Putting More Than A Cork In It (Talking Alternative Wine Closures For Fix.com)

Vinted on February 23, 2016 binned in going pro, learning wine
fix.com closures

image: Fix.com

1WD is no stranger to the geeky details of alternative wine closures (see previous thoughts on touring the Nomacorc synthetic cork plant, my write-up about screwcap closures for Publix Grape, and an introduction to cork alternatives penned for Answers.com). Some of us find shizz like that to be fascinating… potentially unhealthy, argue-about-it-vehemently-over-many-drinks levels of fascinating (that’s why they call us “geeks).

The other 99.99% of wine drinkers probably (ok, definitely) don’t spend anywhere near as much time pondering the developments in the alternative closure scene; it is for them (the normal people) that my latest Fix.com article has been penned.

In this info-graphic-laden entry, we take a look at traditional cork, “technical” cork, glass stoppers, synthetic cork, and screwcaps, the Pros and Cons of which are all brought to colorful life by the Fix.com crew. Full embeddable graphic below after the jump, for your viewing pleasure.

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 22, 2016

Vinted on February 22, 2016 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 13 Bonny Doon Vineyard Syrah Le Pousseur (Central Coast): Compelling in its peppery litheness, for those who prefer a lighter touch. $26 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve (Arroyo Seco): A toasty, burning ember of concoction, ignited by flint and honey. $48 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Erin E Sonoma Stage Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Pretty darned vibrant, & pretty darned promising; & pretty darned pretty. $37 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Wairau River Pinot Gris (Marlborough): Love me some stone fruits. I just don't usually love me them when they're this viscous. $21 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Lieb Cellars Reserve Sparkling Rose (North Fork of Long Island): A glas conjures up a single word, & that word is "delightful!" $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Bodega Vistalba Corte C (Mendoza): If we wish hard enough, maybe we can magically make Summer appear & then grill up some burgers. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Luce Della Vite Lucente (Toscana): Dude, throw that pasta, sauce, sausage & herbs into a pot, stat! This is makin' me hungry! $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 David Bruce Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Roses,blood orange, & baking spices? Yes, & it works. Sort of. $38 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Rodney Strong Symmetry (Alexander Valley): The geometry is round and smooth here, but the wood scaffolding is all a bit much. $55 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Gundlach Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewurztraminer (Sonoma Coast): Dry, spicy, textured, & begging to be poured when the snow falls. $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Alcohol Probably Isn’t Good For You (But Don’t Start Crying Just Yet)

Vinted on February 16, 2016 binned in commentary, wine health, wine news

Recently, a 1WD reader wrote in to ask me what I thought about the recent spate of news indicating that alcohol is bad for your health. Here’s his initial correspondence, which he gave me permission to share with you all:

Hey, Dude,
I was reading a few articles in Decanter for class when I came across one (admittedly attention-grabbing) article. The UK’s equivalent of the Surgeon General has apparently decided there’s “no safe level of drinking”. She has also cut the guideline maximum for men weekly to 14 units (a unit is approximately 2.5 US fluid ounces of 13% abv wine). Here is the article: http://www.decanter.com/wine-news/uk-alcohol-guidelines-no-safe-drinking-level-as-daily-limit-cut-287142/.

To put it mildly, I think this is complete and utter bullshit. It’s not that I think moderate alcohol consumption is bad–far from it. Indeed, I think there are people who should try to avoid alcohol completely, including those who have no control over their own drinking whatsoever. However, from what I’ve read over the years, there is a “J-shaped curve” associated with various diseases (particularly coronary-related) and alcohol consumption. A quick internet search led me to this for cardiovascular health: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/562474_2, and WineAnorak had this for other benefits: http://www.wineanorak.com/healother.htm.

While there are health risks associated with alcohol use, as well, including oesophageal cancers, there are health risks associated with nearly everything. Taking a stroll after work is healthy, for example, but there’s a risk I could get hit by a car, or get hypothermia or heat stroke (depending on the weather), or bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus. Even hiding at home trying to avoid all risks of mortality doesn’t rule out dying of various things, such as unexpected meteor impact, heart attack from a combination of lack of exercise and stress from perceived impending doom, or starvation since I’d run out of groceries eventually if I refuse to leave the house. Paranoia to that extent is almost reason to cause someone to drink.

Sorry about that rant. I read that article and it riled me up; I felt it would be something I’d love to hear your opinion and commentary on, as well.

In a follow-up correspondence, he had this to add about the subject:

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford also wrote an interesting article about the topic: http://www.decanter.com/wine-news/opinion/jefford-on-monday/jefford-on-monday-uk-drinking-limits-toxic-advice-287989/.
 I read another two studies about raised breast cancer risks from light-to-moderate alcohol usage as compared to abstinence this last week.  One was a study of about 48000 people from the 1980s to 2010.  The other was a meta-study.  Both found an approximately 10% risk of breast cancer in abstainers, and an approximately 12.5% risk in light-to-moderate drinkers. I didn’t see anything about mortality, metastasizing, or recurrence.  It didn’t seem that other risk factors besides smoking were necessarily controlled for.  I’ll have to use some Google-fu to find them again, but though neither was precisely friendly towards alcohol, what I understood from their conclusions was essentially, “There’s a slightly elevated risk of breast cancer from drinking alcohol.  It’s not much to worry about, but if you are paranoid, you can stop drinking.”
Now, bearing in mind that, to the best of my knowledge, neither he nor I are medical professionals, here’s my take on all of this…

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