SWIRL: If wine and England seem oxymoronic, think again. The British have been distinguishing themselves in recent years by making some very good sparkling wines in the south, which,when you look at the map, is not terribly far away from Champagne. The latest proof comes from a little known producer in the South Downs of Sussex, Ridgeview Estate, whose 2006 Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs has won a Decanter International trophy as the world’s top sparkling wine, beating out more than 700 entries in the category, including some top Champagnes. Read the full story in the Telegraph.
SWIRL: Most of us can only pretend we’re drinking good wine when we’re flying; those little bottles, most of them plastic now, are usually filled with generic juice, whether from Bordeaux, California or elsewhere. The class system of the airlines applies to wine as well as cabin real estate; the higher you go the better the wines get. Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal takes a look at what you get for your first- or business-class ticket on five carriers. Beyond the wines themselves, the well-researched piece offers a number of things I didn’t know about airline wine, including just why both the reds and the whites are so cold when you get them.
SWIRL: I’ve often sung the praises of day-old wine (okay maybe even two- or three-day-old wine). Alder Yarrow in his Vinography blog goes one step further, making the case that many wines stay good for weeks if re-corked and stored in the refrigerator. With the reds, you’ll have to let them warm up a bit, but I’m curious to see how they hold up for extended periods. One thing I do know: when reds are left on the counter at room temperature, they may open up nicely after a day or so, but then start to decline quickly with oxidation.