Friday, August 20, 2004

CHEERS, and yet another story of wine pretensions

In bits and pieces it seems that wineries are cutting through the old strictures of marketing wine and putting together fun and appealing products. There is hope.

CHEERS to Neibaum-Coppola with the introduction of their 'Sophia Mini' ( Putting their sparkling wine, Sophia - Blanc de Blanc, in a neat little red aluminum can. And they did their research well; they are targeting younger affluent drinkers. The creativity and aggressiveness of this should be lauded.

CHEERS to R.H. Philips and their new Chard bottle. New bottle has a nice sleek shape and a screw top that doesn't look like a screw top (see And what's great is that this sophisticated packaging comes in at around $7 at Trader Joes. Well done.

This brings me to this short tale of pretention. I was at a wine shop/bar a few months back and a discussion of wine closures was going on next to me. It was interesting hearing wine drinkers reveal their pretentious distain for non cork closures. The discussion was bereft of facts and dripping with a myriad of traditional wine drinker pretensions.

I kept silent until I heard the woman next to me, who had a glass of LD (late disgorged) sparkling wine, say that at least wineries weren't using bottle caps. At this point I joined the conversation and asked the woman if she detected any bottle cap aromas or flavors from her sparkling wine. She said of course not, this was methode champenoise sparkling wine. I told her I understood, and repeated the question. At this point I had everyone's attention because they thought I had made a horrible blunder in wine knowledge. Before she could respond, I pointed out that secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, secured with a BOTTLE CAP. I went on to point out that because her sparkling wine was late disgorged, the wine 'sat' on a bottle cap for YEARS. Then I repeated my question to her, did she taste anything synthetic or 'bottle cappy' in the sparkling wine? She said no.

So bottle caps are evil, wine should never be stored with a bottle cap, a bottle cap would ruin the wine, wine is sacred, a bottle cap smacks of haste and industrial efficiency. So go dump out your methode champenoise sparkling because its surely been affected by the evils of the most vile of synthetic closures. The BOTTLE CAP.


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