Saturday, June 13, 2009

The reason that some people like some types of wine and dislike others may be physiological. I know that people with allergies and intolerance to histamines do not drink red wines. The do not is probably akin to cannot. For the last couple of years I have been prescribed a statin by my doctor. This is a low dose medication to prevent increases in cholesterol levels. Also over the last couple of years I have increasingly preferred Gisborne and Hawkes Bay Chardonnays over their cousins from Marlborough. The grapefruit skin character of Marlborough Chardonnays is not to my liking and has seemingly become more pronounced. It was only recently when my GP reminded me to not consume grapefruit while taking Lipex (the statin) as there are side effects that the penny dropped. Is the grapefruit character evident in some Chardonnays, especially those grown in cooler regions of a chemical similarity to actual grapefruit juice? This would explain my dislike of the wines and that others like them. Maybe the ABC brigade are taking statins.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We went to see Bottle Shock on Sunday, the movie purportedly about the great Paris blind tasting of 1976 where Californian wines came to the wine world's attention and (some) outplaced (some) French wines. I was looking forward to seeing this, having known of this story and was keen to see how the wines and the tasting would be portrayed. The result was great disappointment. Hollywood decided to only make passing references to the actual wines involved, both French and American and to dish up instead a crappy love story interspersed with a travel advertisement of Napa Valley. Why is it that they are always so gutless that they need to pander to the lowest common denominator. Instead of sticking to the main story they seem to have wimped out and given us; a pathetic love triangle; a family dispute; oversimplified French caricatures; and over-romanticised wine country scenes. There are enough wine enthusiasts world-wide to have ensured the success of a movie done well. Shame.

Monday, June 8, 2009

You (I'VE) got the silver...

In our lifetime we accumulate small things that are very meaningful to ourselves and go unnoticed by others. one of these small things I have is a silver funnel that is the best decanting device I have ever come across, In wine books and wine lore in general, wine ponces talk about using candles and back-lights against the neck of a bottle to show when sediment is about to pour out into the wine decanter. This is laborious, inaccurate and dangerous ( lighted flames and inebriated persons should not be combined). The silver funnel is a simple and safe labour saving device that is also perfectly accurate in determining when sediment from the bottle is about to reach the volume of wine being decanted. I swear by it and and am forever grateful in having it. I was given this by one of the nicest people in the wine industry that I have ever known. Barbara Coombs has been a long term wine representative for leading wine companies over the last 20 years. Before her stint as a wine representative she was P.A. to the highest profile ever CEO of a NZ Liquor company. This man gave Barbara the silver funnel which she kept for many a year before giving it to me. I very much appreciated the gesture as a mark of respect that she has for me and also appreciated the value of the item which is a big part I guess of why Barbara chose me to give it to.
I used it last night to decant a half bottle of Penfolds Bin 28 (Kalimna) Shiraz 2003. Using normal decanting methods with a young wine like this would most likely show no sediment. My silver funnel clearly shows, at the end of the pour, minute grainy traces. Eliminating these definitely adds to the enjoyment of one of the world's great (and unbelievably affordable)wines.