Young Wine, Old Wine, and the Cork

When pouring any wine it is important to know what the category is.  Is it a young wine?  If it is, it does not need any special attention, but if it is older, then care should be used when pouring.  Sediment, the natural throwing of grape particles, gets trapped in the part of the bottle called the punt.  The punt is the indent at the bottom of the vessel.

Take a close look, hold the bottle up to a light bulb, all the while not jostling the wine.  Can you see any sediment?  If you do, then this is when the lesson is learned.  The punt creates a natural “corner” for the sediment to get trapped in.  Pour the wine slowly then upright the bottle just as gently.  This way the sediment will not be re-suspended into the wine.  (It is not harmful but will not add to the clarity of the wine or to the distinct flavors.)

I mentioned earlier about the condition of the cork.  A perfect cork will add not a bit of taste to the wine, but a stained cork or a cork in some level of deterioration could be detrimental to the taste.  From my discussions with winemakers, vineyard owners and also marketing people, they know that about 3% of today’s corks are inferior in some way but they can not tell before use.  This has led many wineries back to “screw” tops.  “HOW COULD THEY” you ask?

Well, It is a proven fact the seal is better, that simple. If a new customer to a winery happened to get a wine with a tainted cork, they would probably, unknowingly, think the winery makes crap wine all the time and never buy another bottle from that winery.  Even worse, what if that person tells all their friends about this encounter.  Products can’t accept this negative yet manageable occurrence..

The past two decades have seen development by the braver Vineyards in new packaging, not just screw tops but also alternate packaging like different size “bag in the box” or green types of containers.

More later.

Bruce Wm Gibson, Proprietor
The Harwich Spirits Shoppe


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