What is ‘Brix’?
Aside from a great wine cafe, Brix is a system used to measure the sugar content of grapes (or anything that contains sugar). Named for a 19th century German inventor, A.F.W. Brix, winegrowers/winemakers use this system as one method in determining the optimum time to pick their grapes. A reading of 20 Brix will equate to approximately 11% alcohol by volume in your bottle of wine while a reading of 27 equates to roughly 15% alcohol (big and jammy!). There is no best’ Brix per se, unless of course you’re voting for one of the best wine bars on the Eastside!
What does oak do for a wine?
Oak flavors seem to marry very well with wine. Oak can soften the texture of any wine and deepen the color of red wines. It can add complexity to any wine and help stabilize it as well. However, too much oak (especially in delicate, white wines) will result in a poorly balanced wine that can taste like, well, wood. Some folks love big oaky’ Chardonnays while others prefer a less oaked, leaner Chardonnay. Either way, to oak or not to oak, is ultimately a matter of taste.
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