Welcome to Lost Oak Winery's Blog.
Any party is an excuse to drink wine, but what about a party all about wine? Here are some ideas to get your wine party on!
Wine and Cheese go together like…. wine and cheese.
Throw a party to celebrate this match made in heaven. Have all of your guests bring their favorite bottle of wine and block cheese. Your guests can try different combinations to find their perfect pairings. It is a great way to try new things and explore with friends without breaking the bank. As the party winds down, a fun game of “guess who brought what wine and cheese” is always a good way to see how well everyone knows each other.
Group like wines together. For example, put all the dry reds/dry whites/sweet wines together so that certain types of wine are easier for you guest to fine. The same can go for the cheese, place hard cheese and soft cheeses together.
See how well you and your guests know their stuff with a Blind Wine Tasting Party. Have your guests bring a bottle of wine in a non-descript bag. This works best when it is single varietals, so specify no blends. Have the person who brought the wine pour everyone a sample. Let the group talk it over and then everyone tries to guess what the wine is. It’s a fun way to see who in your group knows their wine. Alternatively, you can assign each wine a number and set them out on a table and let your friends try the wine as they mingle. Afterwards you can have a big reveal and see who guessed correctly.
Pro-tip: With any party, the ultimate goal is to have fun. Make sure you wine party is unpretentious and welcoming to all types of wine. Afterall, wine is all about enjoying it with friends.
In 2019, Lost Oak Winery entered a number of our wines into two important competitions, and the results did not disappoint!
The first competition was the 39th Annual San Francisco International Wine Competition. Our wines went head-to-head with wines from all over the world!
The Result: Double Gold for the 2017 Cabernet Franc!
Later that year we entered the 20th Annual San Francisco Chronical Competition, the largest wine competition of American wines in the world!
The Result: Double Gold for the 2018 Viognier!
These aren’t the only awards we took home; visit our website LostOakWinery.com for a full list of all the wines that won Gold, Silver, and Bronze at these prestigious wine competitions!
Ty earned his B.A and M.A. in English from Texas Tech, graduating in 2015 Ty began his career as a professor of English but quickly figured out, wine was a better fit! He first worked for Llano Estacado winery gaining experience in teh cellar, lab and vineyard. Now, Ty is learning from a Texas wine pioneer-duo, Jim Evans and Gene Estes. Ty describes his winemaking approach as “traditional with a touch of technology.” His favorite wines to drink are cool climate reds and oak-aged whites.
What are you drinking when you aren't drinking wine?
Iced Tea with lemon in the summer, and spicy hot chocolate in the winter.
When you aren’t at the winery, where are you?
With my dog on hiking trails, or working in the shop on blacksmithing, carpentry, or leather.
What is your favorite food?
Fresh tuna sushi or the burnt ends of a fatty brisket.
Every November, Lost Oak sets out to answer that age-old question; What wine should I pair with Thanksgiving dinner? Don’t worry, our resident wine nerd has you covered. This year we have a knockout box of four wines specially selected to not only go with everything on your Thanksgiving table but to also please everyone sitting at the table.
First up we have our yearly Holiday release! A versatile dry red that is more on the fruity side. Rich with flavors of ripe berries it will complement everything from turkey to mashed potatoes and everything in between.
But if you have friends or family that are looking for something a little dryer, we have the Montepulciano. Its character is a little more spicy with rich tannins making it the perfect complement ham and some of your creamy side dishes.
For the white drinkers in your life we have our Gewurztraminer. A wonderfully friendly wine reminiscent of figs and nectarines, this wine is the perfect starter to your evening. Have it with your appetizers or with you are cooking.
Last but not least is our Lat Harvest Roussanne. This dessert wine needs no paring, it is decadent and rich all on its own. However, no Thanksgiving is complete without pie, and this is just the wine you want while enjoying that slice, whether it’s apple, pumpkin, or pecan!
Come into the tasting room to pick up all four wines together in a convenient tote, ready to take to your Thanksgiving table for the discounted price $95.95. Or, if you can’t make it to the tasting room click here to order it online and we’ll ship it to you. To ensure that your wine gets to you by Thanksgiving all orders must be placed by November 20th.
Our very own Angela Chapman - Lost Oak's Wine Eduactaor and Operations Manager - is proudly a WSET level three!
And she's excited for WSET's 50th anniversary and the launch of the first ever global ‘Wine Education Week’ from 9–15 September 2019.
2019 marks 50 years since the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was founded to provide wine and spirits education to the industry.
Now the world’s largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications for both professionals and enthusiasts, WSET will be celebrating this landmark anniversary with a full schedule of activity throughout the year looking back, and forward, at the integral role education plays in the wine and spirits trade.
WSET, the largest global provider of wine qualifications, is launching the first ever global ‘Wine Education Week’ from 9–15 September 2019.
Part of WSET’s 50th anniversary campaign, Wine Education Week aims to engage with the growing population of wine consumers worldwide, encouraging them to learn more about wine.
Wine Education Week will be supported by a global network of brand ambassadors including Olly Smith in the UK; Terry Xu in China; Alyssa Vitrano (grapefriend), Kelly Mitchell (The Wine Siren) and Chelsie Petras (Chel Loves Wine) in the USA. The campaign will kick off on Monday 9th September with food and wine pairing launch events across the world at 6pm local time in 24 countries. Starting with Auckland, New Zealand and ending with California, USA, WSET is aiming for a continuous 24-hour global food and wine tasting session.
Harvest time for Texas vineyards begins in late July and goes through August and sometimes even early September. It is the busiest time of the year: there are vine canopies to manage, grape cluster health to monitor, sugar levels to test, watering schedules to scrutinize over, and then…. there are the critters.
Let’s face it, grapes are delicious, and we are not the only ones who think so. Some of these critters are easier to keep out than others. For example, you may have seen vines with netting on them.
Those nets are very effective at keeping out birds, raccoons, opossums, and even deer.
But what about the smaller critters like moths, caterpillars, leaf hoppers, and the dreaded glassy-winged sharpshooter?
Sometimes a good defense is a good offence. Creating a vineyard that has a healthy ecosystem that is made up of natural predators like spiders and lizards can keep the number of the pest at bay.
Likewise, a hawk, falcon, or even an owl can be a welcome visitor to the vineyard.
They keep the population of mice, rabbits, prairie dogs, and moles at bay, ensuring that these burrowing pests don’t affect the roots of the vines.
Certain snakes like bull snakes, king snakes, or rat snakes can also be helpful in the same way.
Many vineyards also employ domesticated critters such as cats, sheep, alpacas, and chickens to help maintain the health of their vines. They can clear away unwanted pests as well as unwanted grass and weed growth all the while fertilizing the vines.
As of right now, Lost Oak is not hiring animalia staff to help with the vines. But, who knows, helpful critters are becoming more and more intrinsic to vineyard life.
When I stumbled upon this article it brought a smile to my face, because I share the sentiment wholeheartedly! Wine, beer and spirits… they are about the people you are around and the stories you share while you are enjoying it. Let's face it, it's just not as interesting to go to an artisanal water bar. Cheers Dr. Vinny!
Much like with sports, I don’t understand why people are so fascinated/obsessed with wine, and I can get turned off by fanatics. But I want to be able to celebrate and enjoy wine with others. What am I missing?
—Jake, Lith, Ill.
I think you could ask 100 wine lovers about their fascination and get 100 different explanations. But it’s my job to sit around and think about wine all day, so let me take a stab at this.
I think that wine is essentially about stories. There’s the story of how it tastes, determined by everything from what kind of grapes it’s made from to the conditions of harvest to all the many winemaking decisions that have gone into that bottle. The label can also tell a story, or there’s a story to the wine name, or how the winemaker got into the business. Wine comes from a place, and I think the best wines reflect that. There are also stories of history, art, trends, politics and marketing.
I’ve never seen another beverage be the jumping-off point for so many discussions. And I agree that sports inspires similar fervor, as does art, music and pop culture, among other things.
You may never feel that fascination about wine, and that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with simply enjoying it as an occasional beverage. But if you’re a fan of anything—avant-garde jazz or Hitchcock films or video games—be patient with your friends for having their own thing. And sometimes being a friend means listening to each other wax poetic on occasion. Maybe you could even ask them to explain their love of wine to you.
Check out this article! This red wine compound might be the cure for depression and anxiety!
"Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders."
Resveratrol, a compound that occurs naturally in red wine, has intrigued researchers for decades. A recent study in mice investigates how doctors might be able to use this chemical to reduce depression and anxiety.
Could a red wine compound be useful in the treatment of depression?
In the United States and further afield, anxietyand depression are substantial challenges.
About 1 in 5 adults in the United States have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year.
In addition, an estimated 7.1% of adults experienced a major depressive episode in 2017.
Some people who have anxiety or depression may benefit from medications, but they do not work for everyone.
As the authors of the current study write, "only one-third of individuals with depression or anxiety show full remission in response to these medications."
For this reason, researchers are keen to find new drugs to treat depression and anxiety.
Currently, most of the drugs that doctors prescribe for depression and anxiety interact with serotonin or noradrenaline pathways in the brain.
Researchers are trying to find other possible drug targets, and some have turned to a natural compound called resveratrol.
Resveratrol occurs in the skin of grapes and berries, and, most famously, it is in red wine. Over recent years, it has received an increasing amount of attention from medical scientists.
Earlier studies have shown that resveratrol appears to have antidepressant activity in mice and rats.
The latest study, which appears in the journal Neuropharmacology, takes a closer look at the mechanisms contributing to resveratrol's antidepressant activity. The researchers also question whether resveratrol might provide the basis of future treatments for anxiety and depression.
The team, from Xuzhou Medical University in China, paid particular attention to the role of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
Why PDE4 and cAMP?
Important in many biological processes, cAMP is a second messenger. These molecules respond to signals outside the cell, such as hormones, and pass the message on to the relevant regions within the cell. The authors of the current study explain:
"Considering that cAMP is a primary regulator for intracellular communication in the brain, it is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention in mental disorders."
Earlier studies have shown that resveratrol increases levels of cAMP in a number of cell types.
PDE4 is a family of enzymes that break down cAMP, helping regulate the levels of this molecule within cells. Higher levels of PDE4 lead to an increased breakdown of cAMP. Some earlier studies have hinted at the role of PDE4 in depression and anxiety.
[How a fruit compound may lower blood pressure]
How a fruit compound may lower blood pressure
A recent study investigates whether resveratrol might help battle hypertension.
For instance, one study showed that inhibiting PDE4 increased cAMP signaling, which reduced anxiety- and depression-like behavior in mice.
The current study used animal models and cultured mouse neurons (similar to those in the human hippocampus) to help explain resveratrol's effect on rodent behaviors.
The stress model of depression
Experts still do not fully understand what causes depression and why it affects some people but not others.
One theory is called the glucocorticoid hypothesis. The body releases glucocorticoids, which include cortisol, when a person feels stressed. In the short term, these hormones help ready the body for an impending crisis.
However, if the stress lasts for a longer time, glucocorticoids can begin to cause harm.
In this way, some scientists believe that chronic stress damages neurons in the hippocampus, which are particularly sensitive. This damage then paves the way for anxiety and depression.
The authors of the current study were particularly interested in understanding whether resveratrol could reverse the damaging effects of stress and how this might work.
In their study, they found that increased levels of corticosterone (the rodent equivalent of cortisol) produced cell lesions in the brain and increased levels of PDE4D — a member of the PDE4 family that scientists believe to be particularly important in cognition and depression.
They also showed that treatment with resveratrol reversed the increase in PDE4D and reduced the number of cell lesions. Resveratrol also prevented the decrease in cAMP.
In engineered mice that could not produce PDE4D, resveratrol boosted cAMP's protective effects even further than in mice with functioning PDE4D.
The authors write that "[t]hese findings provide evidence that the antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects of resveratrol are predominantly mediated by PDE4D inhibition."
Only the beginning
These findings provide another small piece of the puzzle. Resveratrol, which appears to reduce anxiety and depression in mice, seems to work by inhibiting PDE4D and activating cAMP signaling.
"Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders."
Co-lead author Dr. Ying Xu, Ph.D.
Despite Dr. Xu's excitement, there is little evidence of resveratrol's ability to fight depression in humans. Although evidence of its effects in animal models is growing, data from clinical trials are lacking.
Also, extrapolating findings from animal studies to humans can be tricky, never more so than when dealing with mental health conditions. Whether animal models of depression are relevant is a hotly debated topic.
However, any step toward a new understanding of the chemical ins and outs of depression and anxiety is beneficial.
It goes without saying, but drinking red wine will not afford you the theoretical benefits of resveratrol. The compound is present in very low quantities and, of course, the alcohol in wine will negate any benefits.
To conclude, we now know more about the molecular mechanisms underpinning resveratrol's effect on depression and anxiety in mice. We must now await clinical trials to find out whether it can benefit humans too.
Need help talking about wine? Check out this New York Times article!
15 Helpful Words for Talking About Wine
Here is a practical lexicon that helps to describe the elusive characteristics of wine, without eliciting eye rolls and forehead slaps.
By Eric Asimov
Few things are as maddening or as elusive as trying to convey the character of a wine, both for the reader and the writer.
Many wine authorities believe that a wine should be described as specifically as possible, breaking it down into a group of flavor and aroma components that, when all put together, describe the totality in the glass.
I disagree with this approach, for two main reasons. First, when most people drink a wine, they experience it seamlessly, in its complete form, not as a series of discrete individual flavors, some of which, in the tasting notes, can be so esoteric as to be incomprehensible.
Second, these sorts of descriptions capture a wine at a particular moment. But good wines change and evolve, over minutes in the glass, as well as years in the cellar. Overly specific notes often confuse because of the baffling references, and because they are relevant to one distinct moment.
I prefer general descriptions of a wine’s character instead. These efforts seem more useful because they don’t rely on references that have meaning for the writer but are lost to the reader, and because they are true, I hope, over time rather than at a moment.
Even so, I have found that many readers are confused by these characterizations, too. Perceptions of aroma and flavor are so difficult to describe that many writers form a vocabulary that does not always convey to the reader what the writer has in mind. Even more bewildering is the fact that many writers use the same terms, but in different ways.
I thought it may be useful to the cause of clearer communication to try to define some terms that I use regularly to describe wine. As always, I welcome any thoughts and suggestions.
Can a wine have energy? Absolutely. This quality is hard to describe, but it feels propulsive. It partly concerns texture: how the wine feels in the mouth. But it connotes liveliness as well. An energetic wine snaps your senses awake, heightens your awareness and implores you to take another sip. Energetic wines generally have good acidity, otherwise they would be dull and flaccid. Good examples of wines made with high-acid grapes — like riesling, chenin blanc, gamay and barbera — are often energetic. Young, age-worthy wines, like red Burgundy and Champagne, can be energetic as well, while truly great older wines may retain their youthful energy.
A tense wine feels as if it walks a tightrope between forces that threaten to pull it one way or the other, but are so well balanced that the wine never loses its footing. Tense wines can be thrilling — sweet German rieslings are classic examples. They are pulled and pushed by both their sweetness and their acidity, yet never stumble or become cloying or harsh. Tense wines can be said to have energy, with a shiver of uncertainty stirred in.
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A textural term that indicates, as the word suggests, a soft, luxuriant sort of richness. The word is applied almost entirely to red wines, which have the potential to be bigger and softer than whites. Other related words: opulent, fleshy, velvety.
It’s not quite the opposite of plush, but it’s certainly in the other direction. It’s also a term related to texture, indicating a wine more skeletal than fleshy. Lean wines are ectomorphs, characterized more by their acidity than by softness. The best require a sense of energy, which galvanizes the wine. Without energy, a lean wine can be thin and dull.
Though a liquid, wine can be said to have structure, an architecture of tannins and acidity that gives it figurative shape. Structure is like the bones of a wine, on which the aromas and flavors hang. Some wines, like easy, thirst-quenching bottles made to be consumed young, will have little structure. Others, particularly age-worthy reds like Barolo or Bordeaux, may be so structured that the tannins dominate when young, requiring a few years to recede before the wines are pleasurable to drink. Tannins primarily come from grape skins, though seeds and stems contribute as well. They are felt mostly in reds, which are macerated with skins to obtain color. Whites gain most of their structure from acidity, with the exception of orange wines, which are made like reds, leaving the juice to soak with the skins. If a wine is aged in new oak barrels, it may also absorb tannins from the wood. These tannins differ from grape tannins and can have a bitter, mouth-drying flavor. Obvious oak tannins are a flaw, to me. If a wine has insufficient acidity and tannins, it can be overly soft and flaccid. Too much, and it can be harsh. Tannins that blend in seamlessly are said to be fine, while those that are rugged or chewy are rustic.
A well-structured wine with flavors that arrive in a smooth procession may be called linear. Linear wines have the potential for complexity as the flavors can change and evolve as they linger in the mouth. Without sufficient structure, the wine will be amorphous and soft, with everything arriving at once.
Lingering flavors, which can echo long after swallowing, give a wine length. It’s a similar quality to linearity, but not exactly the same, as linearity generally implies complexity, while length indicates a prolonged presence without necessarily any evolution.
A long wine can be deep, too, an added dimension that is also related to texture. A wine with length and depth resonates in the mouth. This is where pleasure lives, the sort of wine where each sip inspires the next.
All the elements come together with clarity in focused wines. They are balanced, proportionate and seamless.
This quality often reflects a wine’s alcohol content, as well as the impact of its flavors and textures. Examples include Amarone and very ripe zinfandels and Châteauneuf-du-Papes. They certainly have their place, but they can overwhelm foods, too. Fino sherry is an example of a high-alcohol wine that I would not describe as powerful, because good ones can often feel more fragile than hard-hitting.
Precision goes beyond focus, indicating a wine shepherded along its path from grape to bottle with exceptional skill. Each quality in the wine is exactly as it should be. Nothing is overbearing or out of proportion. For me, the quality of precision is preferable to power, permitting nuances and subtleties to emerge.
Sometimes good wines can feel alive in the glass. Life is a combination of energy, texture and depth, with something more that is difficult to grasp. It’s a vibrancy that can be found in wines ranging from simple to profound, and comes from skillful winemaking that is minimally manipulative.
Most obviously, this means a wine in which not all the sugar in the grape juice has been fermented into alcohol. Rieslings and chenin blancs are examples of white wines that can be wonderful either dry or with residual sugar, so long as the sweetness is balanced by acidity. Sweet, blended reds are increasingly popular among mass-market wines, and high-alcohol red wines can seem sweet because they are highly fruity and rich in glycerol, both of which contribute to the perception of sweetness.
Wine is often assumed to be fruity, since it is made from fruit, but many wines are instead savory. That is, they convey stony, saline, herbal, smoky or floral aromas and flavors, rather than fruitiness. These flavors often go together with high acidity, but not always. Good examples of savory wines include reds from the Northern Rhône Valley, Chablis and fino sherry, just to name a few.
Perhaps no word in the wine lexicon has been as controversial as mineral, possibly because some people take it literally, as if it referred to minerals in the soil sucked up through the roots and deposited in the glass. No. As with most wine descriptions, it is figurative, a general term for the sorts of sensations conveyed by wine. Others criticize it as too general. Why not be more specific? Does it smell or taste like slate? The sidewalk after a rain? I reject that as well. Minerality is a highly useful general term that helps to convey the character of wines, which can seem stony, pebbly or rocky in aroma, flavor and texture.
Burleson winery named to wedding top 10 list
Neetish Basnet, Jul 19, 2019
Many may be unaware the Texas wine industry is booming. More might have not realized there are wineries in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that resembles wineries in California.
Some have utilized the scenery and are choosing to celebrate their most special day at the wineries.
About 20 miles south of Fort Worth in Burleson, Lost Oak Winery currently offers a unique sight. After half a year of giving meticulous attention, the grapevines are now ripening.
Mid-July will start off the harvest season, a busy time of the year.
Just as busy is the event space at the winery. A long list of to-be married couples waits to host their wedding at the venue.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine, an international media outlet covering the wine industry, named Lost Oaks Winery one of the 10 best wineries for weddings in the U.S.
"It's a beautiful facility," said Roxanne Myers, president of Lost Oak Winery. "And it's close to the metroplex. That's a little bit of our niche market. It feels outdoors, you've got away from the metroplex. But, we're very, very close, very accessible."
Myers recently obtained majority ownership of the winery. The transaction makes her one of less than 10 female winery owner-operators in Texas.
During her time as the general manager, Myers played a significant role in marketing and expanding the winery into a wedding venue. She also included an active wine club and a wine-focused international travel business.
The winery is on track to host about 60 weddings this year.
"We're building that business," Myers said. "Before, we did not have that availability. We only did 30 a year. We are hopeful."
Lost Oak Winery has three cultivated vineyards and sits on a 52-acre property in the banks of Village Creek, a tributary creek of the Trinity River.
The indoor event area has large bay windows letting in natural lights and overlooks a pond and the vineyards. A cocktail room and a bride and groom suites are also available.
Wedding guests are offered a complimentary glass of wine.
The indoor event hall has a capacity of about 100 guests.