The glorious cabinet of artifacts pictured above is part of the collection at the Naturkunden Museum in Berlin. Curated in the early part of the 18th century, the cabinet showcases coral, sea sponges, and an assortment of shells – small wonders of the natural world. Curiosity, or curio cabinets have been around for hundreds of years. During the 16th and 17th centuries, curio cabinets often displayed ambitious collections of naturalia (natural artifacts), artefacta (ancient objects) and scientifica (instruments of science). These cabinets (and in some cases – entire rooms or Wunderkammer) often served as mementos of the owner-curator’s travels and life experiences. Further examination and reflection of each object assembled in a particular cabinet was meant to inspire wonder, enjoyment and further exploration.

In the spirit of wonder, enjoyment and exploration, Paul Marcus Wines is very proud to share with you our very own (cold) curio cabinet!

Ensconced on our back wall, between our Barbaresco and Germany/Austria sections, you’ll find an eclectic collection of white, sparkling and rose wines from across the globe. And, if you look closely, you’ll even spot an artisanal beer or cider! We constantly change up and add new selections, empowering you to take a new wine adventure each time you explore our cold cabinet.

And for those of you who prefer to revisit a wine several times before moving onto a new adventure, we’ve kept the bottom shelf of the cabinet stocked with a range of reliable, go-to wines. These customer favorites will be around for a spell – or at least until we run out.

We hope that our curio cold cabinet inspires you to further explore and enjoy the world of wine. And of course, we are always available to make a recommendation, or to answer any questions that you might have.

We’ll see you at the shop!

Here comes the Sun! I suspect that most of us are ready for spring! After a cool and very rainy winter, Mother Earth has rewarded us with a bounty of floral and vegetative riches. Southern California is currently experiencing several super blooms, and here in the SF Bay area you can’t walk a city block without being graced by a riotous plethora of our state flower – the California poppy. Flowers, flowers everywhere! (Incidentally, these three photos were taken just blocks from the shop.)

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As we enjoy the new spring season, and the renewal of nature, how appropriate it is that on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day. This international day of recognition and appreciation for our planet was first celebrated in 1970. Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day activities promoted ecology and respect for all life on our planet. Fast forward almost fifty years, and Earth Day is celebrated in over 193 countries. What is the best way to celebrate and appreciate the planet earth on Earth Day? Go surfing, sailing, or swimming? Perhaps take in a nature walk in a city park or country trail. And along the way pick up some litter that happens to dot the landscape. The possibilities are endless.

In celebration of Earth Day, PMW wishes to acknowledge Horse & Plow, a human scale winery created by Suzanne Hagins & Chris Condos in 2008. This husband and wife team work with a small community of growers along California’s North Coast, Sonoma and Mendocino counties who employ only certified organic or biodynamic practices in their vineyards.

In the winery, Horse & Plow wines are made naturally, with no synthetic nutrients or additions, and or GMOs. All of the wines are vegan and contain low levels of sulfites. Horse & Plow is committed to making wines that are balanced, food-friendly, and that respect and care for the eco-systems from where they are produced. In short, they appreciate and honor our mother earth 365 days each year.

At PMW this month we’ve got two new arrivals from Horse & Plow:

The 2018 Horse & Plow Rose is composed of 100% Carignan, which comes from some of the oldest vines in the state! Vibrant and dry, with nuances of wild strawberry, beet and a super crisp finish!

The 2018 Horse & Plow Draft Horse White is an eclectic blend of white varieties (we think Riesling, Pinot Blanc predominantly, but this is as yet to be confirmed.) But seriously, no matter as the sum here is greater than its parts, and might we add, delicious! Crisp, and bright, with nuances of quince, pear and tangerine. Say hello to Spring!

With the arrival of spring, Paul Marcus Wines is ready to showcase our growing rosé selection!

What does a lighter pink wine signify? Will a darker hued rose taste sweet? Making a fruity but balanced pink wine is no small task. In fact, many winemakers confide that vinifying rosé wine can be more challenging than red or white wine production.

Why is this so? The answer: A rosé wine must walk a tightrope, balancing components of fruit, acid and alcohol with very little margin of error. Too much of any one component leaves what should otherwise be a fresh, crisp and vibrant pink, flat on its back, tasting ponderous and dull.  However, making the perfect pink wine is not just a matter of mixing red and white grape juice…

How is Rosé Wine Made?

High quality rosé wine is made utilizing the following 3 production methods:

Direct Press Method

After harvest, red grapes undergo skin contact for a short period of time before being pressed off. How much time exactly? Anywhere from almost immediately to 16 hours or so. During this period, a limited amount of color is extracted from the skins, often resulting in a lightly colored juice. A very pale and barely pink wine is sometimes referred to as a Vin Gris.  If the grapes are left on their skins a bit longer, a darker hue will result. A rosé produced via the direct press method is pictured above.

Saignée Method

The process saignée or bleeding off juice, was originally employed as a method of concentrating wine must before fermentation in order to produce a more robust red. Red grapes, either crushed or uncrushed but broken (preferable), are chilled down and macerate, generally between 1-4 days. The juice is then be drawn off or “bled” and without being pressed. This juice is then often fermented at cooler temperatures, in a similar manner to that of a white wine the finished rosé is generally a more robust and deeply colored wine. A rosé produced via the saignée method is pictured above.

Note: the finished color of a rose does not indicate a sweetness level. If all the sugar has been converted to alcohol during the fermentation process, the resulting wine will be a dry one, regardless of the color.

Blended Method

After fermentation is complete, white and red wines (usually around 5%) are blended together in order to achieve a desired level of pink or blush tint. The blending method is rarely employed in making still rosé wines and is illegal in the EU. However, the blended method is commonly used in the production of high-quality rosé Champagne as well as high quality sparkling wines around the world. The Champagne house Billecart-Salmon produces their iconic rosé Champagne in this manner.

With so many rosé wines, and so little time, it’s time to dive in and get started!

 

 

These 2018 rosé wines from our local winery friends are now available at Paul Marcus wines and ready for you to take home.

Expect to see a steady parade of pink over the next several months, from wine regions across the globe, and produced via the 3 methods of rose production described above. As you may know, we’re huge Rosé fanatics, and we can’t stop talking about Pink!

We’ll see you at the shop!

In our last newsletter we mentioned that a special project was in the works here at Paul Marcus Wines. News update: We are very pleased to announce that the PMW Wine League packs are now in the shop and ready to roll! Please note: Only a very limited number of these special bundles are available.

The Wine League

We currently have 2 different selections. The first tier includes a white and red from Terenzuola, a family owned winery located a stone’s throw from the Ligurian coast. Our second-tier highlights 2 Savoie selections from Uliz, and rising star winemaker Antoine Petitprez. The nifty little flyer above explains the details.

PMW Wine League Zine Issue #1

Wine League Zine

Also, included with your selection is our inaugural issue of the Paul Marcus Wine Zine!

Inside this issue, you’ll find additional information regarding the wineries featured with each pack. Also, recipe and cheese pairing suggestions for each wine. And in celebration of PMW’s 32 years as part of the Rockridge community, we’re revisiting the history of how Paul Marcus Wines came to be. The PMW wine journey has been a great trip thus far, and we look forward to many more adventures!