Enter your email to receive new Straight Out the Bottle posts by email, and feel special — because you are!

Veraison: The Turning of the Grapes

Wine emblem sculpted from polymer clay, depicting veraison of red grapes — Artwork by Melanie Wynne

Tendrils of excitement have been snaking their way across Sonoma County this past week, as veraison (“vehr-ray-zohn”) is at last upon us. As depicted in my polymer clay wine emblem above, veraison is the period in a grapevine’s annual lifecycle when hard, opaque green grapes begin to ripen, swelling with water and sugars. Green varietals like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc simply become more translucent, while the berries of red varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir transition to, well…red.

Read More

The Truth About Terpenes: Herbal Aromas in Wine

Wine emblem sculpted from polymer clay, depicting herbal aromas commonly found in wine — Artwork by Melanie Wynne

It’s wine emblem time again, kids! I sculpted this miniature scenario out of polymer clay to depict herbal aromas commonly found in wine. While I worked, I sipped a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of a kitchen garden in springtime — and the whole experience seems to have sparked actual springtime.Read More

Fruit Flavors and Aromas in Red Wines

In addition to drinking wine and preparing for a career in winemaking, I like to create miniature polymer clay sculptures, such as this gleefully small piece that depicts the fruit flavors and aromas most commonly detected in red wines.

Read More