Diurnal delights

Crafting wine between day’s warmth and night’s chill.

WWMD  – What would Margaret drink?

Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s Coastal Bistro. Here is her sipping suggestion for September:

Diurnal delights

Growing grapes for wine isn’t just about achieving the right ripeness — it’s also about attaining phenolic maturity. Central to this is the diurnal shift: the daily temperature fluctuation from warm daytime highs to cooler nighttime lows. The bright sun warms the grapes during the day, while cooler nights halt their ripening, retaining their acidity. This balance extends the grape’s developmental period.

Paso Robles boasts the most pronounced diurnal shift among California’s AVAs. Even on hot summer days, temperatures can plummet 40 to 50 degrees overnight. 

DAOU Winery, nestled in Paso, California, is a testament to this region’s exceptional wine-making potential. The tale of the Daou brothers is quintessentially American. Fleeing the horrors of the Lebanese civil war, they later graduated with engineering degrees from UC San Diego. After innovating in the healthcare software industry, they shifted to their true passion: wine.

A must-try from their collection is Bodyguard. This wine, named in tribute to their mother’s protective spirit, is an intriguing blend of petit verdot and petit sirah. Its depth, rich fruit layers and smooth tannins are a testament to the quality and care the Daou brothers infuse into every bottle. Pick up a bottle for around $45. 

Wine hack: 

Quick chilling with salt and ice

Need to cool a bottle fast? Fill a bucket or a sink with ice, water and a generous amount of salt. Any type of salt will do. The salt lowers the water’s freezing point, which makes the water colder much faster, cutting chilling time by a third. Immerse your wine bottle, ensuring it’s fully submerged, and twist every few minutes. The wine should be perfectly chilled in about 15 minutes.

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