Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wine Wednesday -- One Ounce Pours

For those of you who read a few food blogs, you'll know that many of them post on wine topics on Wednesdays (called surprisingly enough Wine Wednesday, ha ha.) So, since it's Wednesday, here are a few small pours in honor of the nobel vino.

The Bison Business: OK, so it's not wine, but Marion Burros touts her NY Times piece on bison at Diner's Journal. Lots of local butchers sell a lot of Indiana bison on advice of cardiologists. If you like steak, but have cholesterol issues, you might give the noble buffalo a try. I know Kinkaid's carries it most days and if Joe Lazzara doesn't have it, he can get it. (Joe can get anything.) What wine to drink with your buffalo steak? I'd recommend a nice, rich Zinfandel, I think.

Stale Wine for Sale? With the proliferation of wine bars and large wine-by-the-glass lists, have you ever sent a glass back? I have -- and I think more people should since there's just no way a bar or restaurant with a sizable by-the-glass list can keep an opened bottle fresh. Sure, they pump them out or use nitrous systems, but even then, it's not fool-proof. I think Bauer (and his commenters) make an excellent point. Wine makers take the rap for bad wine (when it's really an oxidized glass) and some bars rake in the cash with customers who don't know any better. Join the revolution. Send back wine-by-the-glass that's past its prime. (And speaking of stale, yes, I know this post is *weeks* old. Luckily, it didn't oxidize as fast as that two-day old grocery store pinot noir they're selling you for $10.)

State Fair Wine Judging: In case you're wandering around the state fair this week or weekend, stop in a take a gander at the wines judged for the Indy International Wine Competition. (They're locked up in a case in the same building that features the flower show and the honey ice cream.) It's difficult to tell by their display how the categories and rankings fell, but you'll see the grand champion for both the international and Indiana wines. No surprise that Oliver did well. Jeff at the Good Grape has an interesting post on the competition and judging criteria.

Want: The Wine Pouch with a Handle! Really, what more can be said except for Thank You, South Africa! Wine, in a pouch, portable, with a spigot. It's like a giant Capris Sun juice pouch for grown ups (minus the annoying straw)! And as long as the wine is good and preserved well, I'll drink it out of almost anything. Really, how great would this be for coolers, boating, and picnics (think Symphony on the Prairie!) All I want to know is how long until Nolan and Bill can get us some! (Via Dr. Vino.)

Cipriani Groups' Liquor License Revoked? And also via the good Doctor, some reports tell us the New York state alcoholic beverage board may go after the famous restaurant group's liquor license. Screw Cipriani Soho, I'm worried about the Rainbow Room! (From the Herald Trib)


CorrND said...

Wine pouch?! Sweet -- box wine without the box.

US wine snobs need to wake up to what Australia has been doing for years. Decent bottle-shelf wine sold in bulk in oxidization-resistance containers. It's not right all the time but perfect for an after-work sip or a simple night cooking on the grill.

scubachef said...

Combining a few ideas; why not individual serving CapriSun-like pouches for "by the glass" options? Then again, I really hate those cans of Coppola sparkling wine, so maybe packaging does matter to some extent, if only psychological.

ChefThomE said...

I have judged at Indy as well as other international competitions for the past 7 years. The link to the other blog abou the competitons makes it sound like Indy gave Charles Shaw a best of show. Let me make it clear, Charles Shaw did not get a best of show.
A conversation that comes up quite often is the comments of certified judges. It is hard to imagine finding the 60 certified judges that it would take to judge at Indy. Purdue (the competiton organizers) does a great job of putting tasting panels of 5 judges together. Each panel has a mix of wine making professionals, wine sales professionals, restaurant professionals and wine geeks. This mixture brings many different view points looking at each wine.
Without a doubt, there are wines at Indy that the judges are not experienced in tasting. But, all wine is judged on the same criteria. Even though I may not like a particular varietal (Catawba for example), I know what smells should be there (and what smells shouldn't) and know what cambination of tastes should be present, what color the wine should be. So, Even though I may never drink it again, I can give a wine a gold medal if it is technically sound.

Indy is a very credible competition. As you travel around the world and go to wineries ask how they did at Indy, they will tell you how highly they think of the competition.

braingirl said...

I'd heard what a prestigious competition it was, but I was surprised at how few wines were actually entered. (We asked the people at the table at the fair a couple of times "are these *all* the wines?") There didn't seem like nearly as many as I'd thought and at least half were Indiana wines.

I don't doubt there are some great wines, but I do think there are probably some widely varying assessments based on baseline criteria. (At least, in my experience there are.) I'm not sure certification would be necessary because there aren't enough qualified judges, but woud it help improve the consistency of how the criteria are applied?

CorrND said...

The numbers I've seen for the Indy International Wine Competition are over 3800 wines -- the second largest in the US is about 3600 entries for the San Francisco International Wine Competition -- with almost 800 from California and around 250 from Indiana. If it looked even remotely like half of them were from Indiana, they weren't close to having ALL the wines.

BK said...

Look for Versus from another distributor. Crossroad Vintners is just getting started with our second SA importer which unfortunately doesn't bring in Versus. The pouch idea sounds like a good one though.

Jeff said...


RE: The Indy Wine Competition, the post was one of about three I did around state fair competitions. There has been much debate and consternation about Charles Shaw winning a Double Concordance Gold at the California State Fair--this taking place in the wine blogosphere. Taken by itself I can see where the post might be confusing, but if you read alongside with the companion pieces my opinion of the validity of the state fair competitions and the entire discourse becomes more clear.