Thursday, August 26, 2010

€1,5bn Cork Dork Combat

It was just after I discovered that Bob was a fictitious character. My aunt insisted that one should never drink alone and Bob, at the very least, was always there to share a glass of wine with her.

I was also just beginning to think I knew a little bit about wine – and people - only to discover that corked wine is not when you have bits of cork bobbing in your wine glass and who Bob really was in my aunt’s life.

And so much later the thot continued to plicken. Polite conversations with sommeliers and friends could turn in a pop to heated debates, ‘Its Brett!’ (no relation to Bob, but a spoilage yeast), ‘its dirty barrels’, ‘its old filter pads’, ‘its volatile phenols!’ and so the debate raged.

Its true corked one wine can range from barely detectable to totally and utterly beyond consumption or any domestic use other than tie-dye staining some T shirts or macramé for 70s décor.

Cork Tree


Friday, August 20, 2010

saignee, spinning cones and terroirists

Militant French winemaker group CRAV are known to detonate explosives and commit arson in protest against legislative changes that threaten their livelihoods while terroirists – their virtual namesakes - are also known to get pretty puffed up about how their particular patch of soil, topography and climate influence their wine quality and style.

Taking the former view is perhaps understandable after a government workgroup proposed new laws that places alcohol on the same level as pornography, and would effectively ban wine on the internet in France.

Technology is also causing tension for terroirists who argue that traditional methods like drawing off of grape juice before on-skin fermentation of red wine (saignee), working the skins vigorously for greater extract (pigeage) and chaptalisation - the addition of sugar, often legal in the old world but illegal in the new - are de rigeur methods of increasing intensity and richness.