Could Sugar, specifically Glucose, be worse for you than smoking? Sugars, the new Joe’s Jammin Red and White Chambourcin

Joe’s Jammin’ Red! White Chambourcin 2013 & Glucose VS Smoking!

Typing this while absolutely enjoying a glass of our newly bottled Joe’s Jammin’ Red in my right hand and a glass of newly bottled White Chambourcin in the other. Wait, I’m typing, so neither is in my hand, but both are right here on my desk.

And there’s a common thread between them.

First the Joe’s. After reading about Joe’s Jammin’ Red, I’ll give you the Turtle Run history on sugar. I want to give this to you partly out of hubris. We spent a whole lot of time on sugar years ago, before sugar became anti-cool. I simply just want folks to know we broke ground on a lot of this and were the first winery, to my knowledge to figure out that yeasts prefer to consume glucose to fructose. As a quick aside, there are other wineries that use the processes we use, and have done so for years. It’s the why behind it and what is chemically different about the wines which is our unique discovery.

Joe’s Jammin’ Red was the last, the very final wine to go to our sweet process called arrested fermentation, where we literally stop fermentation in its tracks. For the entire 13 years of making Joe’s Jammin’ Red, the wine has never had a granule of sugar added to sweeten it. Rather, we have relied on a combination of arrested fermentation and Suisse Reserve, or back-adding juice or concentrate.

Lab test after lab test has shown that arresting fermentation severely limits the amount of glucose in the wines. Many of our wines either have a trace amount or no glucose remaining in the wines — which is why our sweet wines do not have a sugary, syrupy aftertaste (that’s what glucose provides—sugary, syrupy aftertaste). Our lab results on Suisse Reserve provide us very erratic results, but always more fructose than glucose but not to the ratio that our sweetest wines, the “My Mind” wines have. For instance, a “My Mind” wine typically 90% – 95% – 100% fructose to glucose ratio, whereas Joe’s has been around 70% / 30%. We have always limited the amount of juice added to Joe’s for two reasons. One of them would be we wanted the wine to not be as sweet as a “My Mind” wine. Second, we know that 40% of the US Population is either diabetic or pre-diabetic, and diabetes (type 2) is directly linked to overconsumption of glucose. We want to limit glucose, so we have limited the sweetness of Joe’s Jammin’ Red simply to keep the glucose numbers in check. Here is a great, great article concerning the overconsumption of glucose:
And here is one concerning the US diabetes rate.

To give you an idea, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and another 86 million are pre-diabetic. That’s 34.5% of the American population. And the other epidemic in the United States, cancer, is directly related to the over consumption of glucose.


To shed another light on it, and the gravity of overconsumption of glucose, there are 42 million regular smokers in the US. And each year, there are 224,210 new cases of lung cancer. Do the math, and lung cancer affects 0.533% of smokers each year. Could the overconsumption of glucose be actually worse than smoking? Uh oh…..don’t go there, Jim. Switch to tea. Get rid of this wine. Nope. Staying there. The overconsumption of glucose causes inflammation. If the body is living with constant inflammation, the immune system can be compromised which will allow cancer to take hold and grow. So how many smokers who get lung cancer, could have avoided it if their diet contained less glucose? Oh, here’s the smoking statistic website.

We kept the Joe’s Jammin’ Red at the same sweetness level as before, about 2% residual sugar, simply because our customers like that number.

I know I have mentioned this before, but as a refresher, fructose has 3 calories per gram, sucrose 4, and glucose 4. Fructose to human taste is 2.2 times sweeter than glucose and 1.72 times sweeter by taste than sugar. Do the math, and we can make a 4% residual sugar wine like Red My Mind if we arrest fermentation. To make a dry concord taste as sweet as Red My Mind, a winery would need to add 1.72 times the amount of sugar to get the same sweetness and their sugars would contain 25% more calories to boot. Do that math, and let’s say we had a glass of wine with 10 grams of fructose in it or 30 calories. Their calorie equivalent would be 68.8. And because we arrest fermentation we have fewer alcohol calories too.

Here are some benefits of fructose:, And here too.

So can we just consume fructose with impunity? No, not at all. Everything should be consumed in moderation. But check this link out.

I think that after looking at this research, you’ll come to the same conclusion I have. Fructose is much more natural sugar in our natural food environment. Our bodies are designed to slowly process fructose. Glucose just isn’t available very much in a free form in natural foods without fiber to slow down its digestion. So our bodies, which need glucose in minimal amounts, set up the equivalent of High-Speed Internet over dial-up by allowing it to pass straight from the small intestine right into the blood system since it isn’t readily available in a free form in nature.


By the way, as grapes ripen, glucose is converted into fructose in the fruit. Depending upon when the grapes are harvested depends upon how much initial glucose is in the juice, which is why those grape juice concentrates have been very erratic in their glucose/fructose ratio. However, with arrested fermentation, it really doesn’t matter how much initial glucose exists in the juice solution because yeast prefer to consume glucose at a faster rate than fructose. At about 8.75% alcohol concentration we generally get down to under 3 grams of glucose per bottle. As we get into the 9% or better, the glucose number goes down. Over the years, customers have told me what we are doing is right. I’ve had numerous customers tell me our sweeter wines, including all previous bottlings of Joe’s Jammin’ Red haven’t affected their sugar levels. Now if you have diabetes, will our wines not affect you like other customers? I don’t know.

Until now. I always thought that Blue My Mind (Steuben grape) held the key to taking Joe’s Jammin’ Red to arrested fermentation wine. But we sold it so fast that we never had a shot to blend with it. We quadrupled our production this year, and I had enough wine to play with in Joe’s blend. In our last Joe’s Jammin’ Red, we introduced White Chambourcin to smooth it out. Bingo! It sold out in half the time as the last blend. We also slipped in a little Blue too. We knew we were on course.

Joe’s has always been our sweet, but not very sweet red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is the base. We blended equal parts of concord wine (Red My Mind), Steuben wine (Blue My Mind), and White Chambourcin (dry blush), and left our juice concentrate in the barn. Today, Joe’s Jammin’ Red joins the arrested fermentation clan of the rest of our wines!

By the way, when adding sugar to wine, sugar breaks down into one part glucose and one part fructose. This is a banned practice nearly everywhere outside the US. So why does the US allow it? Literally, I’ve never been able to figure it out. I can say that I have attended wine conferences in the US in which the speakers talk about making sweet wine by adding sugar.

Our last version of White Chambourcin was a good, but not a big seller at Turtle Run. See how drinking wine while typing creates full disclosure? Even I, when working in the tasting room, have not promoted this wine enough. But I do enjoy a glass of wine immensely.

To make Joe’s Jammin Red, we have regularly added some White Chambourcin into the blend. Both the last version and our new one had a 25% addition.

Sorry, wine can kick up my ADD. Back to White Chambourcin. Again, not been a great seller over the years. We have changed up how we make it, but the wine has still been a “cult” wine with its mighty but mini fan base

So when we finally ran low, it was time for an adjustment. Perhaps the problem was the wine was 100% Chambourcin. Perhaps it needed something else blended in.

What about back adding some new fruity Joe’s? Whoa?!!! How about bottling Joe’s and White Chambourcin on the same day, bottle Joe’s first, then use the Joe filter pads, which will have a little Joe’s in them, to filter the White Chambourcin? Game On! After 10 minutes of circulating the White Chambourcin tank through Joe’s filters, we would thoroughly cross-contaminate the White Chambourcin with Joe.s. The next step was figuring out how many, if any, Joe’s bottles would be opened and poured back into the White Chambourcin. After the staff tasted and tasted, we chose to leave the wine as it is. The wine from the filter became the perfect addition.

So if you liked our old version of White Chambourcin, I have squirreled away a few bottles for you. But if you have tried it in the past and weren’t overly impressed, give it a try again. Chances are during our summer concert series, I am enjoying a glass of the new White Chambourcin.

From a taste perspective, both wines are super smooth and super fruity. White Chambourcin hits me with incredible intensity whereas Joe’s Jammin’ Red is light and super fruity.

Other new wines since our last email include Forever More 2014, a dry blush vineyard blend of Diamond, Catawba, Corot Noir, and Noiret, Chardonel 2013 (longer in oak than our last version), Chardonnay 2014, Mammatus #4 (which may remind fans of the original Summer Solstice, a blend of chardonel and traminette, Traminette NV (we blended the 13 and 14 to make a magnificent traminette, Max’s Small Batch Red #43 (cab sauv, cab franc, and syrah), Cabernet Franc 2014, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Rhapsody in Red 2013, and soon to be released the next version of Syrah 2014 and Sangiovese 2014.

So come on out and try some new wines or newer versions of established Turtle Run wines!

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