Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oxidized Smirk

I wasn't going to blog about this, but a recent discussion on Twitter regarding wine bloggers and the need to speak your heart even if the wine isn't good, draws me to this post.

Last week I was in my office and my husband brought me a glass of white wine with a smirk on his face. I looked at him and thought "How Sweet" then asked "what is this?" He wouldn't give it away and told me to just taste it.

So I looked at the wine and thought the color was a bit off. But trusting my husband, I took a sip. Yuck - this wine is oxidized. I asked what wine was this suppose to be? A Brimstone Hill 2007 Chardonnay. I couldn't get that taste out of my mouth all night.

Before I go into oxidization - I have had bad wine before from local producers. I have told them the wine I purchased was bad and the response I received was " where did you go after you left here?" "You didn't store the wine correctly?" I'm sorry I have a temperture controlled wine cellar and I went directly home after I left your winery. I don't like the fact that they try to blame you the person who purchased this wine for the spoilage. Don't let that stop you, if you do receive a bottle that isn't good, do TELL the winery.

Now to define oxidation. Oxidation is the term indicating that the wine has suffered from contact with air, resulting in browning in white wines, loss of fruit and freshness, and possibly a high level of volatile acidity.

Some causes of oxidation: Moldy grapes, such as those infected by botrytis, are very susceptible to oxidation, and wine containers, such as barrels and tanks, should be completely filled with wine. In partially filled containers, the wine is exposed to the oxygen present in the headspace.

It happens, so if it does happen to you, do bring it to the attention of the winery or wine store.
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