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Category Archives: wine

I walked into the fine wine section of Majestic Wines and met Planeta Cometa for the first time. I’d never heard of this Scillian maker or seen a wine that is almost orange in the bottle. The bloke tried to sell it to me but I wasn’t convinced. Perhaps I should have been, because I’ve come home and lo’ and behold if Wine Spectator isn’t writing about their plans to produce a win that might have been Caesar’s favourite.

“What would Julius Caesar drink? Planeta, one of Sicily’s best-known wineries, plans to produce a wine that might have been the Roman emperor’s favorite. The wine will come from vineyards in the little-known appellation of Mamertino in the northeastern part of the island that Planeta recently leased.

In Roman times, Mamertino was reputed to produce one of Sicily’s top wines, a red Caesar ordered for feasts. The winery is currently collaborating on a research project with Attilio Scienza, a professor of viticulture from the University of Milan. Their goal is to discover the forgotten indigenous grape variety that was blended with Nocera grapes to produce Mamertino. They hope to get as close as possible to the original blend that Caesar used to drink.”

Note to self. Be more adventurous next time.

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Using Chowhound a Burgundy lover poses the question,  “which wineries should I visit in Oregon?” The answers are helpful.

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Image from Cupcake Vineyards

The name certainly draws attention. And their approach to making wine is also a little different.

“The winemaking philosophy of Cupcake Vineyards is to make delicious, creamy wines from grapes grown in the most desirable wine regions from around the globe. Most of its wines come from California, but it produces a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a Riesling from Washington and a Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina.”


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Billed as a ‘virtual taste search engine’, Aromicon lists thousands of wines. The animation displaying the wine’s unique blend of flavours, showing berries, chocolate, pipes, etc swirling around in a glass is the most interesting part.

Here’s the animation for the Mt Riley Pinot Noir 2006.

Even though I can’t speak German, I get the picture.

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Hendrix = Cabernet

Wine tastes better with music, according to the Telegraph.

“The research showed that when a powerful, heavy piece of music is heard, a wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon is perceived as being 60 per cent more powerful, rich and robust than when no music is heard.”

The Telegraph also reports that it tastes better in blue or red lit rooms.

“Drinkers’ brains are tricked into thinking a glass of white wine is better and more expensive tasting when exposed to the red or blue background lighting than those in rooms with green or white background lighting.”

The right glass can make a difference to taste, according to Reidel.

“The type of wine glass you drink out of can make a huge difference when it comes to the nose and flavor of a wine, and Riedel was one of the first major companies to recognize this.”

What you taste is influenced by what you’re told beforehand:

“Wine tastes different to those who are given information on the product before a wine tasting”

And wine tastes different in the air ie in a plane.

“Did you know that wine tastes different in the air? So that glass of sauvignon blanc you savour at home might be a bit too acidic at 10,000m. And a nice cabernet sauvignon you lick your lips over when it’s served on the plane could seem a bit overpowering when you get back down to earth.”

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“Today’s recommended wines are first and foremost food-friendly. In general, the overall quality of the kosher wine we tasted is better and more consistent than our last look two years ago. Though well-established Israeli brands were generally available, it was tougher to find French, Chilean, Spanish and New Zealand kosher wines this time.”

I didn’t know about the “U”, “K” or “P” labelling protocol. That’s really interesting.

“The label will carry the certifying organization’s symbol, often a circled “U” or “K.” In addition, wines labeled as kosher for Passover also carry a P to the right of the circled symbol.”

From the SF Chronicle,  read more here

Update: Serious eats on the same subject here

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“The idea behind the Vino-Lok system is to provide bottlers with a closure that is technically and organoleptically 100 percent neutral, meets food-grade standards, and is attractive to consumers.”

SFGate has a full article on the subject. <link>

“The small glass closure came about in late 2001 and early 2002 when Dr. Karl Matheis, a German physician, noticed a similar stopper on a bottle that needed to stay sterile for medical operations. Why not use it for wine as well?”

The fuss around closures seems to be around ageing. I thought something like 90% of wine was made to drink within six months of bottling. So why the fuss?As for Vino-Lok, it definitely has a nicer aesthetic than a screwcap.

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“The wine on the left in each of the line-ups is the screw cap wine – the others are various cork…s and synthetics . . . None of the wine were drinkable after 10 years – EXCEPT the one under screwcap. . . Yes you CAN age wines nicely under screwcap”. This is Tercero Wine’s conclusion based on an Australian Wine Research Institute study.

Thanks for the post. It’s a great image.

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Bob Campbell put the 2009 Astrolabe at the top of his list of 10. It’s also the cheapest in the list. <link>

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“A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world.”

Louis Pasteur

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