Screwcaps- what do you do with’em?

The other night at the Guanabara wine tasting a fellow asked me what I thought of screwcaps. More precisely, what did I think the server should do with the screwcap after the bottle has been opened? I did an informal survey amongst the bloggers around the table and the funniest but true comment came from Foodrambler, who said that when the server unscrewed the cap, it made her feel like a moron, like she couldn’t even unscrew a bottlecap. If you really ARE a moron, the NZ Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative has step by step instructions to help you figure it out. I can see where she’s coming from but it seems a bit abrupt for the waiter to just drop the bottle off and walk away. Or maybe I’m being old-fashioned. I mean, nowadays, who’s got time for such formalities and outdated rituals? The whole point of showing and leaving the cork on the table was to prevent unscrupulous restauranteurs in Paris, back in the day, from substituting cheap plonk for the expensive stuff. The cork was presented so that the diner could inspect it for any tampering and to confirm that it had actually come from the vineyard that was on the label (not to sniff it). The producers were more then happy to print their names on the cork to prevent themselves from being ripped off as well. Nowadays we don’t really have to worry about that, well, the recent Italian Barolo scandal notwithstanding, but what to do with the screwcap? I think that the screwcap should be treated like the foil, take it away as soon as the bottle is open. Others seem to think it should be left on the table, much like the cork. And others probably have more important things to do then ponder what to do with the screwcap once the bottle is open! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more

Brazilian Wine at Guanabara

SAMBA de Janiero! Do you remember that hit from the late 90’s? To me that encapsulates everything about Brazil. The pumping beats, brassy horns and the ubiquitous whistles that always remind me of Carnival and the carefree, beachy lifestyle of Brazil. Although we’re sipping Caiparinas on the beaches of Brazil, they, little known to us tourists, are also a major wine producer. Number 16 in the world and vines have been in Brazil since the 16th century when they were brought over by the Portuguese. So, why haven’t we heard of them? Seems the Brazilians, in their languid Brazilian way, are just getting around to telling the world about their wines. I was invited by Niamh from to go down to the Brazilian eatery/nightclub, Guanabara the other night to make my way through a sampling of the latest wines coming out of Brazil. It was hosted by the only Brazilian Master of Wine in the world, Dirceu Vianna Junior, a transplanted Brazilian living here in London. Coe Vintners, the importer, sponsored the evening and Dirceu talked about the wines. They were interesting but I wish he had described the wines a bit more to us. I find winetastings more enjoyable and educational if the presenter gives us his or her interpretation of the wine after we’ve tasted it. Whether I agree or disagree is another matter but it’s nice to have that option. I have to say my expectations were not high so it wasn’t going to be hard to exceed them. We started off with 2 whites, the Miolo Reserve 07 Chardonnay and the Miolo Fortaleza do Seival Pinot Grigio ’07. To me, the p.grigio tasted like a chard and vice-versa. The p.g. was full bodied with loads of tinned pineapple flavours and aromas, the image of a can of Dole pineapple rings ran round my brain. The chard was rather thin and acidic, mostly lemony characteristics. Both were ok but not anything I’d go out of my way to order especially. The reds were next. First up was the Miolo Forteleza do Sieval Pinot Noir 07. I found it a bit confected on...

read more
%d bloggers like this: