Wine, Vinegar, “Butta”, and Air, what does this have to do with wine? 01/05/2011


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Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

This week’s winner is; Kim Zacha

This week WineGuyMike™ is going to be answering a few of the great questions I’ve received this week.  First I would like to share my New Year’s resolution with my Fans, and I’m going to start by practicing what I preach right now.  I’m going to be brief, I’m going to be relevant, and I’m going to add value.

Q. Karin Chimo asks; what’s the best way to use wine that went a little sour from sitting too long???  I have a bottle that was only half used, and then I got a cold and couldn’t finish it.  I have opened a new bottle…do I just cook with it or what???

A. WineGuyMike™ suggests just doing the unthinkable Karin, pour it down the drain.  Honestly if a wine has gone a bit “sour” it is just bad.  The wine is not only sour but it is also a little bitter at this point.  One of the rules for cooking with wine is to only use wine you would enjoy drinking to cook with, enough said.  As we say with little regard in life these days but is very applicable here, let it go Karin, move on.  You get the point my wine friend and thank you for asking.

Q. Jo Jorgenson asks how important are aerators and which wines benefit most from them?

A. WineGuyMike says awesome question Jo.  I am going to start with when I would use an aerator:

1. When spontaneous guests showed up

2. I was drinking low quality wine. *Notice I didn’t say inexpensive

3. At a restaurant, doesn’t every wine geek travel with their wine aerator?  I know I do, LOL

When WineGuyMike wouldn’t use an aerator:

1. When I was serving or drinking a good quality wine

2. When I ordered a good bottle of wine at a restaurant that decanted their wines

Wine Aerator

Wine Aerator

Jo my reasoning is this; I believe that a low quality bottle of wine will benefit from being “whipped” and “oxygenated” by an aerator as it will bring out the best that bottle has to give.  If unexpected guests show up you may feel the need to be immediately hospitable and open a bottle of wine to share with your guests.  In this case I would use an aerator. 

Many restaurants do not offer to decant your wine for you.  If they are wine focused they will have decanters and will offer to do this for you, after all they should do all they can to satisfy your dining experience.  The reality is that many establishments don’t decant and I would not hesitate to ask your server to use your wine aerator.  Be sure to offer to show them how to use the device, many servers may be unfamiliar with them and they will appreciate your kindness in demonstrating how to use it.  With this approach they will be fully engaged in your dining experience with you.

Step away from the good to great bottle of wine with your aerator, why you might ask.  I don’t want my fruit bruised.  I mean this sincerely if you have a great bottle of wine you have probably made some special plans around this wine event even if it is just you and your partner enjoying a great bottle of wine on a special occasion.  By all means use a decanter and aerate your wine with a decanter.  You will notice that when a wine is poured correctly by letting it pour into and gently grazing the side of the decanter bottle neck so the wine spreads itself onto the walls of the sphere within the body of the decanter.  While pouring the wine into the decanter you will not pour the sediment from the bottle into the decanter.  If you are using an aerator you may potentially blend the sediment into the wine thus potentially altering the juice from a high end bottle of wine.

I hope this covers it Jo and I could drone on but must remind myself of my New Year’s resolution I stated in the beginning of my post for today’s show. 

Q. Kim Zacha asks; Chardonnay used to be smooth and “buttery”, now it all seems to be bitter. Has it changed that much in 25 years, or is it my taste buds?

A. WineGuyMike’s™ response; Kim this is a great question that I covered extensively in my 11/03/2010 blog post.  Here is the link to that show; http://wp.me/pFhHw-bH  The short answer is this Kim, it is driven by trend and demand.

Today’s style of Chardonnay is typically fermented and aged in steel barrels.  This method produces a wine that is crisp and bold with fruit.  The style of Chardonnay that you and I know and love is slightly sweet, big on as we say in New York “butta”, where’s the “butta”, or a butterscotch, perhaps a slight vanilla nuance.

Well Kim for now the pendulum has swung in a different direction and the Chardonnay trend is not to our liking.  Do visit the WineGuyMike blog at; www.wineguymike.wordpress.com to see my previous post on all things oak.  That link again to visit is; http://wp.me/pFhHw-bH   

Cambria 2007 Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay

Cambria 2007 Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay

Kim a wine I would recommend to you giving a try is from Cambria Estate Vineyards.  Try the 2007 Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay.  The nose of this wine is deeply aromatic with apples, peaches, lime blossoms and vanilla.  The palate is intense and powerful, yet surprisingly elegant and nuanced and there will be plenty of “butta” in there for you too.  Thanks for asking Kim.

A wine and entree´ pairing from WineGuyMike™ sponsor Ciao Mambo:

Heron 2009 Pinot Noir

Heron 2009 Pinot Noir

Heron 2009 Pinot Noir; this handcrafted Pinot Noir is an elegant composition of sustainably farmed grapes from several of California’s cool, marine influenced micro-climates.  Ripe red berry and black cherry fruit balance its delicate spiciness.  Heron has produced wines in California, France and Spain!  The wine is generous on the palate with nice forward fruit and well-balanced oak — in a word, elegant.

Enjoy this beautiful wine from Ciao Mambo with one of my favorite dishes the Gamberi Fra Diavolo a beautiful dish of Grilled Shrimp in a spicy roasted garlic marinara sauce served over a bed of linguini. 

As Brett says “Eat Like You Mean It”, Ciao Mambo on the Hip Strip in Missoula.  Check this out Ciao Mambo is open at 11:30 for lunches daily now too.

This wine and food combo receives The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©. 

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"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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