with Ted Sandbach - November 2013
Good news for wine traditionalists. Cork may be making a comeback in the form of a screwcap cork where both bottle and cork have a thread enabling the stopper to be opened and resealed without a corkscrew. The makers claim that in all experiments there has been no cork taint, the main argument for using screwcaps to seal wine. We shall see!!
In a recent tasting it was deemed that Californian cool climate Pinot Noir can compete with Premier Cru Burgundy. I have no doubt about this but so can Pinot Noir from Martinborough and Otago in New Zealand and Mornington Peninsular in Australia, as well as some from Oregon and Chile. It’s about time the French were challenged as I can't help feeling that an awful lot of Premier Cru Burgundy is sub standard and overpriced. A few of us in the Wine Cafe in Summertown are considering starting a Pinotphile club so we can work on my theory during a series of blind Pinot tastings. Good idea?
92 Bottles of random French wine, including some organic wine, were analysed by a consumer association and every bottle was found to contain pesticides although these were well below the permitted levels allowed. The biggest pesticide count was in a bottle of 2010 Bordeaux. By drinking a glass of wine you therefore have every chance of unknowingly swallowing some micrograms of pesticide residues. Very few wines escape pollution by plant protection products applied to the vines!
We are now mostly familiar with the success of sparkling wine in this country especially with so many awards being won by the likes of Camel Valley, Ridgeview and Nyetimber to name but a few. Sadly we are not permitted to use the term Champagne in the UK even though it is to all intents and purposes the same thing. English Sparkling Wine sounds so dull and the latest suggestion is Britagne (pronounced Brittania). Does anyone have any better ideas?