Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13 – “Oxygen”

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by Grape Stomper Todd on April 13, 2012


Hello everybody and today is April, Friday the 13th.  And on this day in 1970, NASA got this message from space: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

That’s right an oxygen tank exploded on the service module on Apollo 13 on it’s way to the moon.  It turns out you can’t call AAA when your vehicle breaks down 200,000 miles away from home.

Who knew?

Well, the astronauts and the ground crew used their big brains to get out of a big jam and four days later Apollo 13 returned to earth in a big relief for all those watching the big drama live on TV.

You can re-live the ordeal of Apollo 13 by watching the Academy Awarding Winning movie (Best Picture) by the same name.

That brings us to today’s Wine Word of the Day: Oxygen

Just as in space, oxygen can be a friend or foe to wine.

Okay, a doctoral thesis can be written on the complex relationship between oxygen and wine so I’m going to keep it light here.

Wine has a life cycle and oxygen plays a role at every stage. For instance, some oxygen is good in the beginning when wine is fermenting.  The oxygen helps the yeast stay healthy so they can convert the grape sugar to alcohol. In fact, if there is not enough oxygen, the wine could end up smelling like rotten eggs.

During aging though, white wines are protected from oxygen while red wines in barrels benefit from small doses of oxygen to help soften their tannins.

Oxygen becomes a bad thing in the bottle because too much can ruin the wine.  But when you pour wine into your glass, you’re encouraged to oxygenate it by swirling it around to open it up so it can release its aromas.  Then again, if you leave the bottle open too long before drinking it…yep, you guessed it, the oxygen will ruin it.

I guess all I can say, is that when it comes to managing oxygen in wine making, it’s best to “air” on the side of caution!

For transcripts links and more podcasts go to  If you have any suggestions for more words or historical facts for anything that happened back in ‘02 (02, lol), please send emails to

And until next time,
Cheers to you!

TODDCAST EPISODE 14: SHOW NOTES: Outline for this week’s episode:

TASTING ROOMORS (Happenings in the Tasting Room)

Tracy Vining-6 years
William Van Die- 5 years
Steve & Mary Swope- 5 years

– Ron
– Kathy

Taniya Barrows
Jill’s birthday was last Monday!

Club members should add their birthday to their account!
Hello to the Canevas who came in from Oregon.

Wine for Paws
Papagallo cruise is filling up.  May 18th and 19th, come sail with us!

Indian tribes in Sonoma are getting into the wine business.
See full Story

Need to sharpen your creativity?  Have a drink.
See full Story

Conspicuous consumption? Let’s discuss.
See full Story


“Why are we seeing such high alcohol content in wine?”

Don’t forget to play Moonstone Music Mondays!

Voice Over Talent – Andrew Dawson (Andrew’s YouTube Channel)
Show Posting and Tagging – Robert Widmer
Utter Nonsense – Jill and Todd

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