Quote of the century – “In my forties, I turned to wine with a passion,” he continues. “I tested 34 Côtes du Rhones in search of a house wine I could afford … I could have become a wine snob, but didn’t. The escape was narrow, but my salvation was several near-bankruptcies …. I will not be stopping on the way home from the office for one of the syrupy California ‘cabs’ so favored by nitwits …. Money can distort the buying and drinking of wine just as it distorts art in the gallery and auction businesses.”
Sam Cullen, 28, set out on his mission to visit one pub at all 270 underground stations in March 2013, starting at The Fountains Abbey at Paddington Station. This is where the first train on what is now the London Underground departed on 9 January 1863.
What is natural wine?One of the challenges for natural wine has been the lack of a universally accepted definition. There are lots of opinions on the subject but most would agree that natural wine starts with sustainable viticulture – usually based on organic or biodynamic principles, with a focus on biodiversity – and minimal intervention in the winery. Most avoid the rectification of sugars or acidity, eschew cultivated yeasts and use little to no sulphur dioxide.
“Duck Shit Aroma (or Ya Shi Xiang) is part of the revered Golden Phoenix family of teas that come from Phoenix Mountain in the Guangdong Province of China,” he begins. “Classically, teas from that mountain are plucked from a single grove or bush, producing hyper-local characteristics. Rumor has it that the farmer behind Duck Shit (which doesn’t truly smell or taste like duck waste) didn’t want anybody to discover the secret to his cultivation so he gave it an unattractive name (indeed, compared to ‘honey orchid,’ ‘orange blossom,’ or ‘almond’) and it stuck.”
“I should make the point that the effect was demonstrated if you take pear juice before alcohol consumption. Once you have a hangover, there is no evidence that it will do you any good.”
This miserable being in my glass was barely three years old yet the color was already a dull bronze. It smelled like camphor, wet dog and naphthalene (moth balls), yet each time I thought “This wine is unsound” I heard some young wine lover admonish me to stop being such a techno-dweeb, and that these were “terroir” aromas (they are not) and “soulful” aromas (only if your soul is a badly damaged place) and “natural” aromas (yes, just like the mildew smell of a shower curtain that needs to be cleaned), and when thought and language are thus corrupted it makes me feel a kind of grief. I like natural wines and the people who make them, and the “movement” deserves better than the wine I was drinking. It needs a few wise elders to police around the perimeter and remind people that flawed wine isn’t some noble-savage form of atavism – it’s just flawed wine, no more virtuous than body odor.
via Musings On A Dubious Wine.- Terry Theise
“The majority of our experiments we’ve conducted over the past thirty years have been successful,” Wheatley revealed. “We’ve experimented and released whiskies featuring unique recipes, oak barrels, entry proofs and more. Every once in a while, the experiments do not turn out as planned, and we’re not comfortable with releasing them if they do not need meet our standards.
“However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t talk about our failures too, because that’s how we all learn, both as a company and as an industry as a whole,” he said.This barrel is part of more than 4,000 experimental barrels – or 80,000 cases – of whiskey ageing in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery, with variations including unique mash bills, types of wood, and different barrel toasts.
Understanding the basics of sours means understanding Brettanomyces. I’ve seen multiple pronunciation descriptors, but generally hear breh-tah-no-MY-sees. This particular resilient yeast strain, Lauren Salazar said, is the bridge between beer and wine. (Brett can come out in certain wines, especially red, and at certain levels it gives a distinct taste that can be pleasing albeit acquired. But too much and it causes faces to squish and glasses to be pushed aside.)
“Uniquely, sahti production involves branches (and sometimes berries) of juniper, which adda spice flavour to the brew and have an antimicrobial effect. These branches lie on a filter bed composed of straw (rye typically) at thebottom of akuurna(a trough-shaped, aspen-hewnvessel) through which the sahti wort is filtered. The first wort prepared is the strongest and may be collected separately to the later wort. The weaker, sugar-poor wort was traditionally reserved for preparationof a mild table beer,while the stronger wort was used to ferment the full-strength sahti normally containing 7-8 % alcohol.Another unique feature of the process is the use of baker’s yeast, rather than brewing yeast, to carry out fermentation(3).”
Physicochemical characterization of sahti, an ‘ancient’ beer style indigenous to Finland (pre-print copy) – ResearchGate.