Trivia

This Matter of the Color of Wine

Your first introduction to a wine is through the sense of sight. The appearance and color of a wine tells you, or warns you, about what’s coming. The first question we ask: “Is it clear?” Cloudy wines are undesirable. These wines could have several different problems; leftover sugar combining with yeast for a secondary fermentation,… read more »

Member Inquiry: When is Wine at its Best?

“Paul, In the newsletters it says things like, Will complex over the next two years.’ How can I tell when a wine will be at its best? M.N., North Hollywood, CA As many factors are involved, this is a complex issue (no pun in­tended). Unfortunately, the main factor, is experience, and that you must gain… read more »

Member Inquiry: Tannins

“Paul, I noticed that you often mention ‘tannins’ in your newslet­ter. Are tannins what makes a wine taste dry?”          E.N., Portland, OR This is a good question and al­though the answer is yes, there’s much more here than meets the eye (or the palate, in our case). In looking at a wine’s overall quality profile,… read more »

Member Inquiry: Transporting Wine

“Paul, I have heard that the jos­tling of wine during transportation can damage it. Is this so and, if so, will it help if I let my bottles rest after I have received them from you?”       S.R., Emeryville, CA People often ask me this when I tell them that I will be shipping wines to… read more »

Member Inquiry: Lead in Wine

Dear Paul, I heard something not too long ago about lead getting into wine. Then I recently noticed that the ‘foil” which covers the cork on a lot of wine bottles is different than what it used to be. Am I cor­rect in assuming that there is some relationship between the two? — K.N. Huntington… read more »

Member Inquiry: Vineyard Flooding

Paul, I recently saw on the news that Temecula suffered considera­ble flood damage during the heavy rains. Were the vineyards affected? What other natural foes threaten the vine?    – L.L., Woodland Hills Luckily, for the wineries, the damage was confined mostly to “Old Town” Temecula and a few roads which were washed out. The… read more »

This Matter of Uncorking Champagne

For some reason, the chore of uncorking a bottle of sparkling wine intimidates some people. They sort of quietly pass on the re­sponsibility to another in the group! (and thus never learn how to do it well). Then… there are those who tackle it head on, and sort of think that popping it is the… read more »

This Matter of California Wine Labels

Wine labels are an interesting phenomenon. There are two forces governing them. First, there’s the marketing arm of the winery which, hopefully, is in tune with what the consumer wants and gives it to them. Secondly, there is the government, better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). These two are frequently… read more »

This Matter of Table Wines

“I have been with the Wine of the Month Club for three years…in the past year I have noticed more ‘table wines’…I belong to the club to try new wines and wineries. Not table wines that I have little control of their contents and would be unable to compare vintages”. F.C., Santee This is an… read more »

This Matter of Vintage Charts

We’ve often had people come up to us and point to the vintage chart hand-outs that we offer to the general public: They ask in wide-eyed bewilderment, “What is this?” Basically, vintage charts score the success of the vintage, as far as the quality of the wine goes. The charts are universally tabular in form,… read more »

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