Q&A: An Introduction to the History of Wine

Where was the first evidence of wine discovered?

Archaeological remnants of wine consumption and wine production have been discovered in many parts of the world, including China, Georgia and Greece. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the origins began, but the oldest evidence discovered was in Georgia dated sometime between 6,000–5,800 BC.

Who was drinking wine after its origination?

The consumption of wine quickly grew in many religious rituals and was considered a very spiritual and sacred practice. Since biblical times the consumption of wine has been included in many Jewish and Christian practices and was widely consumed by church members routinely. Wine also played a vital role in the the ceremonial life of ancient Egyptians, who were drinking mostly red wine and had developed a deep superstition about the color of the liquid being similar to blood.

How did the production of wine become an industry on its own?

Ironically enough, we have a sturdy group of monks to thank for the growth of wine as an actual industry- the Benedictine monks. In France and Germany, these monks grew wine production into an industry of its own and even began shipping barrels of their wine to other European countries.

When did wine make it to North America?

As Europeans began to discover the new continent, they also discovered that making wine from the native grape plants was not as delicious. While Spanish conquistadors were discovering South America and perfecting the growth of grape vines in those regions, the French began importing French grapevines into Virginia. A combined effort between the French and Spanish explorers would lead to the eventual successful cultivation of present day California.







Wine Storage: Simple Tips to Manage your Home Collection


If you are a wine enthusiast or you simply entertain guests often and love to have a selection of wines to choose from, then you might want to ensure you are storing your wine properly. In the wild world of wine storage there are many misconceptions, fancy appliances and certainly a large variety of opinions on the correct way to do so. Here at Wine Mine in Telluride, Colorado, we are keeping it simple and sticking to a couple of basic rules to maximize your wine storage efficiency. Keep these three factors in mind when it comes to wine storage in your home and you will find the quality of your wine will stay consistent over time.

Keep it cool and consistent.

One of the most important things to consider when storing your wine is the temperature of the room it is in. Maintaining a consistent temperature in one room can be a bit challenging depending on the construction of the building, which is why a basement or cellar generally becomes the best location for your wine. But if you are not blessed with one of these superb locations, then not all is lost. Your wine can be stored in other locations in your home, as long as the temperature isn’t fluctuating drastically. Wine likes consistency. Ideally, the temperature should be somewhere between 53 and 55 degrees, but if this is not easy to accomplish don’t rip your hair out if you can’t get it just right.

The darker, the better.

When considering the location of your wines, there are two main factors to keep in mind: sunlight and stillness. As wines are aging in storage, they are by no means sun worshippers and you should avoid storing them anywhere near direct sunlight. The rays from the sun can cause the contents of your wine bottles to prematurely age, which can lead to the development of inconsistencies in the final taste of the wine itself. The darker the better in this case.


Another thing to consider when choosing a location is how much movement is occurring around the wine bottles. Many of the appliances in our home create tiny vibrations throughout the day that might be completely unnoticeable to us, but to a bottle of wine these vibrations are definitely felt and can be damaging to the integrity of the wine. Avoid storing your wine on top of the fridge or near any other appliance or object that might be subtly vibrating throughout the day.

On the side is the way to ride.


Lastly, the orientation of your wine bottle will make a huge difference when it’s time to pop the cork and pour. It is important that the cork in the bottle does not dry out, so storing your wine bottle on its side will help prevent this. Why is this a big deal? A dry cork is much easier for air to get through, consequently increasing the risk of oxidation. We’re not going to bore you with the details of this fancy scientific term, but basically early oxidation of the wine before opening is not a good thing.

We could of course dive deeper into the biology of other environmental factors that could affect your wine, but mastering these three elements will be sufficient enough for the wine storage needs in your home. And if you’re looking for an even more unique wine storing experience, have you ever wondered how we got our name, Wine Mine? We have access to a one of a kind wine storing location inside of an abandoned mine right here in the Telluride area, ask us about it next time you’re visiting!





Straight from the Vine: Environmental Factors Influencing your Wine


As you are tipping your wine glass to enjoy that very first sip, what you may not know is the number of factors that influenced the unique tasting profile of that one particular wine. As the grapes grow eagerly on the vine, they are influenced daily by a number of environmental and exterior factors. Additionally, the flavor of the wine continues to evolve long after the grapes are harvested and processed. But let’s focus for a minute on a few of the main factors that influence the grapes as they live out their life on the vine. 


Climate- In general, grapevines thrive easily in moderate climates, which allows the fruit to reach full maturation and attain balanced levels of acids and sugars. So what exactly is considered a moderate climate? Well pretty much anywhere opposite of Telluride, Colorado! A moderate climate has temperatures that aren’t too high, and don’t drop too low either. Typically these climates produce nominal rainfall, and they are not prone to extreme droughts.


Soil- The soil that the grapes are growing in has a lot to do with how the grapes will mature as well. It is highly beneficial for the soil to be free draining and able to regulate the water supply to the roots of the vines equally.


Location- Have you ever wondered why most wine vineyards seem to be on sloped land? It turns out, there is a method to this madness. A sloped terrain aids in proper drainage for the vines, and having the slopes pointed towards the south increases sunlight absorption and helps prevent exposure to frost.

Here at Wine Mine in Telluride, Colorado, we love exploring the unique flavor that each wine has to offer and we hope that you do too!




6 Things About Wine You Didn't Know...But Now You're Glad That You Do!

Wine Tasting 101: A True Beginner’s Course

We love sharing knowledge with our customers and experiencing new discoveries together, so we host free wine tastings every Thursday 4:00pm-7:00pm here at Wine Mine in Telluride, Colorado.  We strive to remove the pretension surrounding wine.  At its core, wine tasting is simple: you either like it, or you don’t like it.  Honestly we could stop there.  It’s that simple.  A newby can easily be intimidated by people swirling, sniffing and commenting on the legs, bouquet and tannins of the fermented grapes in their glasses. A first timer might be thinking “What ‘legs’? I see purple liquid, what the heck do they see swimming in there?!?”.  Taste is unique to each person, so it's ok to not like a wine some critic has bestowed a 90+ rating.  That guy has different taste buds than you.  It’s that simple. The whole idea at our tastings is to find what you like.  If none are appealing, that is ok too; use the dump bucket.  Don’t waste good brain cells on bad wine.  Pour it out.  No one will be offended.  In fact, those of us in the industry applaud those using the dump bucket.  So why the look, swirl, sniff & taste ritual?  Well, you don’t have to.  If you’d prefer to fire it down like a tequila shot.  Go ahead.  We won’t be offended.  Although you may miss out on some of the subtleties wine offers.

The following ritual can be used to enjoy various aspects of the wine by all of us as well as by sommeliers to deductively establish what wine is in the glass during a blind tasting.  So…open up all of your senses and let the fun begin!

Color/Appearance- this will give a hint to the sommelier of what kind of grape it may be.  A red wine with orangish hues may be nebbiolo, black and inky may be petite sirah, and amber hues in a white wine could indicate a barrel aged chardonnay. If you slightly tilt the glass and observe how it rolls back down the sides, you will notice some streaks known as the “legs” or “tears.”  Thick tears can indicate high glycerine (sugar) or high alcohol. To the rest of us, if the color is pleasing, that will suffice.

Aroma- Plunge your nose into your glass. The further into the glass the better, we won’t judge you.  The average human can detect a minimum of 4,500 different aromas.  Aromas are hardwired to our memory.  We are not conditioned to ascribe descriptors to aromas (like we can with colors) so don’t fret if that fragrance is familiar yet you can’t articulate it.  It develops over time.  

Taste/Mouthfeel- Finally! Right? (by the way, it’s perfectly acceptable to bypass the previous two steps). Take an initial sip, let it cover your entire mouth and tongue. Some people like to swish it around for a few seconds, then lightly swallow.  Now, take a break before the next sip. How long is the after taste?  A long pleasing after taste is the sign of a well made wine, the longer it lingers the better. Mouthfeel is an overlooked, yet highly important trait.  Some people prefer light delicate wines that explode with flavor, other folks seek thick, weighty mouth coating textures.  Both are right, because there is no wrong.

If you’d like to read more on the details and different practices in wine tasting, check out the articles below. And don’t forget to come visit us at Wine Mine every Thursday from 4:00pm-7:00pm for a delectable wine tasting experience!



Weekly Specials

Weekly Specials

We offer weekly specials on the wines poured during our free Thursday tastings.  Join us every Thursday 4pm - 6:45pm.   Sample the wines, educate your palate, then take home your favorite - at special savings.  Each week offers a new collection of wines with featured pricing.

Concierge Services

Concierge Services

Customer service is our cornerstone.  Consider us your personal beverage concierge.

With an inventory of 5,000 different products, chances are we have it in stock.  If we don’t, we are happy to have it ready for you upon your arrival.  While most products are available within a week, Telluride’s remote location can stretch out the lead time for some eclectic items to three – four weeks.