Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day Before Thanksgiving Tidbits

All good bloggers are supposed to tell you about the wines they will open for Thanksgiving. I don't think my wines are all that interesting, so instead I'll share a few random tidbits that might buttress your pre-Thanksgiving mood.

First of all

Did you know that wine can be corked even if it is sealed with something other than cork? At a recent southern Rhône Wine & Spirits tasting, the reigning critic Tara Thomas declared that a particular wine was corked, and it most certainly was. There was a second bottle present, so we tasted that one too. It, oddly, was also corked. Even more odd, the wine was bottled with a synthetic cork. How can you explain such a thing?!? Someone suggested that there must have been some sort of TCA outbreak at the winery. Shouldn't they have caught this before selling the wine? If screwcap and synthetic wine can be corked, what's the world coming to?


This reminds me of a funny scene I witnessed at my most local wine shoppe. Their selection is not really so great so I rarely go in, but it's possible to find little gems, back vintage wines that for whatever reason didn't sell and are well priced, and strangely good bottles of Champagne. Anyway, on this afternoon I witnessed the following exchange:

Man with two young kids: Excuse me, I bought two bottles of Yellowtail Chardonnay here last week and they were both corked.

Clerk (young, confused): Okay, bring them back and well exchange them for you.

Man with two young kids: I poured them down the sink already.

Clerk (older now, skeptical): Um, well, you're supposed to return the wine if it's corked.

....Silence...crickets begin to squirm...

Clerk (seen it all): Fine, bring in the bottles and we'll take a look.

Is it even physically possible for Yellowtail Chardonnay to be corked? Is this guy clueless or does he really need those two free bottles of Yellowtail? Economic crisis indeed...

And Lastly

Things are tight and they're getting tighter. Here are two reds that I want to wholeheartedly and most definitely recommend to you. They're both utterly delicious wines, true examples of their place, and very reasonably priced. The 2007 Paul Filliatreau Saumur-Champigny, $13, Dressner Selections, is a wonderful wine. Floral and bright on the nose with vivid fruit flavors and great acidity and a nice subtle earthy note, this performs way above its pay grade. A light and lively style of wine. Think bistro in Saumur over lunch. Trust me on this one.

And the 2000 Jean-Michel Gaunoux Volnay 1er Cru Clos de Chênes costs $25 at Garnet Wines in Manhattan, witht he 10% discount you get on everything in the store until December 7th. Why would I buy this wine from a so-so vintage, knowing nothing whatsoever about the producer? Leo, a commenter recently suggested that I "try everything Chadderdon brings in." Got me thinking - I do this with a few importers, but very few. Why not try other Chadderson wines? I love everything I've tasted so far (Huët , Dirler, Boxler, and there's more), so why not roll with it? Paid off in spades this time, I'm happy to say. This wine is excellent - mature, spicy, clean, complex, and well balanced Volnay at $25. If you live in NYC it's honestly worth a phone call or a trip to Garnet to grab one or two of these.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, I wish you the best. Enjoy your friends and family and whatever wines you open. I'll be pouring 2005 Boxler Sylvaner and 2007 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Gamay at my Thanksgiving dinner this year. See that - I said I wouldn't, but I went and told you anyway.


Anonymous said...

YellowTail comes with an actual cork? I thought it came with one of those rubber ones. It's been years since I've had a bottle of that.

Anonymous said...

Hey Neil-

As to your first point, I remember reading about not only wineries that have a TCA outbreak, but that a wine can be corked from the barrel actually having TCA in it! So yeah, wines with screw caps and synthetic corks can definitely still be corked.

As to the Yellow Tail, someone should have told the dude that the wine wasn't corked....that's just how it tastes all the time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

My CRB Gamay arrived from Chambers St. last week so we'll be having that, too (and therefore I no longer feel geographically excluded from discussions of this wine!). Happy Thanksgiving.

Brooklynguy said...

hey Dale - i think it is NOT a real cork, which is why this tickled me so much. That said, apparently you don't need real cork to have corked wine...

Right back at you Sonadora - enjoy yourself.

Hey Steve - sorry that you felt discriminated against. I hope you enjoyed the wine. Must have been hard for it to live up to the hype, after all that.