Wino Wally's 




Forbes magazine publishes a supplement called FYI four times a year.  Billed as the periodical profiling the good life, FYI provides insight into a number of luxuries including wine.  In the Fall 2001 issue, Richard Nalley writes an article with the above title.  I enjoyed the article so much, that I thought I would provide a summary for our readers.

  1.      The best wines never leave Italy/France/Spain.

Just the opposite according to Nalley.  The best wines are shipped to the U.S., the worldís biggest, richest import market.  However, I would disagree with Nalley if he were talking about California wines, where some of the boutique trendsetters never see the light of day at our East Coast retail emporiums.

  2.      Adding sulfites changed everything.

Nalley discloses that sulfites have been a preservative used in wines for centuries.  However, the big change was the American requirement that warning labels disclose sulfite content due to the small percentage of Americans with sulfite allergies.  Iíll add that the higher the sulfite content, even a non-allergic person like myself suffers a side effect; increased snoring.

  3.      Truly life-enhancing wines donít ďtravelĒ well.

Itís your life-enhancing experience that makes the wine you enjoyed that night ďsomething specialĒ.  If the wine were truly special, according to Nalley, it would travel well.

  4.      Why do people sniff the cork?

Nalley must have been reading Winostuff a year or so ago when Wino Bob issued his definitive treatise on this subject.  Nonetheless, Nalley provides the definitive conclusion; itís snobbery.  If the cork is pulled, sniff the wine itself.

  5.      But donít some corks make wine smell like other peopleís shoes?

Yes, itís the result of bacteria and Winos John and Bob will tell you that itís bacteria whether itís a bad wine or your smelly feet.  Get over it.  It happens.  Go back and read Wino Bobís treatise.

  6.      So why have a cork at all?

Corks serve to keep oxygen out of wine.  There are other substitutes but the industry knows that the snobs want to see corks.  Nalley sites some champagne manufacturers who place bottle caps on their champagne until itís ready for shipment.

  7.      Whatís the deal with that silver ashtray dangling from the sommelierís neck?

The first tastevins were originally designed to allow merchants buying wine to gauge the color of the wine while in dim, candlelit cellars.  Now, the snobby sommelierís use them.   I agree with Nalley.  A lot of establishments serving excellent wines do not employ sommeliers who insist on tasting the wine.

  8.      If one glass of wine is good for my health, wonít three glasses turn me into a suave dynamo of   sexual magnetism?

Nalley says this is absolutely true.   I think the bellringer of this could be Wino Bob.  What do you think, Bob?

  9.     Is it cheaper to order wine directly from the winery?

No, wineries donít want to alienate their distributors and retailers.  However, per Wino Wally, you can get some tough to find wines when you order directly from wineries, particularly if youíre a member of their wine club.

 10.    Isnít dry wine always better?

It is if you like it.  In finer wines, dryness means less than balance according to Nalley.

Wino Wally

October 6, 2001


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