This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Monday, Dec. 29, 2008 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20081229.php.
Old Barolo and wine-spill follow-up
Let's start out this short holiday week with a couple of follow-ups on recent topics: Last Monday's report on blotting out red-wine spills with a bath of white wine drew a lot of comments and suggestions; and we wrapped up December's Wine Focus on the red wines of Piemonte with a fine old Barolo.
I'll serve the Barolo for dessert. First, though, with the New Year and more parties coming up, let's dive back into the world of wine stains and their removal.
My report last Monday on using white wine as an antidote to red-wine spills turned out to be one of those topics that brings in responses by the mailbag full.
Many of you agreed that white wine poured over the red, then gently patted dry and - ideally - followed by a treatment with commercial carpet cleaner is the best way to handle a red-wine spill.
Others, however, declared this an "urban legend," citing such authorities as Consumer Reports with the warning that a red-wine stain removed in this manner may eventually return as a permanent, if paler, smear of caramel brown.
Finally, many of you suggested alternative treatments ranging from pouring salt on the stain and pressing it in, then vaccuming it up later, to a range of solvents: a solution of white vinegar and water; or hydrogen peroxide; or store-bought removers like Oxiclean or a commercial product called "Wine Away." Or even plain tap water, in copious amounts.
For a closer look at the comments posted on our WineLovers Discussion Group, click
Now, here's my report on a 13-year-old Barolo from Giuseppe Rinaldi, a producer I had the privilege of visiting during a trip in 2000. This bottle was a gift from the wine maker during a visit in late April 2000, hand-carried back to the U.S. in my carry-on baggage and since stored on its side under home air-conditioning.
The wine held up very well indeed after more than eight years of this "passive" cellaring. The capsule spins freely and the cork remains solid and clean, bearing only slight wine-staining about one-third of the way up the sides. Most important, it passed the taste test.
Rinaldi 1995 Barolo
In the glass it's a clear, dark purple with a clear garnet edge, no sign of browning. Dark fruit aromas mingle with floral notes - it's easy to imagine Barolo's classic violets - and nuances of earthy Barolo "tar" and "smoke." Tart berry flavors on the palate with a much more distinct sense of violets rising to the olfactory senses as you hold the wine in your mouth; bright, snappy acidity brings the package together, with fruit and fresh acidity lingering. A classicaly styled Barolo, still holding up very well despite relatively casual cellaring. (Dec. 27, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: A fine, older wine deserves a simple dish as backdrop; this was fine with a medium-rare oven-seared rib eye.
WHEN TO DRINK: Fully mature and drinking well now. Barolo from a good year will cellar well for decades under excellent cellaring conditions, but I wouldn't keep this 1995 longer under casual "passie" cellaring.
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This week on WineLoversPage.com
WineLovers Discussion Group: Wine of the Year 2008
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. During the holiday season, however, we're publishing only on Monday.
Red wine, white carpet: Uh oh! (Dec. 22, 2008)
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