Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bad Cork, Bad

Nothing like sitting down with company to a delicious dinner of grilled loin lamb chops and pouring everyone a glass of cabernet that you know is rich and delicious. You raise the glass to your nose ready to inhale intoxicating aromas of cassis and and cedar and, instead, it's #@$%&$"#*$%&$#@# corked! Totally contaminated alcohol.

It's so damned annoying. At first you have a half-hearted thought -- maybe no one will notice. But after two or three more sips you realize you're in denial and you suddenly grab bottle and glasses and head toward the sink before you can do any more second guessing. As you watch it go down the drain you can only sigh -- well, you can grumble, too.

I think I've been lucky in that almost all the wine I've had from my cellar that's been corked has been relatively inexpensive. When it's not cheap, it's downright painful. Because tainted corks have become relatively common, many people advocate screw tops instead of cork. I've blogged about this before -- all wines under $20 should have screw tops but ageworthy wines still require cork. Just too much uncertainty about the effects of plastic on wine long term, not to mention the importance of cork-based ceremony for better bottles.

Still, it's hard to let go no matter how much you reason with yourself. The wine in question was a 2001 Steltzner estate cabernet, not real expensive but bad enough at $35. And, the previous bottle I had was absolutely delicious. More's the pity.

1 Comments:

Anonymous BoxWineGuy said...

Oddly, some of the better inexpensive wines I've had lately have been screw tops.

I'm partial to box wines when a wine is available in that packaging - not only do you not have the cork issue, but the wine is preserved after opening and should last for weeks.

Of course, as you note in your post, these kinds of solutions aren't useful for long-term aging until we have more data.

9:00 PM  

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