The universal debate on how to keep wine fresh after the bottle has been opened is continuing. The consensus seems to be that the best chance for maintaining the quality of an open bottle of wine is to pour the contents into a smaller bottle, add inert gas and re-cork or recap. Some claim they get weeks of life in the refrigerator using this method. Personally, I’d rather just finish off the bottle at the first sitting.
The wine is the Quinta du Noval “Black” and unlike the Vintage Ports that sell for anywhere from $60.00 to $100.00 you can find the “Black” for about $22.00 retail. Those who have tasted this offering from one of port’s best houses claim it is a bargain at the price with great flavor of plums and rasberries and drank well over a three day period. Some of the reviewers immediately considered it among their favorite ruby ports. I haven’t tried it yet but I will be on the lookout for it when it hits the stores in this area.
There was a healthy discussion on how much to tip on a bottle of wine in a restaurant. For instance, you are dining out and your dinner totals $200.00. You had a nice steak with all the trimmings for $80.00 and a great bottle of cabernet to compliment the meal for $120.00. Your personal custom is to tip 20%. Do you tip the 20% on the entire bill making for a $40.00 tip? Or do you tip 20% on the food portion ($16.00) and somewhat less on the wine portion? The consensus was that you do what feels right but there is certainly no obligation to tip another $24.00 on the wine which was certainly marked up 200 or 300 % over what the bottle would have cost at retail. Many felt that 20% on the food and 10% on the wine seemed to make sense.
There was considerable excitement generated by the 2008 Pinot Noir growing season in Oregon. Many are claiming this is some of the best juice to come out of this region in years. You should start to see bottles of the 2008 Oregon Pinot Noirs in your local wine shops very soon and if you haven’t tried this grape recently this may be a great time to give it a try. It’s one of my favorite wines with chicken and even certain fish dishes. It’s a lot more subtle than many other red grapes and there is an excellent chance you might become an instant fan.