Turning Archive 2005

Wine & roses, beer & hops, scotch and peat

>In another thread, I mentioned that most bottles of wine are consumed when opened and not stoppered to enjoy later. Therefore our wine stoppers are mostly for show. I prefer beer and don't save any in cans or bottles so I confused grapes with hops.
Now I see why steel (stainless of course) is better than cork for the second time around.

Stoppers like my friend Ruth Niles' stainless beauties are much more handsome than cork stoppers, but there is another reason to prefer steel and that's the reason why wine that tastes like compost and smells like a wet dog is said to be "corked".

While you wine people, who know from fruity bouquet and sprightly finish, gag and hold your noses, I'll try to explain the little I know about 'corked' to you beer folks who know about adding a pinch of salt or sinking a boilermaker in your brew.

Corks are punched out of the thick bark peeled from cork oaks that are at least 25 years old. They are a quercus, like other oaks and share a chemical that smells bad and covers up that nice fruity bouquet. It's that awful TCA or trichloroanisole (sp?) that does it. TCA is obnoxious but not toxic, at least that's what my search engine said.

Why then does a single malt (whisky, without the 'e') that's aged in _oak casks not taste and smell moldy? Maybe we should char those wine bottle corks or drink beer... or remain teetotal. :)

Here's to you, Arch

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