Friday, Sept 19, 2008
I sat down at my desk this morning and sighed. Too much to do. Too little time. Thoughts of financial disasters on Wall Street still loomed large, and I've been taking solace in the simple pleasures that wine and food provide. But they weren't much comfort right now, with such a long to-do list for the day.
Immediately, I switched into crisis mode. Which for me, means I began reading the latest wine news instead of tending to tasks. Avoidance often works. But not this time. Right there in the headlines of the day is the news that the 2008 grape harvest may be tainted by the smoke that hung in the air during the two months worth of wild fires we enjoyed in late spring.
Reports of this off-putting aroma and flavor have been cropping up as the harvest comes in, though not universally. Various wine labs are reporting droves of samples coming in for tests of smoke taint, which shows itself as an essence of smoked salmon. Might the simple solution be to pair all 2008 wines with smoked salmon so the flaw isn't apparent? Oh right, salmon are scarce these days. Bad idea.
But the worst part of the news is that some areas are reporting problems, while spokespeople for other areas deny that their area was affected. Is this simply the vagaries of Mother Nature punishing some areas and not others, or are some winemakers simply in denial?
If so, wine lovers will find the 2008 vintage either fine, smoke-tainted or highly filtered. Filtration labs have the means to remove smoke taint from wine, if one doesn't mind leaving other desirable flavor bits on the filter pad at the same time.
I'll keep you updated on the smoke taint reports as they develop. In the meantime, may I direct you to the still ample supply of prior vintages available in our online store?
"Free Enterprise when we're successful! Socialism when we're not!"
~ Wall Street, September 2008
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