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April 27, 2007


Fredric Koeppel

Soy flour! who knew?
What's perplexing about all this is that there's no reason why wine shouldn't be as pure as pure can be; sure there has to be some element of clarifying, as used to be done with egg whites, but so many of the other factors should have been taken care of in the vineyard. And oak chips or oak powder simply cannot to for a wine what time resting quietly in a barrel will do; those chips are a sad manifesttaion of the american desire to smell toasty oak in a wine's bouquet. When you think about what the components are of a bottle of wine -- about 85 to 87 percent water, about 12 to 14 percent alcohol (well, more today, of course), and maybe 1 or 2 percent complex chemical compounds that make the wine into wine, you have to wonder why anything else should be there.

Terry Hughes

I know. Why do we have to muck everything up? We do analogous things to our food, which is why most food in this country tastes so bland, if not outright awful. And we marvel at how good everything tastes in (southern) Europe. The trade-off in our Faustian bargain with standardization.

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