What do you do when you and your spouse / significant other /favorite pet / whatever find yourselves double-booked for holiday party engagements?
If you’re me and Mrs. Dudette, you declare defeat, play holiday party hooky and instead grab three bottles from the samples stash and go out for a “date night” dinner alone to reconnect. That’s what we decided to do last Friday evening (with apologies to anyone involved in the two holiday parties that we ditched – it’s nothing personal), and the time away from the holiday hustle & bustle allowed me to make a few reflective observations about the more recent ‘state of things.’
For instance: reconnecting with your spouse isn’t simply a matter of having great food and really good wines – though those two thing help immensely in the process.
But you’re not here for the Dude familial matters, you’re here for the wine, right? Well, I made some reflections on that stuff, too:
- Napa has gone almost ‘all-in’ when it comes to wine blogs, and is sending more and more stellar, low-production wines our way – another big change from 12 months ago. I say “almost” because the cultiest of the cults are probably not going to divert any stock away from the allocation to the world’s yacht-owners to spare a bottle or two for me.
- South-African wine has really, really impressed me lately, and this is the first year that I can remember not having any wines from South Africa that I didn’t like. Which, upon reflection after 12 months of tasting is really a bit remarkable.
- From what I can discern, Wine & Spirits and Wine Spectator might have given 92 points to a flawed wine.
Let’s address each of these tidbits apiece, shall we?…
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Here’s an interesting bit of wine news – it’s not everyday that you hear about a veritable Apocalypse Now of tens of thousands and thousands of bottles of wine, let alone have that wine related to movie icons, providing an opportunity to utilize puns related to kick-ass cinema in a wine context.
This week, Law.com and Courthouse News Service reported the news that Napa Valley producer Coppola (owned of course by famed producer and director Francis Ford Coppola) is suing cork and bottle manufacturer Vinocor USA, alleging that Vinocor is responsible for ruining 55,000 cases of the Coppola wines.
Yes, 55,000 cases (nearly 700K bottles of wine). That’s a lot of vinegar!
Apparently Coppola’s company Francis Ford Coppola Presents paid Vinocor nearly $700K to produce some funky-looking bottles with over-sized screwcap enclosures to help promote their “Encyclopedia” line of wines. But it looks likenot all went to plan, as Coppola is claiming the substandard quality of the Vinocor products resulted in the oxidation of all 55,000 cases bottled of Encyclopedia.
That’s certainly the largest amount of wine I’ve ever heard of being ruined by a screwcap enclosure. The allegation is not against screwcaps in general, of course – it’s that the Vinocor screwcaps were allegedly flawed, having issues with their threading and didn’t create a proper seal to protect the wine.
Will this lawsuit cause a setback in the adoption of screwcaps?
I doubt it – certainly some top-notch wines are well bought into the stelvin enclosures, including New Zealand’s Kim Crawford and California’s Bonny Doon. Properly-made screwcaps seem more than capable of properly aging a wine, at least when it comes to medium-term storage. Whether they will help a wine last 20+ years is more debatable question, but theoretically there’s no reason why they couldn’t.
Got a stance on screwcaps, wine-related lawsuits, or Coppola movie quotes? Shout `em out in the comments!