Friday, June 04, 2004

F & W

I spend a lot of time talking shit about California wine. However much money you want to spend, there is always something better from somewhere else. Every now and then, though, I am reminded that a few people are making delicious wines here -- usually, when the Edmunds St. John newsletter hits my inbox. Steve Edmunds is a nice guy, and his wines are amazingly subtle. They aren't cheap, but they have the best California qpr you will find until the Euro hits $3. He is also an entertaining writer who can teach you something about wine:
Normally, when you bottle a wine, within a week or so it comes apart at the seams. The various facets, and components in the taste of the wine seem to decide that they just can't bear to be seen together, so one time when you taste the wine the fruit has gone to lower Slobovia. A week later, you can taste a little fruit, but the alcohol seems to have doubled. One week you only taste oak. Etcetera. Usually, after about six weeks or so, a truce is called, and it seems the various parts have decided they can't live without each other, and they decide, somewhat tentatively, to be friends again. It might take six months to a year after that to get all the details worked out, and then, finally, the wine really begins to sing, and, lo and behold, it can sing harmony with itself, kind of like those Himalayan throat singers.
At the farmer's market a couple weeks ago, the eccentric egg guy told me not to refrigerate eggs. It dries them out, adversely affecting the flavor. I believed him, but I wasn't about to leave my eggs out on the counter. Of course, the USDA keeps them in the fridge, but now they claim eggs are fine for 10 weeks from the packing date. By fine, they mean "egg functionality." This is an odd conclusion to draw though, since they found bacterial contamination starting in the fifth week.


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