Archive for December, 2017

Wine Aerators: vSpin

December 18th, 2017

Wine Aerators: vSpin
Image courtesy: vSpin.us

Your scribe is a big fan of decanting all wine served. Recommend decanting everything from young wines needing airing to open up and help with reductive issues to mature old ones avoiding the sediment for better texture. However both those are very different with no real concern about how long ahead for young wines and minimizing the time for old ones decanting at the very last minute just before first pouring into the glass. However, there are lots of wine aerators (some electronic) now on the market (including Amazon) that claim to expand the surface area of the wine better than decanting but often have problems such as dripping, leakage, acrylic cracking, tubing length, cleaning issues and the like.

The latest one causing a buzz here in the Pacific Northwest is vSpin (vSpin.us) by Bevstir USA Innovations Inc. in Bellingham Washington with their active decanting system in a classy German lead-free Crystal Decanter by Spiegelau that creates a gentle silent spin vertex to fully aerate your wine which  greatly increases the surface area. The base with batteries controls both speed and time settings. It did receive a 2018 German Design Award Winner by the German Design Council. Comes with a 10 year warranty and sells for $220 US or $300 Canadian on Amazon. They are claiming the technology results are “Enhanced aromas, richer bouquet, and mellows harsh tannin textures.”  vSpin on their site hype a “4 hour decant in under 4 minutes”. Also there is a specific spin speed (from 1 to 3) and duration chart for each varietal (different for New World & Old and Young or Mature) recommended by a local award winning sommelier Alistair Veen on their website that you could check out. Chart shows a range from 3:30 minutes at highest 3 speed for Young Nebbiolo to 1:30 minutes at lowest 1 speed for both Mature European or New World Pinot Noir. Interesting and provocative. System looks like it may have some potential. But this oenophile is from Missouri and would be unlikely to ever spin a mature red Burgundy. Much prefer to pour it directly from the decanter immediately into my wine glass and study the development from there even if it takes some time. A top mature red Burgundy deserves this continuous monitoring and the wait if needed. On the other hand some very old bottles may have lost their very best fleeting complex bouquet and best palate by starting to oxidize before the recommended spin time is completed and the wine served.  The distributor is setting up a demo for this scribe sometime in the New Year. Will report to you further on the results.  Do you have any experience with this vSpin or other popular aerating systems? Please chime in.


You might also like:

Brexit and the EU’s mysterious wine cellar

December 17th, 2017

European union wine cellar
By Joseph Temple

As Brexit negotiations escalate to a fever pitch, Tory MP Edward Leigh has decided to raise an issue inside the House of Commons that seems to have been overlooked by other politicians and power brokers across the United Kingdom: where’s our wine?  Referring to the European Union’s massive cellar containing an estimated more than 42,000 bottles, Leigh asked that the government “promise to take back control of our fair share of this art (the EU also has an art collection) and wine.”

According to The Telegraph, British negotiators are asking Brussels for 5,000 bottles, 250 bottles of spirits, and approximately €2.25m in artwork to be returned back to London.  And while this all may be a largely trivial matter, it does raise the question of what exactly is stored in this gigantic cellar located beneath the Justus-Lipsius-Building that has been satisfying the palates of Europe’s elite since the 1970s when EU leaders began buying directly from producers all across the world.

Back in 2012, Austrian member of the European Parliament Martin Ehrenhauser first asked for an inventory and it took nearly four months for EU leaders to respond that the European Council and the European Commission housed a combined total of 42,789 bottles.  With the Commission’s share consisting of 73% red, 24% white and 3% sparkling, Brussels reportedly spent $55,000 that year on wine – a mere fraction of its $170-billion-dollar budget for that fiscal year.  Additionally, the Council reported that its spending on wine dropped dramatically, from $115,000 in 2009 to just $6,500 in 2012.

Based on the numbers that were released, if you’re conjuring up images of politicians sitting around a smoke-filled room as they sip on the finest first growths, you’ll be disappointed to learn that the most expensive bottle in the Commission’s collection costs no more than $60.  But given the austerity measures taken across Europe, the fact that they housed a collection of that size provided ample fodder for populist critics of the EU.  “I had not expected that they would have so many bottles. They should be working, not drinking,” said Ehrenhauser who originally brought up the issue.

And that may only be one side to the story.  While the Commission has been upfront in releasing its numbers, pointing out that the wine can be purchased by senior officials at the restaurant inside its Berlaymont headquarters, the European Council didn’t release the value of its collection, arguing that its bottles are not sold but served at official dinners.

Adding to this secrecy is the fact that no one who isn’t part of the EU’s senior power structure can even get inside the cellar.  The Express reports that “no one can look or photograph the repository: the council keeps it behind closed doors.” So as Leigh and other Brexiteers are demanding that Britain get back its fair share, who knows what that real number is – or if they’ll ever get it back?


You might also like:

Ask Sid: Trebbiano Grape?

December 13th, 2017
Ask your question here

Trebbiano wine grape

Question: Like the 2014 Hester Creek Trebbiano from old vines of Block 16 in the Okanagan British Columbia. Are there other products using this grape?

Answer: Good choice by you from their 1968 vine planting turned into a unique wine showing lovely ripe pear fruit. Try also their excellent 2016 for $24. Trebbiano is a popular variety in Italy with many producers there making a dry lighter bodied style with good acidity to match well with many foods. Try one. This variety goes by other names including Ugni Blanc which is grown on chalky soil with ocean breezes in the Charente area of France providing ideal acidity for distilling into Cognac (with the Folle Blanche & Colombard varieties).


You might also like:

 alt=

Do you like Trebbiano grapes?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Utilize A Wider Variety of Wine Regions For Your Holiday Meals

December 11th, 2017

Christmas dinner

So many wine regions are now producing a plethora of high quality wines from which to choose. This is good to keep in mind during your year end wine selections to go with holiday receptions and celebratory meals. Check out the variety of wines from different places to try. The Vancouver Branch of the International Wine & Food Society completed their events schedule for the 50 year anniversary year in 2017 with their always popular annual Christmas dinner held at the Vancouver Club on December 10th. As the attached menu shows this idea was fully developed here spotlighting wines matching so well with the respective food courses from 7 different regions of Champagne, Loire, Burgundy, Chile, Bordeaux (Pauillac), Portugal, and Madeira. Sparkling is being made successfully around the world with so many possibilities available as an always festive beginning for your evening. So many whites and reds that might pair well with your meal if you gave them a chance. Experiment. Consider going back to an appropriate white wine after the reds to see how well it matches your cheese course. Dessert wines too are produced in most regions. Try something new. After all we are an international society so broaden your wine selections.

IMG_0412
blank


You might also like:

9 ways to use goat cheese

December 9th, 2017

what goes with goat cheese?
By Joseph Temple

A simple ingredient packed full of flavor, goat cheese has seen highs and lows on the trendy foods list, but here are some classic ways to incorporate this tasty item into your menu.


goatcheeseelements1
1. Carpaccio with fresh fruit is a simple way to showcase different varieties
blank

goatcheeseelements1
2. Crepes filled with chicken and a creamy buttery sauce
blank

goatcheeseelements1
3. Crostini toasted to perfection topped with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil
blank

goatcheeseelements1
4. Covered with fried garlic, baked atop rich and creamy risotto
blank

goatcheeseelements1
5. Wrapped in bacon with rocket greens
blank

goatcheeseelements1
6. As the star of a simple picnic salad with a fresh baguette
blank

goatcheeseelements1
7. Creamed and baked with vegetable on a wood stone oven pesto pizza
blank

goatcheeseelements1
8. With fresh herbs, topping chicken & zucchini pasta
blank

goatcheeseelements1
9. Blended into a modern spin of the classic Waldorf Salad in between layers of beet blinis
blank


You might also like:

Are you a fan of goat cheese?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Skip to toolbar