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Summer blossom honey fermented with koji. Ševko Topcic, head of Otto's Research and Development team, produced 50 litres of summer blossom honey in 2020. He added buckwheat koji to the honey, which not only enhances but also sharpens the honey's flavour profile. Unlike regular honey, the sweetness is more mellow. Floral and nutty notes come to the fore. The honey works very well on fatty yogurt or otto’s labneh for breakfast, with koji butter on bread, or on any other vessel you would use honey on.
Acid gives your taste buds a workout and gets them salivating. You’ll know something’s acidic if it's tart or sour. Green, early-harvest grapes, can increase natural acidity in wines. And any vino with high acidity will help you balance foods with everyone’s favourite flavour profiles: sweet, salt and fat.
Imagine drinking a cup of black tea that’s been brewed for too long. Difficult, right? That strange, bitter, drying sensation in your mouth is tannins at work. Though they’re near-impossible to drink in tea, we do love them in wine because they balance acidity, add texture and structure. Skins, pips, grape stems, and ageing in wooden barrels all drive tannins in wine.
How does the wine cling to the sides of your wine glass? How heavy does the liquid feel in your mouth? These are some of the ways to describe the body, viscosity or ‘thickness’ of a wine. Full-bodied drops coat more of your mouth, have higher alcohol, more tannins and lower acidity. Lighter-bodied wines have lower alcohol, less tannins, and higher acidity. Sips stocks all of the above. We don’t discriminate. All bodies are beautiful.
Natural wines are the James Browns of the wine world. They bring the funk. And they’re a little hard to pin down. At times the taste has umami elements. Sometimes it's smoky. Other times it’s like hay bales and barnyards (yes, really). Above all, a funky wine is “unconventional”. When done well, funk can be the plot twist in a wine that’ll make you want to jump and jive.