Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Las, Wine of the gods




Dionysus the god of winemaking and wine, fertility and religious ecstasy depicted on marble sarcophagus showing Triumph of Dionysus, Hellenistic marble sculpture; Metropolitan Museum, New York

"Hail Dionysus, The god of wine. May he with his grace, if he deems fit reveal to mankind the secrets of making a wine fit to offer to the gods, perchance some came to walk upon the Earth"  ashok


 Las wines - Green, yellow and blue wines
 
Although, good wines are produced in Europe and other parts of world by fermenting grape juice, in the opinion of this author, it suffers from one major drawback that makes it unfit to be labeled as the wine of the gods. They are partly unnatural chemical drinks because of use of refined sugar added before fermentation. Refined sugar is a chemical, not a natural food, far from the best possible natural one. This deficiency can be overcome easily by replacing added sugar in the fermentation mix with natural sugar cane juice. It may be pointed out that use of sugar for wine making is modern usage. It did not exist in ancient Greece when natural sweeteners were used instead and the seeds of modern civilization were being sown in ancient Athens.

It appears that it is because of use of sugar that modern wines require a lot of aging in order to become a wine of good quality. With use of sugar cane juice instead of sugar it seems the wine matures in a matter of weeks and months rather than years because of the presence of compounds naturally compatible with not just sugar molecules but also the ethyl alcohol molecules produced by its fermentation..

Ingredients of Las, Wine of the gods

Wherever, sugar is found in a plant or fruit, it exists along with numerous other compounds, many water soluble, that help to balance each other and make the group far more life giving than if individual compounds are extracted from it and consumed in food or drink. When sugar cane juice is used in place of sugar, the resulting drink would have a slight tint of yellow-green in it and such a wine, the Las Wine may also be called green wine as different from prevalent white, red or rose. A variation is possible - a golden or yellow wine - by making use organic jaggery powder instead of either white granulated sugar or fresh sugar cane juice. A blue version of the Las wine - a blue wine - comes from using some blueberries partially instead of all grapes in the recipe When only organic produce is used for making these green, golden or blue wines, then the resulting Las wine is an organic wine. The different las wines may then be differentiated as Las golden, las green, las blue and las sky (for light sky blue). The color of las wines does not come from added chemical colors but rather is indicative of its composition and different health giving properties.

Different shades of Blue



The blue color of blueberry derives from a high content of anthocyanin a water soluble pigment. When a combination of grapes and blueberries are used for preparing wine, different shades of blue can be achieved from dark to a very light blue that is most attractive by mixing the two in different proportions.

Yet another berry that may have potential for use in las wines in small proportions mixed with grapes is blackberries. They shall lend a purple tint to the drink However, much more research is needed to judge full quality of such wines.

Wine scientists may wish to check out this publication:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22182198 

Precautions

In order to preserve the organic nature of the wine a precaution that is required is not to use sulfur dioxide or other chemical agents in process for sterilization. This sterilization can be carried out by boiling  juices, or if fresh sugar canes are available they may be peeled and diced into grape size pieces to mix with grapes before boiling and then the juice can be pressed out together. Alternatively extracted sugar cane juice that has been boiled may be added. It is also possible to use crushed jaggery which is a dehydrated form of this juice.

In some parts of the world such as the Philippines, different fruits and barks are added to produce crude wines from sugar cane juice but for the very best of wines as suggested here it is best to avoid all of these. Although further study is needed, it is believed based on preliminary study that the proposed practice would yield a wine of high quality far superior in its health giving properties as compared to the best of existing wines provided all of the already available best practices for making good wine and aging are followed. It goes without saying that distillation must not be used in any stage of the process because the process of distillation extracts chemical components leaving many balancing organic components behind, thus leading to an unnatural product rather than a natural fermented one. Just the process of sedimentation, filtration etc. as used to separate non soluble matter and achieve clarity, as with wine, is sufficient,  The wine can be produced with or without fizz. For a fizzy drink use the process as used for champagne.

Care must be taken to use grapes that are used in white wines only for Las wines, never those used in a red.

An interested enthusiast or researcher may wish to refer to existing literature on fermentation of sugar cane for example,


This blogger felt that it would be good to give this wine a name and since it is shared with the world in this blog just the tree letters of the title are used for that - Las Wine - for life and spirituality wines; and indeed that is the purpose of las wines for gods- to speed religious ecstasy and sexual desire only if for the purpose of fertility and procreation, not recreation. The depiction of Dionysus in history as a nude person in company of other nudes but in a non-aroused state is meant to illustrate that, an idea that this author has also explained and illustrated in the modern context in his novel - Nude besides the lake ( This is an active link, do check out).  The word life on the other hand in the wine is appropriate for humans who too may consume it on occasions as a gift from the gods and Mother Earth for relieving trauma, stress or deep sorrow..

Any manufacturer out there, please feel free to use the recipe here. It has not been patented and will never be since this knowledge is a gift of the gods not meant for commercial gain,  but if you gift a few bottles of the product later that would be appreciated :) and do give credit to this blog. A manufacturer may say that we work for commercial gain but that kind never made anything for human happiness, only misery. The best of manufacturers and businesses from the beginning of civilization have existed to perform a service to society as their primary goal and profits are secondary so that what is maximized is customer satisfaction and not profits. Profit is secondary but they do make that in gracious abundance if needed so that their activity and growth may continue forever. If modern economists find that kind to be rare it is not surprising because their theory and inference belongs to an epoch in human civilization when peace and happiness is rare too.

It may be mentioned in conclusion that this blogger does not support the drinking of alcohol for health, recreation or as  a habit but only for medicinal or relief purpose at times of stress, sorrow or at a moment of trauma that humans may face in their journey through life such as when a loved one departs through death or abandonment,  and that too not strong drinks or even wines containing more than 8% alcohol, preferably only 5%,  for in the words of King Solomon the wise from the old testament,

"Give wine to one with a sorrowing heart, but give strong drink to one who wishes to destroy himself."


Essential Features of Las Wines

Although Las wines are made by more or less the same best practices as good European wines it differs in some essential features that may be reiterated,

  1. Las wines are made from organic or nearly organic produce, near organic because a spray may be used if there is a serious infestation but fruit is not picked for a few weeks after the infestation.
  2. A wide variety of fruits and sugars are not used but only a few (grapes and blue berries) that have proven themselves as contributing to good wine over the centuries and are known for their health giving qualities. When using grapes the varieties that make good white wine only are employed and not those that produce reds.
  3. Chemicals are not used in the process of wine making
  4. Chemicals extracted from food such as granulated sugar is not used in the process but rather sugar cane juice or shakkar (jaggery powder) is used
  5. No extreme industrial process such as distillation is employed but natural gentle processes of fermentation and aging are used.
  6. Las wines do not exceed 8% in alcohol content, most often just 5%
  7. Las wines are produced in a wide range of colors light yellow, light green, light shades of blue. Las wines do not come as a white or red wine.
 
A grape vine and other vines against a wall of the author's home

Note: Although this wine could be prepared anywhere in the world, the ideal region for the production of the green and yellow varieties of Las wine would be one that has a good growth of both both quality grapes and sugar cane. The blue variation may however be produced in other areas that grow blueberries such as North America and employing imported shaker for the process. Therefore it seems that the ideal production centers for the organic las wines must be North America for the blue and yellow varieties while for green and yellow varieties, the cooler highland regions of Maharashtra and Karnataka, India is most suitable that has bountiful crops of both sugar cane and grapes. The best place to produce the yellow remains Europe because of quality vineyards and the long experience of Europeans in the area. This blogger would provide any required input to a producer from this region or anywhere else if desired and convenient.

Use of honey

It is possible to end up with a very fine fine wine by using honey ( as in Mead) instead of sugar cane juice along with grapes, but the latter has more beneficial micro-nutrients from a variety of the most beneficial food product on land - grass.  Some of the beneficial enzymes of honey would be destroyed in wine making and moreover true wild honey from wild flower fields, the really healthy one, is very rare in the modern era in quantities sufficient to produce wine for a wide audience. There are other sources of concentrated natural sugars but they contain components that are neither as beneficial nor as pleasant to taste or even safe for making good wine perhaps.

Where to begin:

In case a wine maker out there finds the ideas of this post interesting, they may wonder where to begin since a lot of ideas and colors have been touched upon. The place to begin with is a las yellow and perfect that before jumping into other colors. Simply replace the sugar used in your process with golden sugar (crushed jaggery). Note the word golden sugar has been used not brown sugar. The latter is mostly white sugar and not very different from it. The entire process would then have to be adjusted by experimentation. Rates of fermentation would become faster because the new natural mix is just as conducive for the health of yeast cells as it is for human cells. Such wines because they do not employ unnatural components or compounds would be smoother even without much aging but achieving clarity would be more tedious. The ancients did not mind sediments sitting in their bottles but the modern consumer having got used to full clarity of sugar produced wines would expect it. However these steps are straight forward for an experienced wine maker and within six months he can select the best yellow from a batch created with varying parameters and then put it out in the market as the wine of gods.

Two more aspects would need to be considered while preparing the first yellow, first the need to ensure organic supplies and also the need to eliminate any chemicals used in the process or as additives. Once a winemaker achieves success with a las yellow organic wine – wine of the gods, he may then attempt to diversify by adding small amounts of blue berry juice to produce a las sky blue wine etc.


Best of luck, the best wishes of this blogger are with you and if you get in touch, even through a comment to this article it would be delightful. If you would wish for a written certification from this blogger as well as permission to use the name las yellow etc. - wine of the gods for your branding for perpetuity without any claim or obstruction, it shall also be provided subsequent to a discussion with a company representative in the bar of a nearby five-six star hotel.

Sugar Cane Image from:
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Grape Image from:
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