We receive quite a bit of email at Guy du Vin. We thought our readers might be interested in what their peers are asking:
You are my last hope! Two weeks ago I started a new job. To celebrate, my husband and I decided to open a bottle of 1996 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill. Unfortunately, when we tasted the wine it resembled moldy newspaper and wet dog. My husband suggested that I go to the wine shop immediately and get another bottle. I left right away, but on the way there the car stalled. I had to walk back home to get help. When I got home, I found him in an amorous embrace with our neighbor’s daughter!
My husband is 48. The neighbor’s daughter is 19. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for 6 months. I need advice urgently! Please help!
The same thing has happened to me three times this month! By some estimates 5% of all bottles of wine are ruined by cork taint. The chief cause is the presence of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) and/or 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA) in the wine.
You should take the bottle back to the retailer, as most will take back spoiled bottles. If you can get a refund, it will still only be a tiny fraction of the current value of your older vintage wine. Write to the producer and explain your dilemma. Wine producers will always gladly send you a case of the same wine at no charge to make up for the corked bottle. Some will even include an all-expense paid trip to Cozad, Nebraska, a coupon for 50% off your next tire rotation, and a set of USB-powered Cow Slippers. In the unlikely event that you do not get a response, you might try developing a taste for TCA, younger men, or both.
Dear Mr. du Vin:
Can you please settle an argument? Karl says that there will be a transitional stage between capitalism and a fully mature communist society, which includes a state in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. I adamantly reject the establishment of any kind of state, including a workers’ state. Who is right?
Please help – a trip to Disneyland is riding on this!
You are both wrong and are living in a misguided state of Tomorrowland! The will of the state cannot be thwarted by the decadent pursuit of bourgeois individual happiness. Come on down from Space Mountain and accept that the oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them. It never changes.
Dear G du V:
Like a S.E. Portland bicyclist taking out a pedestrian or a cell phone talking, smart phone texting Portland driver merging onto 405 with eyes closed, the hot summer weather has finally arrived! I am feeling a bit down lately. My future is uncertain – my job is about to end and my potential acting career looks dubious. (Portlandia hasn’t called me back). Would you please suggest a few wines that would help take my mind off my troubles – wines I can enjoy in this nice weather and that won’t cost me an arm or a leg? Nothing too serious – but they need to be appealing and tasty. I just want to get away from these whining punters.
Looking for new material,
Sorry about the acting gig. I thought your talent matched the level of the writing exactly. Keep in mind that the fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.
Here are some wines that we have been enjoying this summer: All wines are available through Guy du Vin. You can place your order by emailing email@example.com All wines must be ordered in three bottle minimums unless otherwise indicated. These selections are available for order only until July 31, 2012. We can ship your wine as soon as it is ready, or we can hold your order until you’ve selected a full case. If we don’t have your credit card on file, we’ll give you a call.
Domaine des Cassagnoles Reserve Selection Cuvée Gros Manseng Côtes de Gascogne France 2011
If there is a single white wine that I suggest you buy, this is it! The Gros Manseng has been our “go to” wine so far this season. It has everything you will ever need or want in an everyday white wine. It tastes as good on the second or even third day as it does on the day you open it. Think sunshine in a bottle mixed with a dash of herbs and honey. Vibrant and totally refreshing. For under $15, it’s hard to think of a wine that has so many layers and so much interest. What a pleasure to drink!
$14.00 per bottle – 3 bottle minimum (limited availability)
Eagle Vale Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc Margaret River Western Australia 2008
Here is another just about perfect white wine for sipping in the backyard. It is a wine that suggests a cross between a Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc and White Bordeaux. Eagle Vale is situated just south of the Margaret River Township in the South Western corner of Western Australia, 3 kilometers from the Indian Ocean. The wine has clean gooseberry notes and a full array of tropical fruit character. Tangy and minerally, with intense fruit and a lingering finish. Really delicious.
$14.00 per bottle – 3 bottle minimum
Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie Pas des Louves Corbières Blanc France 2010
This is rare even for the wine savvy because you just don’t see much white Corbières. Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie Corbieres Blanc “Pas des Louves” is rich yet not oaky, with good acidity. The name translates to “path of the she-wolves.” A must for the adventurous. Pas des Louves is made from a blend of Roussanne, Macabeu, Bourboulenc, and Clairette. The different grape varieties are pressed and vinified together, benefiting from fine lees contact during fermentation, which gives the wine extra body and complexity. The wine is vinified dry and has a compelling minerality married to a fresh herbal bouquet that reminds one of the great smells of the vegetation that grows in the region.
$19.50 per bottle – extremely limited
Tajinaste Tinto Tradicional Valle de la Orotava Tenerife Islas Canarias Spain 2010
I don’t always agree with Eric Asimov of the NY Times, but a few months ago he wrote, “To drink only the best-known wines from time-honored regions is a little like eating in the same restaurants over and over. You can’t go wrong, perhaps, but without the rewards of exploration, you are missing out on so much more.” He was writing about the wines from the Canary Islands. This is a wine region that is about as off the beaten path as one can get.
Tajinaste is a small family-owned winery located in the Valle de la Orotava. It is on the north side of Tenerife and heavily influenced by the trade winds, which help moderate the climate of the islands. Agustín García and his family farm a total of six hectares (15 acres).
The wine is 100% Listán Negro from the Valle de La Orotava. Fermentation is done by carbonic maceration and approximately 20% of the wine is aged in oak. It is intensely aromatic with notes of cherry, plum, and blackberry. It has an exotic woodsy/earthy character that is beyond my ability to describe. It is perfect with lamb!
$22.00 per bottle
Pācina Chianti Colli Senesi Castelnuovo Berardenga Italy 2007
Pacina is located in the DOCG of Chianti Colli Senesi on the southern side of Castelnuovo Berardenga. The husband and wife team Stefano and Giovanna cultivate and produce very traditionally made Sangiovese with little to no use of technology. They are 100% organic, and always have been. The estate dates back to 900 AD.
The wine is a blend of 97% Sangiovese and 3% Canaiolo/Ciliegiolo. Pure and delicious with red fruit, flowers, subtle spices, and more. This is still quite young and I believe it will hold well past 2020. Decant it an hour or so before drinking. I think it is as good as Felsina.
$24.00 per bottle