Monday, May 17, 2010

Aerating technology

Wine “aerators” have become pretty popular recently. We don’t own one yet, and here’s why.
A) We already have 3 decanters, among a host of other wine related accessories-do we really need any more wine stuff?
B) I’m not entirely sold on them, not only on the price point, but I also wonder if something in the wine’s complexity is lost through a rapid process.

Sometimes technology is cool but sometimes it’s a good thing to keep with tradition and I don’t know where I stand on this one. I mean, even if we owned a Vinturi or whatever item we might pick up, we wouldn’t use it on an old Bordeaux no matter what, as too much air on an older wine can be a bad thing. They also say don’t decant Burgundies.....

Going along with that train of thought, wouldn’t it be feasible that so much air delivered so fast could deplete the delicacies and “hints of this and that” flavors that wines have? Or strip them of their details and nuances? True, some of the aerators are more delicate with the wine than others, and its not like they are meant for ALL wines, but some also are the equivalent of me taking a straw and blowing bubbles into the bottle. (well, minus the saliva ;)

But then again, I wonder, does it even matter how the air is delivered? Especially with younger heartier wines? It got me thinking.....if we decanted half the bottle in a traditional decanter, closed up the bottle, waited an hour, opened the rest of the bottle and poured it through one of those quick aerators, I wonder if we could tell the difference. (Yes, I know, the wine in the bottle was exposed to some air, so its not perfect but its not as much air exposure as going through and sitting in the decanter, so there might be some basis for comparison.)

What’s your guesses? Does it make a difference? Will technology win or will tradition? Post your thoughts and stay tuned, I will try to enlist the help of the Luces and D’s on this mission and maybe we’ll do a 3 way comparison of different aerators!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Handley Cellars Pinot Noir

As you might know, I prefer my Pinot Noirs to be fuller bodied, (for a pinot) with darker fruit flavors, more on the dark cherry side than the bright strawberry side, with a bit of warm flavors, like cinnamon or clove. As noted in my other posts, typically Monterey County Pinot Noirs (central coast of California) are my go-to, however, the 2006 Handley Cellars Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley was a recent Gold Medal Wine Club shipment and it totally fits the bill. Its from Mendocino County, which is north of Sonoma County and winery direct (which you actually can’t buy it at the winery anymore) is $30 and its worth it – its complex, warm and rich fruits, with a long finish, its really a perfect late spring/early summer red. However, its especially worth the $17/bottle that I can get it for through GMWC because I’m a dual-series member. As a non-member, the average person can get it for $22/bottle, so if you read my pinot reviews and think we like the same thing, head to their website and order some!

(if you think you might join Gold Medal Wine Club because of me, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a referral link)