NZ House & Garden
Wine made in eggs? Plus the latest in drinks news.
MERMAIDMARY explains what wine and eggs have in common
Easter is almost upon us and with that comes the desire for egg-shaped delights. But did you know that wine can be made in eggs? Bear with me, because the type of eggs I’m talking about have nothing to do with the Easter Bunny, but a winemaking method inspired by the ancients.
Millennia ago, the Greeks and Romans made and stored wine in large ceramic vessels called amphora. Made from clay, they allowed wine to breathe and were sometimes buried to regulate the temperature of the wine within.
Winemaking techniques have definitely evolved but inspired by the ways of the ancients, French winemaker and biodynamic enthusiast Michel Chapoutier – believing the egg held special mystical characteristics – commissioned the first ceramic wine egg in France in 2001 and started a wine movement that has reached New Zealand shores.
Stainless steel tanks and oak barrels are traditionally how wine is stored and both have their pros and cons. The concrete egg, however, provides a middle ground between the two. It allows the fruit flavours to sing without imparting any additional flavour as it does in stainless steel.
It also lets the wine breathe just as it does in oak, while adding the complexity and texture usually associated with barrel storage. This is because the unique shape creates natural convection currents within the egg. The wine is constantly moving and interacting with yeast, which is responsible for creating complexity, texture and mouthwatering minerality.