Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wine and the single drinker

One of Madeira's great strengths is its indestructibility. It flourished in the brutal conditions of a transatlantic crossing, after which questions of storage proved virtually irrelevant. There is no need to put it in a cool place, or lay it on its side, or drink it all in one sitting. These traits made it ideal not only for the 18th century Virginia aristocrats but for 21st century drinkers who can't or don't want to down 750ml at one sitting.

Jura wines have some of the same traits, as I learned at a tasting yesterday evening when Savignans and chardonnays that had been open for a week were poured. Because of their exposure to oxygen during the production process, the Puffeneys and Montborgeaus tasted fine after a week in an open bottle, as would sherry. A Sauvignon blanc would be wickedly acidic by then. This raises a key question for the MFWC given its number of members who drink a bottle over several days: which wines lend themselves to such consumption? The answers I've received to that question over the years have had a disturbingly low accuracy rate, but perhaps the club has the critical mass can bring some precision to the issue.         

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