This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20081222.php.
Red wine, white carpet: Uh oh!
Q: How do you get red wine out of a light colored rug?
A: White wine! Pour white wine on it, then pat it up gently with paper towels.
When holiday parties abound, happy crowds sharing fun, fellowship and frivolity are bound to yield the occasional accidental wine spill. Red wine can leave serious stains, so this seasonal tip sheet may come in handy.
White wine works because its neutral color and alcohol help dilute and dissolve the red-wine spill. Pour it on - you don't have to use Le Montrachet: Jug wine or something you've got left over in the fridge will work fine.
Once you've poured on enough white wine to turn the red stain pale pink, pat the spot as dry as you can with a big wad of paper towels or a bath towel. Don't rub, which will may spread the stain around or force the red color deeper into the carpet.
It's not a bad idea to follow up with a commercial carpet cleaner or stain remover to wipe out the last vestiges, but white wine's the key, and get it on fast.
If you're stuck without any white wine, try club soda. Some say the carbonation helps scrub out the red-wine color as it dilutes the stain. But really, what wine enthusiast isn't going to have a little extra white around?
If you've tried this technique or have other red-wine stain antidotes you'd like to share, please log in to our WineLovers Discussion Group and tell us about it as a response to this column, which is posted at
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Looking for a last-minute gift for a close friend, a special business associate ... or yourself? A subscription to Connoisseurs' Series is a statement in elegance, taste and the finest in California artisanal wine.
These exceptional wines, selected each month by Connoisseurs' Guide publisher Charlie Olken and California Wine Club Proprietor Bruce Boring, give wine lovers the opportunity to sample the kind of rare, limited-production California jewels that are often available only on tightly allocated mailing lists.
Connoisseurs' Series members may subscribe for monthly, alternate month or quarterly packages. Each shipment includes two to four bottles of California's top wines, with detailed background information. Monthly shipments average $125-$175, including all shipping and handling. There's no membership charge, no long-term commitment (cancel any time), and every wine is guaranteed.
Visit www.cawineclub.com/connseries or call 1-800-777-4443 to join or learn more about Connoisseur's Series. Feel free to tell them that I sent you ... and, if you join, please don't hesitate to contact me by E-mail and tell me what you think.
Now, here's a look at two recent offerings from Connoisseurs' Series: An outstanding Napa Cabernet from Diamond Mountain, and a spendid, Burgundian Pinot Noir from Sonoma's Russian River Valley. I shared these with friends at a Christmas party and they were the hit of the evening, well paired with a variety of foods on the buffet table. I can't recall ever being disappointed with a California treasure from Connoisseurs' Series.
Von Strasser 2005 Rainin Vineyard Diamond Mountain District Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($76 retail; $64 per bottle for half or full case orders by Connoisseurs' Series members)
Brilliant garnet color invites a taste, and tasting is rewarding: Lovely blackcurrant cassis and a whiff of Napa eucalyptus aromas. Intense cassis carries over on the palate with black and blue berry fruit, mouth-watering acidity and smooth tannins showing up in the very long finish. Just a splash of 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec add a dimension to 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in the red volcanic soil of Diamond Mountain's Rainin Vineyard. The varietal lots were aged 22 months in French oak, but the wine speaks prettily of fruit, not wood, and shows potential for considerable evolution with a decade's cellar time. No problem with the 14.2% alcohol, which is really on the moderate side for modern Napa Cab. Only 248 cases were made. Winery Website: http://www.vonstrasser.com (Dec. 20, 2008)
Halleck 2006 Hallberg Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($57 retail; $51 per bottle for half or full case orders by Connoisseurs' Series members)
This is a light, ruby-rose color wine, transparent and jewel-like, appropriately light for a well-made Pinot Noir that's not overly manipulated. Good, subtle cherries and spice and a whiff of cola on the nose; mouth-filling and velvety red fruit and crisp acidity on the palate. Stylish now, clearly a California wine but showing a touch of Burgundian elegance, with only 30 percent new oak in its 10-month French oak barrel program; it carries its hefty 14.9% alcohol well. Only 295 cases were made. Winery Website: http://www.halleckvineyard.com (Dec. 20, 2008)
FIND THESE WINES ONLINE: Both of these fine wines were included in a recent shipment from Connoisseurs' Series and are available for additional orders by Connoisseurs' Series members. Call 1-800-777-4443 to join or learn more.
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Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. However, we're skipping some editions at this point, and the Wine Advisor FoodLetter, customarily distributed on Thursdays, has been on break. I hope to resume it before long.
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