wine in the “old world”

The most interesting, and arguably easiest way to learn about pairing “Old World” wines with food, is to think about where the wines come from.To make a long story longer…
Wine in the “Old World” exists for many reasons other than “commerce.” For example:1: Wine, 2,000, or 1,500, or even 500 years ago, was something to drink that wouldn’t kill you (like the water could).2: Wine was also a source of calories that could be raised from soils that wouldn’t support other crops; grapes make their best wines in hard, stony soils that couldn’t support, say, wheat, and were unsuitable for […]

“luxury” has lost its luster

I always go back to this quote from Greg:”It comes down to this: we honor the terms of the implicit contract expected by consumers of wine: that the product is indeed the result of careful, sustainable agriculture, artisan craft and responsible handling.”Now that’s what we’re talking about…wines, handmade, to the very highest levels of quality, by artisans who are truly qualified. Back in the days of European royalty (let’s exclude the current residents of Buckingham palace), such artisans were sought out by courtiers – buyers for the royal families, to guarantee the quality of goods sold to the royal households.After […]

“cultured” wine

A frequent customer posed an interesting question earlier today, when she asked for my opinion on the following story in last Saturday’s Montreal Gazette:
It’s a Question of Yeasts…in case you didn’t follow the link, it’s an article about the growing use of “cultured” yeasts in “winemaking.”Here’s what the Encyclopeadia Britannica has to say about Saccharomyces:Genus of yeasts belonging to the family Saccharomycetaceae (phylum Ascomycota, kingdom Fungi). An outstanding characteristic of members of Saccharomyces is their ability to convert sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol by means of enzymes. The yeasts used to ferment sugars in the manufacture of baked goods, […]

more letters

Reader, PeterD posted this question:To the experts: is an “industrial” product, by definition, adulterated? Is it possible to have an “industrial” wine that is pleasing to the palate and not a chemistry experiment? Serious question folks.
Peter,Thanks for your question. Oreo Cookies have pleased my palate over the years, but I wouldn’t make an argument in favor of their “quality.” In the same manner, Ragú tomato sauce has pleased many a palate, but shouldn’t be confused with a real marinara sauce made from small-farm tomatoes.The “implied contract” between a producer or merchant of wine, is that wine is special; the product […]

free wine preservation kit!

This bottle holds a slick 10 oz. of liquid, and has a re-sealable cap. I keep lots of things like this around; 8 oz. Pellegrino bottles, 12 oz. “ice tea” bottles – anything like ‘em that are made of glass, and have re-sealable tops.Before I pour for Susan at dinner, I fill one of these puppies up to the rim, twist the top on, and stick it in the fridge. Why? Because Susan and I rarely finish more than half a bottle at a time (we always have to get up early and face the next day).This is the only […]