What ever happened to corks?

"Natural Cork is #1. So are Synthetic Closures. Discuss."

Pulling the cork from a wine bottle the other day, I suddenly realized with surprise that I was actually pulling a cork.
A real cork, that is. In that “Eureka” moment, I suddenly realized that it had been a long time since I encountered a whole, natural cork, as opposed to a metal screw cap, synthetic (plastic) stopper, or “technical” cork made of reassembled cork granules treated to deter “cork taint.”

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Spice Route 2013 “Chakalaka” Western Cape Red ($20.99)

Spice Route "Chakalaka"

Dark reddish-purple, almost black at the core, with bright ruby glints against the light. Delicious scents of black plums, blackberries and raspberries add just a subtle hint of warm spice in the aroma. Ripe, juicy plums dominate an appetizing flavor shaped by food-friendly acidity and a significant edge of soft but perceptible tannins, with a bit of heat showing from its 14.5% alcohol. Mixed berries and a fresh, citric snap linger in a very long finish. A blend of 50% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 13% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan, 8% Grenache, and 6% Tannat.

Check prices and find vendors for Spice Route “Chakalaka” Western Cape red on Wine-Searcher.com. Read article.

Mulderbosch 2015 Coastal Region Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($10.99)

Mulderbosch Rosé

Clear, pretty rosy pink that shows a hint of orange against the light. Its delicate but delicious scent offers light strawberries at first, then opens up to add hints of red cherry and juicy peach as the wine warms in the glass. These appetizing mixed fruit flavors carry over on the palate in a crisp, tart and dry flavor, with just a touch of prickly petillance on the tongue. Subtle strawberries and a tangy edge of citrus linger in a very long finish, and light 12.5% alcohol invites another glass.

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Berger 2014 Zweigelt ($16.99/1 liter)

Berger Zweigelt

Tasted for our Wine Focus for May 2017, Wines of Austria, here’s a popular Austrian red that I’ve enjoyed in several vintages. While past bottlings have been labeled from the Kremstal region, this label claims only “Lower Austria.” Nevertheless, it is very similar in style to the 2013 bottling reported last August. It’s a clear ruby color, not too dark, almost transparent at the edge with bright crimson glints against the light. Red-berry and tart cherry aromas fill the glass, giving way to tart cranberry fruit on the palate, mouth-watering acidity and just a whiff of soft tannins in a very long finish. U.S. importer: Skurnik Wines, NYC., a Terry Theise Estate Selection.

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Querceto 2015 Chianti ($10.99)

Querceto Chianti

Clear, dark ruby, shading to a clear edge. Typical Chianti aromas, tart cherries and dried cherries and a hint of spice, carrying over on the palate in a bright, food-friendly flavor, palate-cleansing acidity and soft tannins, with refreshing black-cherry flavors and lemon-squirt acidity lingering in a very long finish. 12.5% alcohol. U.S. importer: Prestige Wine Imports LLC, NYC.

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Wine: good for the brain?

Morley Safer

Wine is good for us, at least as long as we consume it in reasonable amounts.
This simple statement, known intuitively for centuries and the subject of extensive research for the past quarter-century or so, seems to be about as close to settled science as, say, climate change or evolution, to name a couple of other controversial realms of scientific inquiry.

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