Darius Miller

A “Sticky” Problem – SOLVED

At Koi Zen Cellars, we are constantly trying to make the world a better place.  One way we can do this is to reduce our impact on Mother Nature by using sustainable practices such as our wines on tap (directly from the barrel) and refilling your clean empty wine bottles. However, we want to do even more. We are so excited to introduce our newest sustainability practice at Koi Zen. Together, we can accomplish our mission and make the world…

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How to PROPERLY Age Wine:

One day you find a great Koi Zen Cellars wine that you just love and want to age it a little but you don’t know for how long until it peaks. All wine buyers face this issue but we have a proven solution. The worst thing you can do is to buy a great bottle of wine and hold on to it too long, waiting for that special occasion only to have the bottle not be up to par. Some…

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Those Little Yeasties

As the days get hotter, the harvest gets closer and the more a winemaker starts thinking about making wine. The first step to making quality wine is to start with good fruit – fruit that is ripe, undamaged, proper terroir and has the right balance of acids, sugars, and is mature. The grower is busy making sure the fruit is protected from the sun, bugs, rot, mold, mildew, critters and hydration and the winemaker is planning his strategies. The basic…

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Headaches

ast week we talked about how sulfites probably aren’t causing your headache – so what causes them? The #1 reason people get headaches is due to dehydration; most people are chronically dehydrated, to begin with, and alcohol speeds up the process. The general rule of thumb is one adult beverage – one glass of water and always drink responsibly. Some people, however, get headaches from wine after only a sip or two – what causes that? These headaches are not…

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Sulfites – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

“Contains Sulfites” – this little phrase cases a lot of concern and confusion – most of which is inaccurate. ulfites are a naturally occurring molecule that forms in your body and in many foods such as grapes. Sulfites are a natural antimicrobial and help prevent spoilage. Sulfites are widely used in the food industry and as a general sanitizer. Wine without sulfites quickly turns to vinegar. At the winery, I use a mixture of Potassium Magnesium Sulfate (sulfites) and Citric…

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Hang Time

e have pulled out of June gloom and now with the temperatures rising, the fruit on the vines will begin to ripen quicker. But is that good – or is it bad? It is a complicated question and with any wine-related question – the answer tends to be “it depends”. Suppose a grape varietal took 120 days to fully mature. In a hot year, the fruit might ripen in 100 days and in a cool year maybe 130 days. All…

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Storing and Serving Wine

Storing Wine: As the weather warms, it is time to think about your wine collection and how best to keep it tasting great even if you don’ have that fancy cave, cellars, or fridge. The number one thing to remember is to try to keep your wine at a constant temperature and as cool as possible which can be a challenge during the summer. The second most important consideration is to avoid sunlight; while it is cool to show your…

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How to Blend Wine – Part 3

Aging: Last time I talked about how varietals that grow together go together – most time, but to really get a nice wine, you have to do a lot of trial and error – it sucks being a winemaker sometimes. As the wine is maturing in the barrels, we often check to make sure each barrel is doing ok. Every few months it has to be topped off and we check to see if everything is progressing. As the wine…

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group of koi fish

How to Blend Wine – Part 2

Review: Last week we talked about how are we going to take 8 barrels of Cabernet Franc and figure out what went into bottles, on tap, and what was going to be used in a future blend. In review: the first two barrels were easy drinkers with slight bell pepper notes, barrels 3-6 and 8 were all very similar and barrel 7 was most typical of a Cab Franc. Conclusion: In the end, we decided to blend barrels 3, 4,…

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barrel sample

How to Blend Wine – Part 1

Blending wine is easy: Gather some barrels of wine, Gather some friends to taste the wine, Blend the barrels you want together – done. It should be easy, But it isn’t and for reasons, you might not have considered. A few days ago, we pulled 8 barrels of 2017 Cabernet Franc from the cellar since it is ready for bottling. The goal was to identify 5 barrels that would get mixed together and go into the bottle, 1 barrel to…

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Hours

Monday – closed (Private Events Only)

Tuesday – 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wednesday – 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday – 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Friday – 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday – 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sunday – 12:00 – 6:00 pm

Visit Us

12225 World Trade Drive, Suite P

San Diego, CA 92128

858.381.CORK(2675)

When you need a break from shopping in Carmel Mountain, just swing on over to visit. We’d love to show you around.

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