Putting A Cork in Cork Taint?

Vinted on May 12, 2010 binned in wine news

Last week, Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine ran a featured story titled “CORK Through the Media’s Eyes: Have wine writers put a cork in their criticism of bark stoppers?” written by WineCurmudgeon.com’s Jeff Siegel.

The story (in which I’m briefly quoted) asks whether or not the natural cork stopper industry has reached the point in which cork taint is largely a thing of the past.  I provide the role of “contrarian opinion” in that I still see the rate of cork taint as an issue with which the cork industry needs to more effectively deal.

I’ve got nothing against natural cork closures, mind you.  In fact, I suppose that I prefer them in a nostalgic, “Django Reinhardt playing softly in the background while I retire into my brushed-canvas sage Pottery Barn love seat” kind of way.  I have grown totally convinced that screwcap enclosures are totally sound for long-term storage of fine wines, and I sure as sh*t don’t like synthetic corks and wouldn’t trust them to keep a wine long-term any further than I could comfortably spit a rat (don’t visualize that if you can help it – nasty).

I think for me this is a problem of “once bitten, twice shy” in that I’ve encountered what I consider far too much cork taint-affected wines – while the percentage is tiny, it’s still too high; certainly higher than what we’d consider acceptable in other food-related products.

I’d love to hear your take on this – is cork taint going the way of the dinosaur?  Or is it alive and (un)well in your cellar?

Cheers!

(images: vwm-online.com)

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The Funky Reclaimed Wine Stylings of 8point8

Vinted on May 10, 2010 binned in wine products

An interesting set of sample items found their way to my door recently.  Not wine, but wood.

The wood (or rather what’s been done to the wood) is the brainchild of Brian Behncke, a construction company owner who is in the process of starting up a wood reuse company in San Diego.  The idea is to reclaim cedar fencing wood that would otherwise be on its way to the Mira Mar landfill, and instead turn it into handmade, interesting but functional discussion pieces, with wine as one of the major themes.

According to Brian:

“Due to the cost of taking the nails out of the wood, it goes directly into the landfill. Although it takes a little more time to clean the wood up, we feel this is a small price to pay for keeping large quantities of useable wood out of the landfill. We know there is a more sustainable way to deal with the problem, and that is to repurpose it.”

Brian’s new endeavor, 8point8, is currently selling unique takes on wine storage, carrying cases, and other household items.  The designs overall are functional, fun, and (at times) striking – especially the angled 3-bottle displays, which I personally found perfect for my leftover Madeira (see pic below – and yes, that is still the same Madeira from nearly two years ago – I told you, that stuff is indestructible!)…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-05-08

Vinted on May 8, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 07 J Vineyards Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Massive ML & sur lie aging leads to an unabashedly poised creme brulee big beauty $28 B #
  • 07 J Vineyards Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): With plush berry, spice & flowers it's a wine for Now, but Now's a pretty good place $35 B #
  • 09 J Vineyards Pinot Gris (CA): Sourced from all over, & tastes like it, but the honeydew melon & vanilla will probably cheer you up. $15 B- #
  • 08 Layer Cake Malbec (Mendoza): Might be best BBQ wine I've tasted all year. Dark fruit & sweet spices to please the party crowd. $15 B #
  • 08 Hazlitt Semi-Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): Spicier than yer average peaches-&-limes FL Riesling. Ride gets rougher at the finish. $12 B- #
  • 09 Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): Yeah, well that's "**Mister** Honey pot & lemon candy" to you, buck-o! $15 B #
  • 06 Heron Hill Late Harvest Ingle Vineyard Riesling (Finger Lakes): A grilled pineapple & citrus ride straight to honey-blossom land. $50 A- #
  • 08 Heron Hill Unoaked Chardonnay (NY): All minerals & peaches, & mostly all good, but the mid-palate is a bit like a bumper-car ride $13 B- #
  • 02 Heron Hill Ingle vineyard Johannisberg Riesling (Finger Lakes): She's a little older, you're a little wiser, but she's still sexy. $20 B- #
  • 06 Casa Larga Vidal Fiori delle Stelle Ice Wine (Finger Lakes): A lot to like ("a lot" meaning honey, flowers, dried apricot, vinyl) $46 B+ #
  • 08 Keuka Spring Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes): For those that like it brambly & with smokey oak, but still plan on eating some food. $19 B #

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