Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A guide to wine a speaking book

Julian Curry, actor and wine buff, has devised this unique audiobook guide to wine which takes the listener to the heart of winemaking and wine drinking in a clear but light-hearted manner. However rich and complex the subject of wine may be, he insists it is also hugely rewarding and great fun.

Curry's informative and entertaining programme begins with a description of work in vineyard and cellar. It outlines the many choices faced by grape-grower and winemaker, resulting in the variety of different styles of wine produced. It continues with wine's journey from winery to gullet, with advice on cellaring, buying, serving, food-matching and tasting. It then moves on to thumbnail sketches of the grape varieties most commonly used, their natural habitats and related styles of wine. And it concludes with a lengthy section devoted to all the major wine regions, in the Old World and the New.

This book is available for download, but first you can listen to a sample.

You can buy this audiobook and download it onto a disc or your iPod. listen to it on your next long journey.

A Guide to Wine by Julian Curry


Monday, April 16, 2007

Tasting Fees?

The Orange Region Vignerons Association is lobbying for a change in NSW law to allow wineries to charge a tasting fee. Apparently this is legal in Victoria and South Australia, but not in NSW.

The arguement is that the individual winery should have the right to decide about the fee based on their own situation. My experience suggests that few wineries would charge, but there are situations where it seems justified. Unless the wine is very bad I usually buy something, and I certainly don't object to a refundable fee. People who see cellar doors as a place for a cheap drink are an expense to the winery and a nuisance to fair dinkum tasters.

Central Western Daily article article about cellar door tasting fees

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why old is gold for autumn entertaining

"Just as spring signals a major shift in ingredients and cooking methods from hearty to light and fresh, so autumn brings a new set of tastes that are richer and warmer than the meals of late summer"

Food and wine expert Fiona Beckett gives some suggestions for matching wine with some seasonal foods for us coming into the cooler half of the year...Aged wines are the go.

Why old is gold for autumn entertaining - Matching Food and Wine:


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Jazz on the Bremer at Langhorne Creek

Sunday, 29 April 2007, 11:00am-5:00pm

This annual event is designed to bring people into Langhorne Creek to enjoy a fun day of fine food, local wine and jazz music.

See the range of wineries and their alternative varieties in Vinodiversity's page about Langhorne Creek

Langhorne Creek Jazz on Bremer Festival

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Is this the answer to Cork Taint?

Simple solution for cork taint

An article from LA Times Report

CORKED wine is the ultimate wine disappointment, all the more crushing when the bottle in question is a costly, highly anticipated extravagance. One whiff of the aroma of old gym socks, the signature scent of trichloranisole (TCA), and the only option is to pour the bottle down the sink.

Or is it?

Mel Knox, a San Francisco-based oak-barrel broker who represents French cooper Taransaud, says there is an easy solution, particularly when the cork taint is relatively mild.

In a glass pitcher, wad up roughly a square foot of Saran Wrap or other polyethylene plastic wrap. Pour the tainted wine over the plastic wrap in the pitcher. Expose all of the wine to the plastic wrap by gently swirling the wine in the pitcher for five or 10 minutes. The more pronounced the taint, the longer the wine should be exposed to the plastic wrap. For stubborn cases, repeat the plastic soak with a fresh wad of wrap.

Pour out a small amount of wine to test the results and when the taint is gone, decant the wine into another container. Toss the plastic and enjoy the wine.

Polyethylene absorbs TCA like a sponge, says Brian Smith, president of Vinovation, a "wine fix-it shop" that is experimenting with different plastic-filled cartridge filters that can be thrown into cork-tainted barrels or tanks to absorb TCA.

As offensive as cork taint is, from a health standpoint it's harmless. Cork taint derives its name from cork closures. The prime cause is a reaction between a mold found in cork crevices and chlorine-containing cleaning compounds used to clean the corks. Its presence also can be traced to wineries where phenolic wood preservatives come in contact with chlorine compounds. Once TCA infects a winery, it is difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate.

Has anybody tried this? Next time you get a nasty smell from a wine try it out, and let us know how it works.