Is This Bottle Corked?: The Secret Life of Wine

Is This Bottle Corked?: The Secret Life of Wine

Kathleen Burk

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 0307462919

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

We’ve all come across those suave, confident, and all-so-knowing books that tell us precisely what to drink with which dish, how to swirl, sniff, slosh, and pronounce on our wine, and, above all, how to impress our friends and business associates with our expertise.

Well, this is not one of those books. Is This Bottle Corked? is something different: a book that poses–and answers–the really important questions about wine.

•What was Falstaff drinking when he called for more sack?
•What was actually drunk at Plato’s Symposium?
•When is rot "noble"?
•Who was the first American connoisseur of wine–it wasn’t George Washington, but speaking of the general, what was his favorite wine?
•Why on earth do wine connoisseurs talk like that?
•Was Pliny the Elder the first Robert Parker?
•Why do we drink to forget–and why doesn’t it work?

These and many other intriguing, amusing, and curious questions are answered within, guaranteeing the reader a "Yes, but did you know . . .?" for every occasion at which a cork is drawn.

Best read with a glass of aged German riesling, or perhaps a soft, consoling Constantia (recommended by Jane Austen for heartbreak and, to boot, gout) or maybe even a glass of St. Anne’s Rhubarb and Ginger Wine, this book is as much for bon vivants and those of us who just enjoy a good bottle or two as for the committed oenophile.

Simply open, pour, and relax.

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summer. If the house is indeed at 70°F and the refrigerator at 44°F, then keep the burgundy in the refrigerator, taking it out and leaving it out in the house for about one hour and forty-five minutes before drinking it; alternatively, leave it in the house and put it in the refrigerator for the same amount of time. Either way, the wine will have got to about 57°F. And in a restaurant, don’t leave the white burgundy in the ice bucket for too long. Alas, getting the temperature right won’t help

“Hall.” But instead of the junior members being thrown out like so many ladies, the Fellows and their guests throw themselves out, retiring to drink wine—usually port, claret, or a sweet dessert wine. In other words, they combine with each other. (Cynics say that the tradition arose so that the senior members could get blotto without setting a bad example to the juniors, though the more observant might say that it works both ways and is merely the civilized turning of a mutual blind eye. But

racism, and the first to declare that this kind of ordinance was in breach of the constitution. Commentators on the case have recalled the words of Judge David Brewer. Writing in 1893, twenty-five years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, Brewer argued that constitutions represent the deliberate judgment of the people as to the provisions and restraints which, firmly and fully enforced, will secure to each citizen the greatest liberty and utmost protection. They are rules proscribed

wine here, commending a choice there, guiding the novice and exchanging a few words of mutual respect with the connoisseur. But the sommelier’s life is not always an easy one. Indeed, the sommelier himself is less frequently seen than previously, as dining out becomes less of a truly special occasion, and as restaurants themselves slug it out in increasingly competitive markets. Yet there was a time when any eating house that thought itself more than a mere chop house or bistro would have its

from the New World, or dark cherries from an Italian Valpolicella—as well as vanilla from heavily oaked wines. What often happens is that the scents on the nose seldom translate directly into tastes in the mouth. Some do, of course, particularly the aggressively fruity New World wines. However, perhaps we should be thankful that leather, pencil shavings, rubber, stone, and compost seldom do. One of the more interesting disjunctures can happen with dry Alsace or German rieslings of some age, when

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