** Wed. Wine Fact or Fiction! **

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
** Wed. Wine Fact or Fiction! **
4
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 8:02am
Here we are on another Wine Wednesday. I hope everyone is having a good week. Let's play a fact or fiction wine game. I'll post a statement below and you tell us whether it is fact or fiction and why you think so.

Let's have some fun!

Smiles,

Donna :-)


**Smelling the wine cork in a restaurant will tell you if the wine is bad.



iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 1:20pm
False - this is indeed a myth!

The problem with corks is that they are subject to mold, disintegration and leakage. All you smell is cork, actually; so don't get tricked into believing there's something to smelling the cork. Wine afficionados can be so darned silly and snobbish (trust me, I come from the land of silly snobs)! Smell the wine! Swirl it in your mouth to taste it. That's how you tell if it's good or not!

Letting the wine "breathe" is another fiction, as the cork is supposed to seal the bottle, not let air in. Air will ruin the wine. It is for this very reason of controlling the quality of the wine during storage and shipment that vineyards have been seeking alternatives to the old cork. Now you'll find composite (a sort of rubbery plastic) corks and screw tops on even costlier labels. And that's another thing - don't get tricked into buying just for the label - buy for the wine!

Letting the wine stand a bit after opening, well, that's okay. However, stand too long and the wine loses flavor and body.

Here's my wine suggestion for the week: Lindeman's Shiraz, an Australian product that is not only good, it's cheap (about $8).

Shiraz appears to be the big import special from Down Under, and there are some particularly funny names, like Woop Woop (I wasn't too impressed by the wine, love the name). But not all shiraz are the same, as some are blended with cabernet, some are blended with merlot. As far as I know, all shiraz are blends of one sort or another; there is no shiraz grape, unlike the petite sirah grape.

I have to admit that the only reason I started drinking shiraz at all is because I have to drink red wine (it's a healthy blood thing ordered by my doc) and wanted a change from the dry merlot I had been getting. (I also like white merlot, try that one on for size, wonderful!)

Australian wines are pretty consistent, due to fairly consistent weather, and worth trying. I hope you'll enjoy Lindemann's Shiraz, look for "Bin 50" in particular.

Salut,

Alysia :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 06-12-2003 - 7:40am
Very well said Alysia - I think you are a Sommelier in diguise - LOL!

I'm not a big fan of Shiraz - seems very "potent" to me. I didn't know there was such a thing as a white merlot! Since merlot is my favorite red wine, I'm definitely going to give it a try, maybe white merlot will become my favorite white wine!

Smiles,

Donna :-)



iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2003
Thu, 06-12-2003 - 10:28am
Well, I've been drinking wine since childhood and my parents made an annual "run" to specific vineyards from the Imperial Valley up to the Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino Counties in order to restock their supplies. That was great fun and we got to meet some wonderful growers, taste some glorious wines and eat some awesome food. August Sebastiani's wife had a cookbook I wanted to get, but never managed to (what 10 year-old kid wants a cookbook, my mom said!). Hey, Bobby Flay had one of those EZBake ovens when he was 8, I think; I had a Susie Homemaker oven at 8; why not a Sebastiani cookbook, LOL!

Anyway, I've thought about going through the process of becoming a sommelier. It's quite a training! It would probably suit my opinionated self quite well, ROFL!

At least I admit I'm an opinionated egotistical silly snob, LOL!

Alysia ;-)

P.S. If you're going to try a white merlot, I recommend Fortant de France. It's an award-winning 100% merlot that is just a bit fruity and makes a nice sipping wine, as well as a nice appetizer wine; a blush wine that goes well with light summer meals and fruit.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 7:52am
From Home & Garden:

Smelling the cork in a restaurant will tell you if the wine is bad.

Actually, smelling the cork, whether at a restaurant or at home, won't tell you anything about the quality of the wine; corks generally smell like, you know, cork. The waiter or sommelier hands you the cork so you can examine it for signs of mold or breakage and make certain that the date stamped on it concurs with the date on the label; it's a way of preventing fraud. Unfortunately, many waiters don't know this and act as if by not smelling the cork the clueless diner has committed an unforgivable gaffe.

(It's true that most inexpensive wines will not have a date stamped on the cork.)

I would say that Alysia was dead-on with her response!

Smiles,

Donna :-)