Welcome to the weekly wrap-up!
First up I've got another great gift for the winos in your life:
The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition by Jancis Robinson has 4,000 entries on every wine related topic imaginable. This is THE definitive book for wine lovers in your life and would make a fabulous gift. It has an SRP of $65 but is available on Amazon for $40.95.
Next up, this week I got to sit in on a fascinating experiment run by the professionals over at The Wine Company. The goal was to determine the effect of decanting on wine.
The test consisted of 4 bottles of 6 different wines, each opened at one hour intervals. We then tasted the 4 samples of each wine to determine if freshly popped, versus 1, 2 and 3 hour decant times makes a difference. You can read all the details over at their blog, but I'll give you my quick take-aways!
1) Decanting definitely changes a wine. This doesn't always mean it makes a wine better, but it does change it. For myself, and most of the other tasters as well, the evolution of a wine in a glass is part of the fun of drinking wine. Still, it was fascinating to be able to compare the same wine at different stages of its evolution.
2) Many of the wines were most interesting either when freshly popped or at the longest decanting interval (3 hours). Not sure why this is, but for me the difference wasn't notable enough to change the way I drink a wine.
3) Several of the wines were really singing at the longest (3 hour) decanting interval and in my experience some wines are even better after a full day of decanting. This is the reason why we always taste all the wine we review on day 2. In those cases where it is markedly improved, you'll often see me recommending you decant or aerate it before drinking. The evolution of a wine is fun, but if it is markedly better on day 2, it's hard (and not always practical) to wait that long!
And now for a quick review of our recommended buys (and one bulk buy) this week!
The week began with an unusual white blend (66% Chenin Blanc and 34% Viognier) that was unusually good: 2011 Pepi Chenin Blanc Viognier - A Perfect Wine For A Picnic.
On Tuesday we sampled a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from the recently created appellation of Cotes de Bordeaux: 2009 Chateau Cote Montpezat Cuvee Compostelle - More Budget Bordeaux.
Wednesday brought the return of our popular Holiday Sparklers series, featuring the best Sparkling Wines under $20 for the Holidays! Le Grand Courtage Blanc De Blancs Brut - Holiday Sparklers 2012.
On Thursday we unveiled our latest Bulk Buy in a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah. This wine is only $6?? You gotta be kidding me! 2010 Los Dos Grenache + Syrah - Another Spanish Wonder
We ended the week with a smooth and steely Saturday Splurge from Austria:
2010 Charming Gruner Veltliner by Laurenz V. - Awesome Austrians Wine #4