DIRECT PRESS June 2024 • Barnyard Dance!


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Wine often gets me projecting all sorts of quaint and distorted ideas about agricultural communities that provide an escape from my anxious, modern, urban life. So, for me, a wine that literally smells like a barnyard is a ticket to an imaginary world with dancing, happy cows and horses. I'm all too happy to indulge. Others feel differently. 
The yeast genus known as Brettanomyces is responsible for this barnyard-y scent, and it's found in barns, horse stalls, wine cellars, vineyards, and foods like salami. Beer brewers intentionally cultivate and add Brettanomyces, or Brett, as it's known in more casual circles, to beers to get some of the complexity and unique flavors it brings to the table. Saison and lambic beers are the most famous examples, and it's no coincidence they are sometimes called 'farmhouse ales.' Brett and humans have existed symbiotically for millennia, with some studies theorizing that it helped make many water sources safe to drink by overpowering and kicking out harmful pathogens. Brett is our friend.
There are some very typical, telltale signs of Brett that I think are worth identifying. Love it or hate it, knowing a little about Brett can be useful in finding the wines that you want to drink.
Read all about it in this month's Direct Press 'zine!
Jonathan, Jeremy, Kate, Nico, Eddy, and Greg

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