Musings on a different kind of bug

I was sitting around with some friends the other day, sipping on a lovely Finger Lakes wine and wondering aloud about malolactic fermentations.

OK, so I lied.

But, luckily for those of us who enjoy a lovingly constructed wine, there are people who do think about such things, Take Peter Bell (right), for example. He's the winemaker at Fox Run Vineyards, located on the west side of Seneca Lake, midway between Geneva and Penn Yan. He writes on the vineyard's blog:

"People often stop me on the street and say, 'What do winemakers talk about in late November?' Well, probably the number-one question we ask of each other in this profession is 'So, d’ya getcher deer?'
"Just kidding. It’s 'How are your MLs doing?' MLs in this case are winemaker shorthand for malolactic fermentations. You may recall seeing a picture ... in an earlier post, initiating the process ... with little cups of freeze-dried bacteria. That was a few weeks ago. By now, our MLs are either well under way or wrapped up entirely.
"What’s the point of this procedure? A guaranteed modest reduction in the acidity of the wine, associated with the conversion of malic acid to lactic, is rarely a bad thing in our cool climate. But we also expect an increase in aroma and flavor complexity."

That may be a nugget of wine knowledge many of you didn't have before. Now you do, and it's a fascinating process. You can read the full blog entry by clicking here.

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