricot trick (lots more sulfites in those than wine).  And her discussion on tannins and histamines is very insightful.  So check out, as she answers a lot of questions people have about wine and especially why sulfites are added.


The folks at 7× brings up two great, great points and I think what they write about may be the thorn in your head in the morning.  To quote them:    “Most of us don’t realize that there are lots of secret additives that go into wines, including gelatins, egg whites, milk, fish oils, plastics, clays and many others. Most of these settle out over time, but there are others that don’t — namely flavor concentrates. These flavor concentrates (liquid oak, Mega Red and Purple, grape juice concentrate) and food-safe chemicals are used in inexpensive wines to make them taste like more expensive ones. This can lead to all kinds of trouble. Also, wines with high sugar content and low price tags cause trouble because “you can blend away a whole lot of defects with a little bit of sugar.’”


And another potential zinger from the site about oak barrels:  “Cheap oak (most wines are aged in oak barrels) is often charred to greater levels or treated with chemicals to increase the speed of flavor absorption while the wine ages.”  Laura often talks about tasting wines that have an “artificial oak flavor” to them.  I perused through one of my catalogs and found all sorts of products that can add some quick oak notes as well as others that can bring the life back to barrels.


And for just a general nutrition thought on how artificially derived ingredients can cause some folks issues, check out . “The problem comes in with processed sugar and processed starch. White table sugar has no nutrients. White bread is a processed, artificial starch. These are not foods – they do not nourish.”  Essentially, if you read further into the research, our bodies simply freak out trying to adapt to the modern diet of processed foods, causing all sorts of maladies.  Essentially, when the nature of natural foods is affected via subtraction or addition of ingredients, the body has to cope with what we ingest.  It’s an amazing article, and very long.  Because I have done a lot of research on nutrition, it made a lot of sense to me.  I can see it being a tough first pass read for those that haven’t delved into nutrition very closely.  If you do look into it, I agree with the author that alcohol is a sugar.  But like fructose is processed completely differently than glucose by the body, so does alcohol.  There is a lot of research showing that the more complex the alcoholic beverage is (like wine, the craft beers) the more beneficial and less concerning they are for ingestion.  As with any food or beverage, moderation is the key.


My thoughts on the subject of wine hangovers:   While Lisa is correct that generally speaking wines made in Europe and America are the same, in ways they are different.  I believe many small to mid-sized wineries here and abroad, and many large wineries abroad have not been exposed to all of the crazy additives that exist in the market today.  And I also believe that the main purpose of these additives is to make exceptionally consistent wines and not consistently exceptional wines.  Having worked in the corporate world for many years, bottom line management to quarterly earnings are the main drivers to overall corporate behavior.  With wines containing upwards of 1500 natural chemical compounds, having one vintage better (or worse) than another causes too much variability in those earning reports.  So the drive to consistent wines, wines in which there is little to no vintage variation in flavors, aromas, and mouth feel, and perhaps “better, cheaper, faster” are the driving forces behind the additives that have snuck into our wine industry.  So that’s why, to me, wines have gone down this path.  And I think the over manufacturing of wines with the additives plays a very strong role in those headaches.  My text books from the 1980’s show the French using clays, egg whites, gelatin and even ox blood in the 1800’s to clarify and remove bitterness.  And those products or fining agents do precipitate out of wines.  I don’t have a problem with them per se.  However, due to the very, very good grape press that we have, we are not running into the need to fine wines.  And due to our ability to fine tune our filter to do not strip away character, our need for fining agents diminish even further.  I also think there is nutritional value in those bitters, so as long as we don’t have any negative taste issues, we are leaving them in the wines.


Today, whenever I buy American made wines, I look on the back of the label to see if I can find the family owned labels, most of which say “produced and bottled.”  When I look for European wines, I look for labels that have not been “Americanized” meaning perhaps a little foreign language here and there, very little descriptive wording, etc.


The crystals that 7×7 talks about are not sugar.  If a winery adds sugar into wine, it will dissolve into the wine.  What is on the bottom of some bottles of wine is simply crème of tartar, a very natural precipitate in wines.  All wineries do a process called cold stabilization, in which we freeze the wines before bottling.  However, in a catalog, I see I can now add something that will stabilize my wine without the need to cold stabilize them.  Hmmm…no, I am not going to experiment with that.


So why did I choose to write about this subject matter?  Very simple.  The wine industry is losing customers.  If you, perhaps, got a zinger of a headache from drinking a red wine, you probably don’t want to drink that beverage again.  Perhaps you tried after the headache a dry red again on a later date, and again got zinged by a headache.  Red wine suddenly gets crossed off the list.  What I want to say is that not all wines are made this way.  I speculate the reason why all of us haven’t adapted to the additive approach is multi-faceted.  First, some of us have not been exposed to the new chemistry like I have.  Second, there can be reluctance to adding some of these things, such as I have had.  Have these chemicals been fully tested?  What is the real impact to adding these to the winemaking process?  I’ve been successful without them, some wineries may be saying, so why should I change now?  And perhaps after making a test run of wine with chemical additions, wineries have found that that the flavors are inconsistent with the wines they have been making for many years.  I’m sure there are other reasons as well.


We’ve just had too many conversations with customers who no longer drink certain categories of wines.  And when I question them if they had these problems with Turtle Run wines, I get a “no” nearly every time.



Over the years, Laura and I have developed a “taste” for the adjuncts that are added to wines.  We can sense them right away in both taste and smell.  Laura and I regularly drink other wines aside from Turtle Run.  When we open a wine with the characteristic taste markers of these additives, we simply open another bottle. I know, it’s a waste, but so is waking up not feeling great the next day.  Which costs more?  Loss of productivity from feeling off our game or the cost of not finishing a bottle that has additives that don’t come natural to the wines?  By the way, Laura has been urging me to use some of these wines in wine appreciation classes for the past few years.  Perhaps I will in February, with the labels removed.


Healthy Diet!! 

People often ask me what I do to keep so thin.  Part of it is my daily swim.  Part of it is the physical activity that goes to working in a vineyard, winery and farm.  But a big part of it is my diet.

In the early 1990’s with little responsibility aside from a full time job, I somehow became a nationally ranked triathlete.  That followed high school cross country which preceded cycling in college.

I’ve always been fit.  When I raced, I found my sweet spot to be in the mid 180’s with a 6’4″ frame.   When I backed off training to focus on the winery in the late 1990’s, my weight shot up to the high 190’s then capped at about 205.  When I traveled in the corporate world, by 2009, I shot up to near 230.  Though not so heft by today’s standards with my height, when my fit physician said that I, I, me, had to lose some weight, and that I, me, may need blood pressure medication, I was insulted!  Already on allergy medication, I decided I would “show up” that doctor.  That was June 2009.  By Thanksgiving 2009, I just with a simple increase in exercise, I dropped 2 pounds.  Yes, 2….2,  not 22, or 12, but 2, just 2 stinkin’ pounds!  I was furious!  Pass me the chips!  I just need more exercise!

Then a friend of mine challenged me to weight loss.  Then I remembered those customers telling me that they could drink our sweeter wines and they were diabetic.   Then I remembered my triathlon training diet of 40% carbs, 40% protein and 30% fat.  Then I remembered the lack of processed foods in that diet.  Could going natural do things for me?  What is diabetes and is it a new phenomenon or something we’ve been dealing with for centuries?  How does the body process sugars, and are all sugars alike?  How do artificial sweeteners affect our bodies and subconscious responses?

To keep this story from going on too long, I delved into all things about modern diseases, food history, modern foods, previous health habits, compared to today’s health habits, etc.  Many books were read, such as The China Study, building a foundation for more research.  The additional research from the book Missing Microbes, by Martin Blaser, about the over-consumption of antibiotics, pretty well set me sailing.  Below is a diet I carefully constructed, re-constructed, fact checked, double fact checked, and ran by a whole hosts of folks.

Today, I swim 5-6 days a week and run the other 2.  I don’t over do it, though I do lots of interval work in the pool.   I drink wine daily.  My blood is absolutely perfect, and I take no medications, including no allergy medicines.  My body fat is around 7% and I am back in the mid-180’s.  You can do it.  It takes time, but this diet works because it feeds the body what it needs, or at least what mine needs.  If there is any change I am looking at, it is reducing the amount of carbs.   And best of all, I have lost the craving for fast food, processed foods and all that.

I also take zero vitamins, zero supplements.

I wrote this diet for my swim team.


Peak Performance Diet – Jim Pfeiffer  

For:  My High School Swim Team


Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.” – Victor Lindlahr in 1923


In 1958 less than 1% of the US population had Type 2 Diabetes.  It is estimated that by 2020, more than 25% will- Center for Disease Control

Go to


Eat Natural Foods: Absolutely!!!

Research from Washington University St. Louis ties natural food consumption to healthy gut microbial activity to a very healthy human body, eliminating many of the causes of today’s bad health.


Diet Soda Anyone?  NO!! 

Just drinking one diet a drink a day was enough to create a significantly heightened chance of developing one of these disorders, the researchers found.


Artificial sweeteners were also shown to activate different patterns in the brain’s pleasure centers that normally correspond to sweet tastes. This may mean that these products do not satisfy our sweet tooth as much as natural sugar. One study found non-caloric sweeteners made animals eat increased amounts of calorie-rich sweet tasting food.


Is Honey mixed with Water Perhaps the Ultimate Sports Energy Drink?  And Workout Recovery Drink?

Here is an interesting article to read about the positive effects of honey.


Water Anyone?  YES!!!!

Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Even small amounts of water loss may hinder athletic performance.


 The dangers of simple carbohydrates.  Are they natural?  Hmmm…

The above article also slams aspartame very, very hard.  Lots of diseases listed from the over consumption of simple sugars and aspartame.


Here’s something to think about.  Did you know that if you increase the amount of protein in your diet, the cravings for sugary items will diminish?


Successful Diet to Increase Energy, Speed, Endurance and Decrease Recovery Time.  The Zone Diet 40/30/30 by Barry Sears


  • A Balanced Diet:  40% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein, 30% Fat

o       Fat: Fat in food aids in absorption of vitamin A, D, E and K.


o       Protein:  Basic Building Blocks of muscle. 

  • Very Best Sources for athletics:  Beans and Legumes plus meats and fish!
    • Black Bean, Pinto Beans, Red Beans, Lentils, Kidney Beans, Black Eyed Peas are some examples.
    • Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Venison are second
    • Eggs are third
    • Pork would be a fourth choice, as it’s a little higher in fat. Buffalo is a better forth choice
    • Red Meat is my 5th choice.  Simply put, unless the cow lived its life in a pasture, I don’t think it packs the nutrients especially omega 3.  Loaded with saturated fats, and hard to digest.  And Milk.  Here is a strong study about avoiding today’s milk.  Ovarian cancer, testicular, prostate, and breast cancer.  And due to pasteurization, the enzymes used for digesting milk are flat out gone.
    • Many of us lack the gene which enables us to digest cow’s milk, anyway.  And should we be drinking another animal’s milk?


o       Carbohydrates:  Basic building blocks of energy.

  • Best sourced from grains, vegetables and fruits.  Very best sources:
    • Oatmeal, Barley, Brownand Wild Rice, Quinoa.  Secondary Choices:  White Rice, potatoes with skins.
    • Vegetables:  There are no bad vegetables!  Period!  The very best are Spinach and Broccoli. .  Carrots are an excellent source of energy.
    • Fruit:  Tomatoes, Oranges, Grapes, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Tangerines, Avacadoes, Cherries, Raisins.  Eat the fruit and not just drink the juice, as the juice has no fiber.
    • Cereals. Try to find those that have less gluten and sugars.  Avoid those that are loaded with sugars.
    • Pickles are generally good for you, though I can’t stand them.


Great Snack Foods:


  • Nuts, Triscuits (they have only 3 ingredients in them), most soups, especially those with beans and lentils, peanut butter, raisins, apples, bananas, oranges, popcorn (not the microwave kind), celery, carrots.  If the food has few ingredients in it, and you like it, it’s probably a good snack food.  Notice how everything I picked was a natural food or very minimally processed?  Here is a trick that works great to making foods more palatable — dip them in olive oil with spices.  Olive oil has lots of savory umami notes which most people love to eat.


When To Eat and Other Tips:


  • Eat Often, in smaller portions and never eat until you are full!
  • When taking vitamins, take during or right after a meal.  You need to trick your body into thinking those vitamins came with the food and thus won’t be processed out of your body quickly.  Two other great times for vitamins are after practice and before bed.  Yes, before bed!  As your body slows down during the sleep mode, vitamins will stay in your body longer and thus provide more opportunities for your body to use.  Take Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zink to ward off sickness.  Though I would rather you get them from food!!!
  • Here are some interesting studies on vitamins:  I take none whatsoever and am fine: and
  • If you eat processed foods high in sugars, or drink soft drinks, fruit juices or “energy drinks”, consume something good with it to slow the processing of those sugars, especially the glucose into the blood system.  Or get some quick exercise in to avoid those easy energy sources from becoming stored energy (fat) and making you hungry.  Also the over-consumption of sugars leads to inflammation (the source of many ailments), insulin resistance by cells, For instance, if you have to have a soft drink, have nuts with it, or Triscuits, just something with fiber.  Foods with fiber may hopefully slow down the absorption of sugars into your blood system.  Really though, don’t consume very simple carbohydrates unless you plan on exercising—NOW!  Not an hour later.  Like, NOW!
  • You are really much, much better off avoiding sugary drinks anytime.  I think pure sugar is worse than tobacco.
  • Be careful with consuming too much sugar:  Cancer lives on it, specifically the glucose molecule
  • Sometimes on the way to the YMCA, I will eat something light for energy.  I never eat / drink simple carbohydrates afterward, though as the sugars destroy any gains you made working out.
  • My children love banana bread.  So do I.  But I always add peanut butter for three reasons.  First, the peanut butter adds essential minerals, protein and fat.  Second, that protein and fat slow down the digestion process so the sugars from the banana bread do not absorb into the blood system as fast (at least I think so).  Third, I eat less because the proteins and fat from the peanut butter create a more full sensation in me.
  • Do not eat meat or eggs or any other high protein food soon before exercising.  You will go slow because energy that should go towards exercise performance is going to be used instead to digest those foods.  Additionally, you might get sick.
  • It’s always, always good to eat complex (not simple) carbohydrates and proteins after practice.
  • A good snack for energy before a Saturday morning race is some whole grain bread, some olive oil, spiced how you like it.  I do find some energy bars to be fine too.  I do have one better though.  Keep reading.   And honey!!!  Enjoy honey!
  • If I have a can of Chicken Noodle Soup for lunch, I may add a little Olive Oil, to get it into the 40-30-30 diet.  The Olive Oil adds essential fat.
  • Avoid Trans Fats.  However, don’t think that a box labeled “low in Trans Fats” is good for you.  They probably replaced the fats with processed sugars which aren’t needed and can lead to Diabetes and Obesity
  • If you can’t understand the words on the food labels, those words indicate that the foods are processed.
  • V8 is a great, great beverage. THE BEST!  Lots of vitamins and minerals, minimal extra calories, and V8 has a lot of fiber in it.  I drink it before races (Hint!).
  • And the most controversial tip I have is this.  Meets are long and hot, and thus draining.  A trick I used to get hydrated the night before a big triathlon or bike race was to add some extra salt to my food.  Salt holds moisture, makes you thirsty and thus allows you to hydrate more with it than without it.  Additionally salt provides good mineral content, and allows your body to process vitamins and minerals more efficiently. Salt gets a bad rap because most people consume way too much and it, like sugar, leads to inflammation.  However, in athletics, it’s essential to have enough salt.  A really, really good breakfast food before a meet is a banana with salt, or a banana with salty peanut butter.  With a glass of V-8, you will be flying!  This is my number 1 recommended 2 hour before a meet formula for lots of efficient energy. Forget about cramps! By the way, a banana with peanut butter and V-8 is perfectly balanced 40-30-30.  And not all salts are the same.  Try Iodized salt or sea salt which should contain iodine.  Iodine is a great, great immune system booster.



What foods and beverages to avoid:


  • Highly processed foods. 

o       If you can’t pronounce it or know what it is, it’s processed.

o       Avoid eating your “toes”, foods ending in “Toes” or “Tos”,

o       95% of all crackers on the market I think, are highly processed

o       75% of all cereals on the market I think are highly processed

o       100% of all cakes and pies on the market, I think, are highly processed

o       Sugary drinks, soft drinks and ENERGY DRINKS,  Only consume these before an event.  Their sugars easily convert into fat and they can make you hungry.  And, they are strongly linked to Type 2 Diabetes

o       Diet drinks especially!  Strongly linked to Type 2 Diabetes and they will make you crave simple carbohydrates.

o       Chips.

o       Margarine or any other processed fat.

o       Desserts

o       Salad dressings!  Great way ruin a good diet is salad dressings.

o       Red Meat

o       Candy

o       Fast Food!  Except Subway!


Final Recommendations and Thoughts (Summary)


  • If this diet becomes tough, try mixing in some things you like to make it bearable.  If you have to have that Diet Soda, have it with some of the foods I recommend.
  • There is a lot of dietary fiber in this diet.  It may take some time getting used to.
  • Tomato sauces are your friend.  I consume them often.
  • This diet seems to be more expensive than most foods on the shelf.  It is, but you’ll end up eating less and thus the cost difference will be minimal after awhile.
  • Frozen and canned vegetables and beans are as good for you as the fresh ones, so you can save money this way.
  • You will start feeling the benefits in this diet within a week.  You will have more energy and you will feel better.  You will have fewer tired days in the pool.
  • The 40/30/30 diet was conceived in the early 1990’s and was the basis for many of us racing at that time.  I would suggest it is probably in use today by many athletic programs.
  • More fruits, more vegetables, more grains will equal more energy.  More processed foods will equal lethargy, and upset stomachs before races.
  • This diet will help you keep your body toned up and looking good.
  • If you have a sugary drink, you must, must, must have it with other complex foods unless you are getting ready to exercise.  Sugar before exercise and during exercise is fine.
  • Drink plenty of water.  Water suppresses hunger, surprisingly.
  • You simply cannot get Type 2 Diabetes with this diet.  It’s not possible.
  • You simply cannot develop Obesity with this diet.  You really have to overeat.  Simply put, it’s not comfortable to overeat on this diet.
  • Eat after you exercise.  It is the basis for recovery.  Nearly every morning, I fix myself something in balance after leaving the YMCA.
  • Mix it up!  BE WEIRD and PROUD OF IT!!  This morning, before typing this, I mixed Turkey slices into my Oatmeal, which was cooked with a teaspoon of Olive Oil.  YUCK, huh?   Not really.  Oats are fairly bland.  So are mashed potatoes.  So I ask you, why can’t you substitute oats for mashed potatoes especially if you add spices?  And oats have more fiber than potatoes.  Unconventional?  Yes!  Healthy?  Oh yes!!!
  • And lastly, in 1958, the average grocery store was no bigger than the pool area at the YMCA. Simply put, there were hardly any processed foods.


In summary, I mentioned several things over and over.  I’m not a perfect eater, but I am careful.  Yes, I treat myself to some cake, pies, etc on occasion.  You need to enjoy life, right?  If you give this diet a try, you will be amazed at how much better you may feel, and how much energy you have.  Then after going on it for awhile, indulge in some fast food and soft drinks and see how you feel.  The drop off from those processed and fast foods is quick and dramatic.









Some Weird Fun Filled Facts and Theories about Flavor 
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Can Flavor be Affected by All 5 Senses? 

What you interpret as flavor includes all 5 senses, plus current mood, plus past experiences.  Huh?

Hardest first:  Sound:  From:, Daphne Maurer a developmental psychologist at McMaster University in Canada tells us this about Synesthesia, which causes a person’s senses to overlap in unusual ways.  Ms. Maurer says a new study of music and taste suggests that we all have a touch of it though “it rarely influences our conscious perception.” So what is “synesthesia”?

Oxford University psychologist Charles Spence studies human senses and how they interact. In recent studies, he had people smell wines and sample chocolate, and then match the different aromas and flavors to different musical sounds.  He found that people tend to associate sweet tastes with high-pitched notes and the sounds of a piano. People match bitter flavors with low notes and brass instruments.

Spence wondered if he could put this finding to use. Could he use music to influence what people smell or taste?

To find out, he conducted another study. He had volunteers eat several pieces of toffee while listening to music. One soundscape was composed of “sweet” sounds, the other of “bitter” sounds.

Spence then asked the volunteers to rate the sweetness or bitterness of each piece of toffee. All of the toffee was the same, but the volunteers perceived the pieces differently.

“We were significantly able to change the rating of the bitterness and sweetness of the food depending on the sound they were listening to,” says Spence.

Vision:  Easy enough.  Color perception in a wine evokes positive and negative affirmations about how flavor will be perceived.  A dry red dry drinker may get extremely excited if he/she sees a deep, dark wine.  Or perhaps seeing a bottle of Opus One, at a price of $229, which we will be trying tonight.  Hearing that a bottle costs $229 already changes perception of flavor, doesn’t it?  Back to sound we go….

Touch:  Simple enough.  In wine, we talk a lot about mouth feel.  For instance, in judging wine compare water, with a simple, thin mouth feel to milk and crème which has a thicker, richer mouth feel, for many.  From the Huffington Post, I found this interesting snippet on taste and feel: “  Flavor & Mouthfeel

“Flavor, in the technical sense, is defined as the combined sensations of taste (from taste buds) odor, and mouthfeel. Mouthfeel means the way food feels in your mouth. It encompasses texture, moisture level, fluidity, temperature, chewiness, greasiness, astringency, pain (like that from hot chili peppers), and any other tactile experience we get while chewing or swallowing. It may seem strange at first to consider the smell and texture as a food to be a part of its flavor, but your brain is already taking into account these things when it’s processing whether you find a food pleasant or not. Take beef jerky for example. If you dug into a bag of beef jerky only to find out that it was dried out and tough, you’d call it “bad” beef jerky. Even if it has the exact same taste and odor molecules as a “good” bag, the terrible mouthfeel ruins it! And that’s true for a lot of foods, like soggy cereal, warm soda or stale chips.”

Taste:  Taste, right now, is supposedly limited to sweet, salt, bitter, acid, and umami.  Taste is a sensation that sends pulses to the brain when receptors are engaged with food or beverages.

Smell:  Safety first!  Before drinking anything, you will breathe through the nose to see if it is safe to consume and if you have had a past prior experience with it.  A positive past experience allows you to consume the beverage.  A negative experience, and perhaps you will pass on whatever is in the glass.  It is through the olfactory experience in which a lot of flavor is identified:  through aroma!  The olfactory nerves pick up literally thousands of aromas, and it’s the odor aromas that allow you to taste and identify flavors from toasty and nutty to fruity and grassy.

The reason the shape of the glass affects flavor recognition is simple.  Different shaped glasses allow for various aromas to escape both into the nose passageways (nasal odors) and from the back of the mouth (retronasal).

Tie that into past experiences also playing a factor into taste preferences adds yet another wrinkle.  Per Tim Hanni, “It’s difficult to rewire our sensory hardware unless there is some sort of physical injury, metabolism shift or pharmaceutical interaction, but we can be constantly rewriting our software to incorporate our aspirations and experiences.”  Additionally, “Why you like what you like is determined by a coalescence of immediate sensations, preprogrammed intuitive responses to sensory stimuli and memories from our life experiences all coming together for processing in our brain.”  Translation:  If you got sick off of a food or beverage chances are you probably won’t want to consume it.  If an aroma or flavor even evokes a negative memory, such as being forced to cut grass when little, forced to eat foods when little that you didn’t like, chances are you may not like it as an adult.     Or just the opposite can occur too.  Festive foods at festive times can create positive attractions to foods and beverages with those aromas.

Migration from Sweet Wine to Dry Wine and Why Some Never Switch!

If you want a great read on a neat subject about taste, check out Tim Hanni’s website, .  Tim is the second person in the United States to achieve the title of “Master of Wine”.  Tim’s book, “Why You Like The Wines You Like delves into that individual’s variance in  taste bud count can play a significant, significant role in what we like and dislike and that high taste bud count folks are much more super sensitive to taste bud stimulation, and makes the case that foods and beverages with high bitters need to be offset by sweetness in order to make the beverage more pleasant.  His research basically blows up all food and wine pairings that we commonly see today.  For instance, dry red wine and steak are supposed to be the perfect pairing, but folks with a whole lot more taste buds than others receive a not so tasty metallic finish when pairing the two together.  Cool, huh?  Perhaps restaurants should think of offering sweet Moscato to customers who want something other than a dry red with their steak.  Hey, bottom line revenue got walloped when the sweet person switched to tea instead of the nice, sweeter wine they would have preferred with their meal.

But I digress.

So how do folks migrate from sweeter wines to drier wines?  Part of it can be to aspire to dry wines because “that’s what real wine drinkers drink.”  Too often though, I hear people say, “I used to like sweeter wines, but now, that sweetness is too cloying, too sugary.”  Humans, in general, have weak digestive systems, much weaker than any other animal that I can think of.  Can a dog drink out of a puddle without getting sick?  Can you?  I can’t.

Some amazing research has revealed that if a fruit contains fructose, it is 100% safe to consume.  We can’t seemingly identify any poisonous berries containing fructose.  Putting it simply, I truly believe that we are hardwired to like sweetness, not only because our body can convert it into an energy source quickly but because of its inherent safety.  As I like to say, “If it is sweet, it is safe to eat.”

I very rarely run into the dry red drinker who says they have always liked dry red wines from the start.  Most people seemingly start off their wine drinking voyage by drinking the white zin’s, Rieslings, moscatos, etc.  Aside from wanting to “graduate” to dry reds, I think the phenomenon to migrate to dry red wines over time is tied to food safety and vitamin and mineral recognition.  When starting off drinking wine, sweetness is the crutch to liking wine, to liking something new that’s different.  Then, once the body identifies that wine has some good stuff in it, then the reliance and dependence upon sweetness starts to diminish.  Think of sweetness in wine as like a crutch.  Once the body gets comfortable with wine, the need for sweetness in order to consume wine diminishes.   Wine becomes an item that is identified as good, regardless as to whether it is sweet or not.  At least that’s my theory and I am sticking by it.

 Flavor Balancing:

To modify flavors in wine, use salt and acidity (lemons) to decrease tannins and bitterness and sweetness and umami (savory) to increase tannins and bitterness.  Thanks, Tim Hanni, for this tip!!!



The Real Advantage of Barrels over oak additives. Plus Yeast Studies 
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Barrels at Turtle Run

Barrels at Turtle Run








This week, I was explaining a technique I did for making “Blue My Mind 2014” to a visiting winery.  We have two tanks in fermentation as I type this, and I used the same yeast in both tanks, yet there is a difference in flavor.  However, there is nothing quite like experimenting with our best selling wine…for fun.  Tank 1 simply tastes better at this point than tank 2.  And there’s nothing wrong with tank 2.  It tastes great.  After we fermented our Vignoles 2014, we pumped out the wine and pumped in Chardonnay 2014 juice.  When it came time to ferment the Steuben which is, for the most part, Blue My Mind, we pumped out the chardonnay and pumped in the Steuben.  Did I miss a step?  Did I not clean the tank?  Um…nope!  I didn’t add any additional yeast either!  Call it spontaneous / instant fermentation.  The bourbon industry, I have heard, are very protective of their yeast and will take yeast from one fermentation to the next.  In the wine industry, we typically clean the daylights of our tanks before adding any new juice.  Risking microbiological harm to the new fermentations are reason’s 1-99 for cleaning tanks between fermentations.  The primary risk is acetic acid, AKA, vinegar.  So why do it?  Both the vignoles and the chardonnay had very, very clean fermentations, so I had tank full of ready to go, very dominant yeast just asking for more sugars.  If there were any off strains of yeast, the ones in the tank that fermented Vignoles and Chardonnay dominated and possibly eliminated them.  So why does it taste better?  With all the spent yeast cells congregating at the bottom of the tank some of the yeast will break down into the wine to add complexity.  So there you go.  Cleanliness is key to making good wine.  But sometimes a dirty tank is actually clean and has some great benefits inside it!


Barrels:  This summer and fall we have been bottling short runs of our red wines aging in barrels and we have distinctly noticed that each bottling is better than the last one.  The main reason for the short run bottlings is you!  We’ve simply sold wine at a faster pace and I didn’t have wines to go back in the barrels.  And we don’t like to leave barrels empty due to CLEANLINESS!  Barrels hold up much longer and much better if they are kept clean, and full.  But that’s not what this article is about.  It’s about one specific benefit that barrels can provide any and all wines – concentration of flavors and aromas through evaporation.  Barrels are under siege in the wine industry today, not because they don’t work.  It’s just that they are expensive, and it’s very easy today to impart oaky aromas and flavors through the addition of barrel staves into stainless steel tanks.  We’ve never done that, though for barrels which have lost all of their flavor, we have added new staves directly into the barrels.  And I have found that I love that process, as we can really control the oak compounds leached into the wines.  We can make the oak more subtle, or up-front.  Or take the wines somewhere in-between.   Of course we still buy new barrels, and we always will.  The added oak staves gave me a fun tool to add more dimensions to our wines.  But I can’t see me ever adding them to stainless steel.  It’s the micro-oxidation and concentration of flavors that makes me dizzy with enjoyment.  As me sometime, and I’ll pour you a current release Pinot Noir 2013 and our first bottling of the wine.  Or, I can do the same with Rhapsody in Red 2013.  Yeah, there’s a little more oak to the newer bottlings, but what I really notice is the concentration of fruit flavors and tannins, and perhaps a little more kick up of alcohol.


Whenever we open barrels to taste, unless we are pulling the wine out, we have to top the barrels back off with wine.  And some barrels can take upwards of 5 pitchers of wine or more.  Back in 2004, we studied concentration levels, and found that for our location, each barrel concentrates the alcohol percentage about a percent and a half more per year.  If for instance we add a wine to a barrel at 12% on November 1st. by the next October 31st the wine is usually close to 13.5%.  How is that?  When it’s humid in the winery alcohol leaches through the oak staves into the atmosphere.  When it’s drier in the winery, water evaporates out of the barrels at a much higher rate than alcohol and all of this evaporation subsequent refilling concentrates aroma and flavor compounds in the wines.  Simple enough.  And the beauty of the barrels is the lack of bad oxidative properties.  When we open a barrel for tasting we hear this big ol’ “whoosh” of air rushing in.  Called “ullage” in our industry, as the wine

No Added Sugar — The European Way and Turtle Run Way — Why We Go Through This Painstaking Process! 
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Excerpt taken from our September / October 2014 Email Newsletter

The New Wines of 2014 — A Little Luck, + a Lot of Work = Great Wines Forthcoming

For the first time in seemingly forever, we harvested our West Side Vignoles.  Starlings normally graze the heck out of this section, but none were around this year (by the way, I hold starlings in high regard as a smart, very resourceful bird to get around my defenses).  We took 180 gallons and barrel fermented it and whoa, anyone remember barrel aged vignoles in 2004.  Yeah, that’s what’s coming in sometime late spring.

Lot of Work:  Our process of not adding sugar to dry wine to make sweet wine has pushed the staff and me to the brink.  We had three wines come to the max limits on alcohol that we wanted — on the same day!  Not fair! Who is managing the tank temperatures that caused this?  That person needs to be on a performance improvement plan!  Oh wait, that’s me.  Uh-oh!  I’m glad Catherine isn’t old enough yet to run this place.  Whew!!   But hey, it could have occurred on a concert Sunday, so we’ll take it!  So why do we not take dry wine and add sugar? It’s certainly legal in America to do so. And, it’s certainly easier to make sweet wine that way

In Europe, it’s illegal.  So I thought, if they can make sweet wines without adding sugar, why can’t I?  I want to compete with the best in the world, so it only makes sense that this would be a first step.

I personally like the flavor we get by making wine this way. To me, I find the sweetness to be clean and refreshing, with no sugary aftertaste at the end.

We did a study with the lab EMSL to see if there was something else. What we found was wines that were very low to non existent in glucose and much higher in fructose.

We were able to hypothesize afterwards that yeast will consume glucose over fructose, like a dog would rather consume a steak than dry dog food.  We have heard customers tell us who were diabetic that they could enjoy our wines without a spike in their sugar levels. That would be pretty cool too, though that would be hard for me to verify. And if there are health benefits to making wine this way, I need to stick with it.

It would seem like this is a less caloric way of making wine too. Research shows that glucose contains 4 calories per gram and fructose contains 3. Another study shows that fructose is 2.2 times sweeter by taste than glucose and 1.72 times sweeter by taste than sugar. Thus, it would stand to reason that I could reduce my residual sugars and attain the same sweetness as if I added sugar. So perhaps there are other benefits that might help some folks.

So there you go!

And a big thanks to Gretchen and John for helping process Sangiovese grapes.  Heaven forbid we ever make this wine again.  What takes an hour to process cabenet franc takes 5 hours for Sangiovese.  UGH!!  But the wine tastes great, so what the hey!!!

Our mixed up screwed up vineyard came on board this year.  This is the one that the kids will rip out when they find out what I did — mixed grape varieties to create a field blend.  Dang it’s good.  Gretchen, John, Christine, and I have tasted it and we don’t know what it tastes like, perhaps a pink pinot grigio with just hair bit of residual sugar.  Currently the wine has been nicknamed “The Funky Co-Madina!

And traminette….whoa!  Yeah, that’s a good one.

Now if you think I am dissing on the kids, I am not.  I added them into this discussion to emphasize a point of uniqueness to Turtle Run Winery.  We go to some crazy extra steps to create exceptional quality and unique wines for you, the consumer.  We care about costs, to a point, but the point is to make great wine and not let accounting or an easy route get in the way.  We are teaching the kids that hard work wins in the long run.  No, I could easily see Max and Catherine being crazier and more adventurous than Laura and me.  Maybe they’ll give me a raise when they take over!!!  Yeah!!!!


Farm Winery of the Year 2014 from the Indy International Wine Competition 



Typing this while with a glass of Painted Red, all the while savoring a big award, — INDIANA WINERY OF THE YEAR — by the INDY INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION!  Whoa!!!!!

Just created this year — an award for wineries in Indiana that produce less than 50,000 gallons, which is a vast majority of us.

While we are all jazzed up over this award, you won’t see much fanfare on the wines that brought this award home.  We preach at Turtle Run to like the wines you like, at the temperature you like, with the food that you like, in the glass shape you like.  Due to individual’s taste bud count and past flavor experiences, what anyone likes is completely individualized.  Before I truly understood this concept, many years ago, I listed our medals on our tasting sheet and poured one of those big, bold dry gold medal winning reds to a super sensitive taste bud gal who loved sweet, and whoa!!  Oops!!!  No more medals listed on our tasting sheet.

However, since I’m “Pimpin’ the Turtle”, I’ll mention the wine that “did it” — Estate Bottled Chambourcin 2012.  I thought our 2012 was one of our best 4 vintages we have grown: 2000, 2007 and 2010 are the others in the big 4.  To me, this wine is just flat out balanced!  Nice densely balanced fruit.  Nicely balanced tannins, nicely balanced oak, nicely balanced finish.  I just like it..a lot!  Always have. And it grabbed a Concordance Double Gold — the equivalency of the US Supreme Court reaching a unanimous decision.  Apparently a ton of points goes to one of these gems and we got em!  So if you like dry reds, give our 2012 Chambourcin a try.

As an aside, as president of the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail, the combined haul of medals from the trail was 93 — over 40% of the total medals taken by Indiana wineries!  And we represent 11% of the total amount of wineries!  So hop on the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail for some amazing, amazing wines!!

Ahh…but back to the Painted Red.  First made in 2004, Painted Red is our full to medium bodied dry red with great, medium tannins and full fruit.   Our 2013 is a blend of cab franc, cab sauvignon, corot noir, noiret, some zinfandel and pinot noir.  I am trying this dry red slightly chilled.  It’s delicious!  Intense…but not (I know, that’s weird).  So fruity.  Just a hint of oak.  Just dandy!  I love that finish.  It’s 20 seconds since my last sip and I am still tasting a lingering set of flavors.  That’s right up my alley.

Also included in this email is information about Tour De Pork, the bicycle tour that starts and ends here on Saturday.  And the Ron Jones Jazz Quartet will be here to serenade the riders when they return!  If you don’t ride, come out anyway for some great music.  And, there’s something special about the music from Ron this time.

We list our Fall Concert Series too in this email  And, of course, new wines!  And our upcoming grape harvest!!!




An Essay on Prohibition 
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Jim has written a great essay about prohibition. Click the link below to download it, you won’t want to miss it!

Prohibition — The Inconvenient Truth!

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