Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New, relaxed standards for what is "moderate" drinking

The benefits of moderate drinking, especially wine, are well known. Now, the Depts of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have issued new standards for acceptable moderate drinking, and they allow more consumption:

For women: Up to one drink per day (that is 1 oz of hard liquor, or 6 oz of wine, or a 12-ounce beer). Also, women can have up to three drinks on any day, so long as their average over the week is no more than one drink per day.

For men: Up to two drinks per day. Also, up to four drinks per day (!), so long as the weekly average is no more than two drinks per day.

That gives us all much more flexibility, when we pop a cork! But, of course, please drink sensibly, especially where driving is concerned.

And just one more reason to be happy to be a man ;)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Biodynamics is a hoax

Check this out:
http://biodynamicshoax.wordpress.com

The author argues that Rudolph Steiner (a philosopher who believed in the ability of science to reach into a separate spiritual world) was a flimflam man who never grew crops in his life, whose ability to promote and confuse rivaled PT Barnum's.

And yet, clearly there are many vineyards and wineries who use biodynamic farming as a clarion call of excellence, in their marketing.

You can bury dung in a cow's horn under the full moon, if you want to, but I'll stick with scientific and sustainable farming methods, thank you. Let's all call this what it is: a hoax. At least until scientific methods can prove whether it is a superior farming program, and why.

Monday, June 7, 2010

To Stomp or Not to Stomp?


There seems to be a resurrection of an age-old ritual: Foot-stomping grapes. One winemaker claims he can better judge the ripeness of the grapes, by stomping them. (I wonder why his just feeling the clusters with his hands would not accomplish the same thing.)
Some (not all) stompers spray disinfectant on their legs and feet; sometimes that is distilled grape spirits. But does that disinfectant get beneath toenails and into the pores of skin cells?
I have smelled the following things in craft-made, expensive wines, in my time: sweat, marijuana, smoke. No, thank you. I have heard that sometimes, during primary fermentation, the winemaker and friends may skinny-dip in the tanks, to feel that "fizz" on their bodies. No, thank you (although skinny dipping certainly has its time and place). And who knows how many toenails, hairs, junk from dirty feet, and flakes of toenail polish have made it into wine, from stomping, skinny dipping, and whatever other horrors are impinged upon the grape? ;) I know that some insects get in there. But we can avoid excessive human contact with wine, if we choose to.
I vote let's all just leave crushing and fermenting to the machines and vessels designed for those purposes. Machines and vessels that can be sterilized before their use. And if this is to be even more of a socialist country anyway, how about we just require wines to bear a special warning label, if they were stomped or swum in?