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To Cork, or Not to Cork!?


Meshe at Eve
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WINE DINNER: Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Remember last year’s wine dinner for Judgment of Paris: California Vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting with the celebrated author and wine journalist- George M. Taber? He’s back with a new book, "To Cork or Not to Cork--Tradition, Romance, Science, and the Battle for the Wine Bottle." And we get the preview!

Compare the same wines, with different sealing practices! Where will you stand after the tasting?-

With the traditional Cork Farmer or the innovative Scientist??-Wine Journalist, George Taber may change your mind!

Reception, 5 Course Dinner with Wine Pairing $ 150 (Plus tax and gratuity)

His new book will be available for purchase. Seating is limited. Reception: 6:30 Dinner at 7:00. Eamil or Call - 703.706.0450

(A little gift will be given to DR members only-just let us know who you are- when reserving.)

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The "To Cork, or Not to Cork" dinner was a very fun, delicious, and informative evening. We tried wines bottled with at least 6 different closure types:

  • crown cap - think beer bottle
  • Vino-loc - glass stopper w/o-ring seal
  • Stelvin - screw top
  • synthetic cork
  • real cork
  • aglomerated cork - what you typically see in champagne bottles

The blind taste test between cork and Stelvin (screw-cap) came out in favor of the cork (about 60-40% split). We tried the same Viognier that had been bottled both ways. Not being much of a wine expert, I found it interesting that the wine with attributes that I thought would be consistent with a cork closure (a slight 'wet' smell, darker color, more viscous) turned out to be the wine that was in the Stelvin bottle. Doesn't look like one closure will win out over others. Mr. Taber seemed to think that there will be a trend toward using closures that are appropriate for the type of wine. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

The meal was delicious (as usual) and as youngfood noted elsewhere, the housemade cheese was a very special treat! Other highlights: Venison loin (mmmmm!), Concord grape sorbet topped with a tiny leaf of Davoncrest lemon basil and surrounded by little Concord grape halves, pear and black currant strudel for dessert.

ETA: Yes, how could I forget the tuna tartar... and that beautiful consomme with a delicate dumpling... :blink:

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The "To Cork, or Not to Cork" dinner was a very fun, delicious, and informative evening. We tried wines bottled with at least 6 different closure types:
  • crown cap - think beer bottle
  • Vino-loc - glass stopper w/o-ring seal
  • Stelvin - screw top
  • synthetic cork
  • real cork
  • aglomerated cork - what you typically see in champagne bottles

The blind taste test between cork and Stelvin (screw-cap) came out in favor of the cork (about 60-40% split). We tried the same Viognier that had been bottled both ways. Not being much of a wine expert, I found it interesting that the wine with attributes that I thought would be consistent with a cork closure (a slight 'wet' smell, darker color, more viscous) turned out to be the wine that was in the Stelvin bottle. Doesn't look like one closure will win out over others. Mr. Taber seemed to think that there will be a trend toward using closures that are appropriate for the type of wine. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

The meal was delicious (as usual) and as youngfood noted elsewhere, the housemade cheese was a very special treat! Other highlights: Venison loin (mmmmm!), Concord grape sorbet topped with a tiny leaf of Davoncrest lemon basil and surrounded by little Concord grape halves, pear and black currant (?) strudel for dessert.

Exactly right. It was a special evening and one I was beyond lucky to snag a reservation for day of! Shame on everyone else who thought about booking this and didn't jump at the opportunity to do so!

I was fooled by the taste test, as well. I think maybe we were set up - its a conspiracy... C-O-N...spiracy! Seriously, it was pretty amazing how different the two otherwise identical bottles tasted.

Mr. Taber's book sounds fascinating. I neglected to pick up a copy last night, but intend to do so soon. Have any of our wine experts here developed opinions about the various closure options? I'd never heard of the crown cap that came atop our sparking merlot/shiraz blend (Loose End, Australia) or the vino lock that was on the Stadt Krems Gru-Ve (Austria, 2006).

The strudel was great. Really nice light flaky texture. The other culinary highlight for me was the Tartar of Yellowtail Snapper with French Breakfast Radish and Housemade Goat's Milke Fromage Blanc. Yellowtail Tartar? It was great and I thought its pairing with the aforementioned Gruner Veltliner was one of the best of the night.

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