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(Bloomberg)   French PM sells hundreds of rare wine bottles from his personal cellar to fight deficit even though a lot of them are really old and can't be good any more   (bloomberg.com) divider line 48
    More: Interesting, French PM, wine bottles, Prime Minister of France, Elysee Palace, official residence, French economy, Paris City Hall  
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2603 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Dec 2013 at 9:40 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-12-03 09:28:41 AM  
Actually, subby, many wines continue to improve in the bottle for years. Even decades. The hard part is knowing which wines will stay good for a long time and which ones won't.Wine experts study for *years* to learn this.

But there is a relatively simple shortcut you can use -- it's not 100 percent effective, but it'll serve you right the vast majority of the time. See, what lots of people don't know is that wine is made from different kinds of grapes -- far more than "white" and "red," which is what many people assume. Ha! Idiots. See, there's all kinds of grapes out there...cabernet, merlot, pinot, syrah (you will sometimes see this called "shiraz," which basically means you're dealing with real morons and should not trust anything they serve). So, the first thing you want to do when you get a bottle of wine is find the name of the grape on the label. It's there, somewhere.

Now, count the letters in the name. For example, "MERLOT" has 6 letters. "CABERNET" has 8. "PINOT" has 5. Sometimes there are variants on the name, too. Like, for example, it might say "PINOT NOIR". That's actually 9 letters.

OK? Now here's where it gets tricky. Each letter is equal to 1 year, so  Merlot's base age calculant is 6 years. That means that a normal bottle of Merlot is considered "young" for 6 years after it's bottled (ie, if it's a 2010 bottling, you shouldn't drink it until 2016), it's considered "at its prime" for another 6 years (ie, until 2022), and it's considered "past its prime" for 6 more (ie, until 2028). In 2029, it turns into vinegar and you can cook with it. This allows you to walk into anyone's cellar and pull bottles at random, study them, nod knowledgeably, and make casual marks about which wines would be ideal for drinking right now. For most people, that's enough to appear quite sophisticated.

There are, of course, exceptions and variants to this. For example, not all wines use cork. Some of them use screw caps, which you should do your best to ignore if you actually encounter one. A screw cap cuts the base number in half (so, a merlot is now only 3). There are other variants you'll see on bottles (pictures of kangaroos, oddly shaped bottles, names that remind you of pastries) that indicate the wine is of poor quality as well, and will also significantly lower the base number. You should avoid these in general.

I should also mention "decanting." Decanting is a way to cheat the normal aging process. What it means is that you open the wine, pour it into a special container (a decanter), and swish it around. Swishing wine helps it breathe, which means it ages faster. On average, assuming normal arm strength, one swish through the decanter ages a wine about 3 months -- so, 4 swishes per year you want to increase the wine's age. So, if we take our 2010 Merlot and want to drink it now, today, (still about 2 1/2 years away from its prime), we should open it, pour it into a decanter, and swish it 10 times. DO NOT swish any more than you have to, because you might push the wine past its prime or even (shudder) turn it into vinegar if you go too far. This actually happens to amateurs all the time.

Remember -- lots of people are intimidated by wine. But there's no reason to be. A votre sante!
 
2013-12-03 09:44:41 AM  
Over in one, as usual.
 
2013-12-03 09:45:31 AM  
Decant do that.
 
2013-12-03 09:46:48 AM  
Thank you Pocket Ninja for keeping us infromed
 
2013-12-03 09:47:36 AM  
And, to make matters worse, there are SNAILS on his PLATE!!!
 
2013-12-03 09:50:20 AM  

Pocket Ninja: Actually, subby, many wines continue to improve in the bottle for years. Even decades. The hard part is knowing which wines will stay good for a long time and which ones won't.Wine experts study for *years* to learn this.

But there is a relatively simple shortcut you can use -- it's not 100 percent effective, but it'll serve you right the vast majority of the time. See, what lots of people don't know is that wine is made from different kinds of grapes -- far more than "white" and "red," which is what many people assume. Ha! Idiots. See, there's all kinds of grapes out there...cabernet, merlot, pinot, syrah (you will sometimes see this called "shiraz," which basically means you're dealing with real morons and should not trust anything they serve). So, the first thing you want to do when you get a bottle of wine is find the name of the grape on the label. It's there, somewhere.

Now, count the letters in the name. For example, "MERLOT" has 6 letters. "CABERNET" has 8. "PINOT" has 5. Sometimes there are variants on the name, too. Like, for example, it might say "PINOT NOIR". That's actually 9 letters.

OK? Now here's where it gets tricky. Each letter is equal to 1 year, so  Merlot's base age calculant is 6 years. That means that a normal bottle of Merlot is considered "young" for 6 years after it's bottled (ie, if it's a 2010 bottling, you shouldn't drink it until 2016), it's considered "at its prime" for another 6 years (ie, until 2022), and it's considered "past its prime" for 6 more (ie, until 2028). In 2029, it turns into vinegar and you can cook with it. This allows you to walk into anyone's cellar and pull bottles at random, study them, nod knowledgeably, and make casual marks about which wines would be ideal for drinking right now. For most people, that's enough to appear quite sophisticated.

There are, of course, exceptions and variants to this. For example, not all wines use cork. Some of them use screw caps, which you should do your best to ignore if you actually encounter one. A screw cap cuts the base number in half (so, a merlot is now only 3). There are other variants you'll see on bottles (pictures of kangaroos, oddly shaped bottles, names that remind you of pastries) that indicate the wine is of poor quality as well, and will also significantly lower the base number. You should avoid these in general.

I should also mention "decanting." Decanting is a way to cheat the normal aging process. What it means is that you open the wine, pour it into a special container (a decanter), and swish it around. Swishing wine helps it breathe, which means it ages faster. On average, assuming normal arm strength, one swish through the decanter ages a wine about 3 months -- so, 4 swishes per year you want to increase the wine's age. So, if we take our 2010 Merlot and want to drink it now, today, (still about 2 1/2 years away from its prime), we should open it, pour it into a decanter, and swish it 10 times. DO NOT swish any more than you have to, because you might push the wine past its prime or even (shudder) turn it into vinegar if you go too far. This actually happens to amateurs all the time.

Remember -- lots of people are intimidated by wine. But there's no reason to be. A votre sante!


Was about to say "hey, you sound like P. Ninja! Goob jorb lad!" Then I realized it was the one and only P. Ninja.
 
2013-12-03 09:52:50 AM  
France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.
 
2013-12-03 09:56:20 AM  

wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.


Crap, I missed their Senate, which has another 348 politicians. I don't see their compensation, but I bet it's not pro bono.
 
2013-12-03 09:58:53 AM  
Bring us some fresh wine. The freshest you've got. This year! No more of this old stuff.
adashofcinema.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-12-03 10:01:24 AM  
So, the "Best if Used By" dates are only on the screw-top bottles?  (And "boxed" wine?)

Beer drinker here, but wine will do.  Spent a week in France once, followed by a week in Germany.  IMHO, the Krauts did a much better job with beer than the Frogs.

/What?  Don't look at me that way!
 
2013-12-03 10:04:05 AM  

Pocket Ninja: Now, count the letters in the name. For example, "MERLOT" has 6 letters. "CABERNET" has 8. "PINOT" has 5. Sometimes there are variants on the name, too. Like, for example, it might say "PINOT NOIR". That's actually 9 letters.


This was where I stopped wondering if PN forgot which alt he was logged in on.

As usual, Bravo!

/The scary part is if you follow these rules (but not explain them), waaaay too many people will think you know something about wine
//WHITE ZINFANDEL is 14 letters.  That shiat will be awesome 14 years later...  (ACK! BARF!  I couldn't keep a straight face typing that)
 
2013-12-03 10:05:58 AM  
I used to make "wine" out of big jugs of off the shelf grape juice. I got some real wine yeast and make a bubbler lid for it and everything. It was bad. Really bad. And after drinking it, my wife complained of a formaldehyde-type smell oozing out of my pores.

So I had heard about using a magnet to artificially age the wine. I went to the hardware store and got a big round shop magnet, poured some wine into two plastic bottles, set one on the magnet, left the other on the counter. The one on the magnet was noticeably not quite as awful as the other one. So my dad was in town and I told him about it and we all did a blind taste test. Everyone picked the magnet wine as being the slightly better of the two.

So if you have wine that's too old, I think you just need to put the magnet on the top of the bottle.
 
2013-12-03 10:06:30 AM  

wildcardjack: wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.

Crap, I missed their Senate, which has another 348 politicians. I don't see their compensation, but I bet it's not pro bono.


The nearly 1k worth of French politicians is not France's most pressing problem.  The 65 million French are.
 
2013-12-03 10:07:39 AM  

MBooda: Bring us some fresh wine. The freshest you've got. This year! No more of this old stuff.


Was looking for this...thank you. Now I can go on with my day.
 
2013-12-03 10:14:03 AM  

wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.


Let's see. 577 * 200,000 = 115,400,000.  Divide that by 65,000,000 and it works out to less than $2 per citizen.  Somehow I don't think this is the source of their budget woes.
 
2013-12-03 10:14:49 AM  
I lived near Bernkastel-Kues in Germany for four years and am addicted to riesling wines.  I'd inject that shiat straight into my veins if I could.  I can't drink anything else...
 
2013-12-03 10:17:39 AM  
SoupJohnB:   IMHO, the Krauts did a much better job with beer than the Frogs.

/What?  Don't look at me that way!


Damn right. That's why those of us living next to the border cross it often to buy better and cheaper (yes, it's possible) beer.

/CSB: Got 20 liters (40 pints for you non-metric barbarians) of good german beer for 28€ this morning.
//gotta wait to start drinking though
///Iwlove you Birgit Krafft!
 
2013-12-03 10:23:44 AM  

wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.


Wow, that's a whopping $1.78 per person!
 
2013-12-03 10:23:49 AM  

wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.


That's about $0.20 per citizen of France per year to cover that.  Not even remotely a significant savings.
 
2013-12-03 10:24:36 AM  
Oh, Subby! So naive. Nobody buys ultra old fine wines to drink. They're investment quality goods. They are worth whatever people think they are worth until some damn fool opens the bottle. The "greater fool rule" of the stock market applies: a stock is worth what you paid for it if you can find a bigger fool than you to buy it at that price or higher.

They remind me of that place (I think it was Portuguese, perhaps one of the Azores or a fishing port?) where tinned sardines were used as currency because there was a major shortage of cash. As long as you don't open the can, they are worth the going rate as currency. The sardines inside may be spoiled, but this does not diminish their trade value until some fool wants to eat sardines. The price of the can plummets when you open it faster and farther than the price of a Ford car when you drive it off the lot.

Fortunately, this place was a fishing port. NOBODY WANTED TO EAT SARDINES.

In Nova Scotian and other lobster-fishing villages, a baloney sandwich was once a sign of prosperity, because only the poor kids were forced to eat lobster sandwiches unless their parents were cheap.

All sorts of things have been used as money:  stamps, playing cards, sweets, tins of sardines, chocolate, nylons, etc. They are usually fungible semi-durable goods but at the high end of the off-the-books market, old masters, cars, women, and other non-fungible goods are used. This includes fine wines and other things that can be stolen easily. There's at least six Mona Lisas (the one in the Louvre may not even be the original given the vagaries of crime and art criticism) and you may be sure the real one would be very useful for the world's top mobsters and dictators if it is out there somewhere.

Remember the movie where Matthew Broderick notices the Mona Lisa over the fireplace in a mob don's house and is told that it is the real one? Could be, could very well be. The Mona Lisa was stolen in the early 1900s. Who can say that they got the real one back? Damn few people and we can't trust one of them, let alone half a dozen.
 
2013-12-03 10:25:46 AM  

meanmutton: wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.

That's about $0.20 per citizen of France per year to cover that.  Not even remotely a significant savings.


 wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.

Let's see. 577 * 200,000 = 115,400,000.  Divide that by 65,000,000 and it works out to less than $2 per citizen.  Somehow I don't think this is the source of their budget woes.


This was correct, not mine.  Either way, a tiny amount of money.
 
2013-12-03 10:28:36 AM  

Pocket Ninja: ow, count the letters in the name. For example, "MERLOT" has 6 letters. "CABERNET" has 8. "PINOT" has 5. Sometimes there are variants on the name, too. Like, for example, it might say "PINOT NOIR". That's actually 9 letters.


So the Buckfast Tonic Wine ages better than the Ripple?
 
2013-12-03 10:36:24 AM  
If you like drinking "fresh" wine, no problem. Try the Beaujolais Nouveau. Guaranteed fresh. There's no point keeping it for more than a couple of years any way.

Same with sweet wine. The preference for "dry" wine is just that. It has snob value, is regarded as a sign of sophistication, but nobody can sue you for liking your wine sweet. In Hong Kong, they drink Cognac with dinner. Makes sense. Southern Chinese food probably goes better with Cognac than with a very dry Martini. For the same reason, Champagne goes with anything even if it isn't dry and precious. A bad Champagne is still pretty good compared to some stuff you could drink instead.

Wines develop complex flavours and scents over time (if they survive) so a fine old vintage wine is very likely to be richer and more interesting than even the best fresh wines, but no wine is better than your nose or palate. My nose and palate are probably not wine-tasting level. I don't even like wine that much. I would enjoy most aperatifs or spirits better than most wines. I have encountered the odd exception.

And nobody doesn't like Champagne. Well, almost nobody. If the bubbles annoy you, there are flat Champagnes, you know. They all started out flat until a few centuries ago.

Wine experts often prefer drinking ordinary wines and wines that don't age well because they taste nice and are cheap. There is no pressure to appreciate them to death. Drinking fine old vintage wines is too much like work for them any way. Distracts from the important business of enjoying yourself and eating. Even wine snobs love to eat and have a few laughs.

If you are the Good Enough type, don't waste any money on aged vintage wines. Drink new vintage wines. If you buy enough of them when they are cheap, you'll have a few kicking around twenty or thirty years later any way if you just can't resist buying decent wine and drinking it.

For my part, I have too many Quakers and Methodists in my family tree. I can resist buying wine quite easily, and it's no struggle to resist drinking more than a glass or two.
 
2013-12-03 10:37:38 AM  

sxacho: I used to make "wine" out of big jugs of off the shelf grape juice. I got some real wine yeast and make a bubbler lid for it and everything. It was bad. Really bad. And after drinking it, my wife complained of a formaldehyde-type smell oozing out of my pores


Yeah, I'm going to teach my son how to do that before he goes to college. "Look, it's not exactly good. It's also $0.55 for a bottle of wine. This will serve you well in time."
 
2013-12-03 10:46:17 AM  

qorkfiend: wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.

Wow, that's a whopping $1.78 per person!


It's also 800 points of legislative pork barrelling.
 
2013-12-03 10:52:51 AM  

Doodah_man: MBooda: Bring us some fresh wine. The freshest you've got. This year! No more of this old stuff.

Was looking for this...thank you. Now I can go on with my day.


In all fairness, EyeballKid was in first with the snails reference.
 
2013-12-03 10:56:01 AM  

MBooda: Doodah_man: MBooda: Bring us some fresh wine. The freshest you've got. This year! No more of this old stuff.

Was looking for this...thank you. Now I can go on with my day.

In all fairness, EyeballKid was in first with the snails reference.


Two boobs! That's what he takes us for!
 
2013-12-03 11:00:01 AM  
www.upl.co
No saving this wine. Tried mixing it with coca-cola, still tastes funny.
 
2013-12-03 11:03:39 AM  
wildcardjack:

It's also 800 points of legislative pork barrelling.

I don't know what that means but you should probably avoid using numbers to support your arguments because you don't seem to be very good at it.

/QED
 
2013-12-03 11:28:12 AM  

SoupJohnB: So, the "Best if Used By" dates are only on the screw-top bottles?  (And "boxed" wine?)

Beer drinker here, but wine will do.  Spent a week in France once, followed by a week in Germany.  IMHO, the Krauts did a much better job with beer than the Frogs.

/What?  Don't look at me that way!


I like the German Rieslings far more than just about any French white. The Italians and the Germans do still, white wine well. The French and the Spanish do sparkling white well.
 
2013-12-03 11:36:37 AM  
wake me up when he gives up 75% of his net worth.
 
2013-12-03 11:45:28 AM  

EyeballKid: And, to make matters worse, there are SNAILS on his PLATE!!!


Leaving satisfied
 
2013-12-03 12:09:54 PM  

brantgoose: If you like drinking "fresh" wine, no problem. Try the Beaujolais Nouveau. Guaranteed fresh. There's no point keeping it for more than a couple of years any way.

Same with sweet wine. The preference for "dry" wine is just that. It has snob value, is regarded as a sign of sophistication, but nobody can sue you for liking your wine sweet. In Hong Kong, they drink Cognac with dinner. Makes sense. Southern Chinese food probably goes better with Cognac than with a very dry Martini. For the same reason, Champagne goes with anything even if it isn't dry and precious. A bad Champagne is still pretty good compared to some stuff you could drink instead.

Wines develop complex flavours and scents over time (if they survive) so a fine old vintage wine is very likely to be richer and more interesting than even the best fresh wines, but no wine is better than your nose or palate. My nose and palate are probably not wine-tasting level. I don't even like wine that much. I would enjoy most aperatifs or spirits better than most wines. I have encountered the odd exception.

And nobody doesn't like Champagne. Well, almost nobody. If the bubbles annoy you, there are flat Champagnes, you know. They all started out flat until a few centuries ago.

Wine experts often prefer drinking ordinary wines and wines that don't age well because they taste nice and are cheap. There is no pressure to appreciate them to death. Drinking fine old vintage wines is too much like work for them any way. Distracts from the important business of enjoying yourself and eating. Even wine snobs love to eat and have a few laughs.

If you are the Good Enough type, don't waste any money on aged vintage wines. Drink new vintage wines. If you buy enough of them when they are cheap, you'll have a few kicking around twenty or thirty years later any way if you just can't resist buying decent wine and drinking it.

For my part, I have too many Quakers and Methodists in my family tree. I can resist buying wine quite easily ...

.
Champagne does not go with anything that is not the way it works.
And Champagne was not created as such. Dom Perignon was originally trying to stop spontaneous secondary fermentation as it was causing the wooden stoppers to come out and or bottles to explode.
 
2013-12-03 12:15:09 PM  
I always seem to get halfway through a PN post before I notice it's a PN post.
 
2013-12-03 12:19:17 PM  
graphics8.nytimes.com .
 
You don't age all wines. 

IIRC, Windows of the World restaurant (formerly on top of WTC) would fly it in via  Concorde as soon as bottles left winery.
 
2013-12-03 12:24:24 PM  
Americans are the assholes that created wine snobbery.  Everyone else just treats it like beer.
 
2013-12-03 12:36:24 PM  
Taking the american lead,

75% of American Millionaires have less than 30 bottles of wine in their personal collection and on average paid less the $17.00 for them.
 
2013-12-03 12:42:03 PM  

Rapmaster2000: Americans are the assholes that created wine snobbery.  Everyone else just treats it like beer.


Don't go mixing them like their the same thing, though. Be sure you have a wine funnel and a separate beer funnel.

Especially if you're funneling MD20/20. It stains the plastic.
 
2013-12-03 12:52:00 PM  

uber humper: [graphics8.nytimes.com image 533x300] .
 
You don't age all wines. 

IIRC, Windows of the World restaurant (formerly on top of WTC) would fly it in via  Concorde as soon as bottles left winery.


Any Beaujolais I've tried has been disgusting. I guess it must have sat on the shelf too long.
 
2013-12-03 12:54:21 PM  

jigger: uber humper: [graphics8.nytimes.com image 533x300] .
 
You don't age all wines. 

IIRC, Windows of the World restaurant (formerly on top of WTC) would fly it in via  Concorde as soon as bottles left winery.

Any Beaujolais I've tried has been disgusting. I guess it must have sat on the shelf too long.


Very light.  Can't see how it can be disgusting unless something happened to it.
 
2013-12-03 12:59:30 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Actually, subby, many wines continue to improve in the bottle for years. Even decades. The hard part is knowing which wines will stay good for a long time and which ones won't.Wine experts study for *years* to learn this.

But there is a relatively simple shortcut you can use -- it's not 100 percent effective, but it'll serve you right the vast majority of the time. See, what lots of people don't know is that wine is made from different kinds of grapes -- far more than "white" and "red," which is what many people assume. Ha! Idiots. See, there's all kinds of grapes out there...cabernet, merlot, pinot, syrah (you will sometimes see this called "shiraz," which basically means you're dealing with real morons and should not trust anything they serve). So, the first thing you want to do when you get a bottle of wine is find the name of the grape on the label. It's there, somewhere.

Now, count the letters in the name. For example, "MERLOT" has 6 letters. "CABERNET" has 8. "PINOT" has 5. Sometimes there are variants on the name, too. Like, for example, it might say "PINOT NOIR". That's actually 9 letters.

OK? Now here's where it gets tricky. Each letter is equal to 1 year, so  Merlot's base age calculant is 6 years. That means that a normal bottle of Merlot is considered "young" for 6 years after it's bottled (ie, if it's a 2010 bottling, you shouldn't drink it until 2016), it's considered "at its prime" for another 6 years (ie, until 2022), and it's considered "past its prime" for 6 more (ie, until 2028). In 2029, it turns into vinegar and you can cook with it. This allows you to walk into anyone's cellar and pull bottles at random, study them, nod knowledgeably, and make casual marks about which wines would be ideal for drinking right now. For most people, that's enough to appear quite sophisticated.

There are, of course, exceptions and variants to this. For example, not all wines use cork. Some of them use screw caps, which you should do your best to ignore if you actually encounter one. A screw cap cuts the base number in half (so, a merlot is now only 3). There are other variants you'll see on bottles (pictures of kangaroos, oddly shaped bottles, names that remind you of pastries) that indicate the wine is of poor quality as well, and will also significantly lower the base number. You should avoid these in general.

I should also mention "decanting." Decanting is a way to cheat the normal aging process. What it means is that you open the wine, pour it into a special container (a decanter), and swish it around. Swishing wine helps it breathe, which means it ages faster. On average, assuming normal arm strength, one swish through the decanter ages a wine about 3 months -- so, 4 swishes per year you want to increase the wine's age. So, if we take our 2010 Merlot and want to drink it now, today, (still about 2 1/2 years away from its prime), we should open it, pour it into a decanter, and swish it 10 times. DO NOT swish any more than you have to, because you might push the wine past its prime or even (shudder) turn it into vinegar if you go too far. This actually happens to amateurs all the time.

Remember -- lots of people are intimidated by wine. But there's no reason to be. A votre sante!


And this is why you are favorited.
 
2013-12-03 01:12:01 PM  

brantgoose: Oh, Subby! So naive. Nobody buys ultra old fine wines to drink. They're investment quality goods. They are worth whatever people think they are worth until some damn fool opens the bottle.

31.media.tumblr.com

 
2013-12-03 01:42:58 PM  

wildcardjack: wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.

Crap, I missed their Senate, which has another 348 politicians. I don't see their compensation, but I bet it's not pro bono.



But wouldn't cutting their pay hurt their dignity? (at least that is what Democrats think)

www.bizpacreview.com
 
2013-12-03 02:51:41 PM  
Is it bad that I want to have Pocket Ninja's babies?
 
2013-12-03 03:39:07 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Actually, subby, many wines continue to improve in the bottle for years. Even decades. The hard part is knowing which wines will stay good for a long time and which ones won't.Wine experts study for *years* to learn this.

But there is a relatively simple shortcut you can use -- it's not 100 percent effective, but it'll serve you right the vast majority of the time. See, what lots of people don't know is that wine is made from different kinds of grapes -- far more than "white" and "red," which is what many people assume. Ha! Idiots. See, there's all kinds of grapes out there...cabernet, merlot, pinot, syrah (you will sometimes see this called "shiraz," which basically means you're dealing with real morons and should not trust anything they serve). So, the first thing you want to do when you get a bottle of wine is find the name of the grape on the label. It's there, somewhere.

Now, count the letters in the name. For example, "MERLOT" has 6 letters. "CABERNET" has 8. "PINOT" has 5. Sometimes there are variants on the name, too. Like, for example, it might say "PINOT NOIR". That's actually 9 letters.

OK? Now here's where it gets tricky. Each letter is equal to 1 year, so  Merlot's base age calculant is 6 years. That means that a normal bottle of Merlot is considered "young" for 6 years after it's bottled (ie, if it's a 2010 bottling, you shouldn't drink it until 2016), it's considered "at its prime" for another 6 years (ie, until 2022), and it's considered "past its prime" for 6 more (ie, until 2028). In 2029, it turns into vinegar and you can cook with it. This allows you to walk into anyone's cellar and pull bottles at random, study them, nod knowledgeably, and make casual marks about which wines would be ideal for drinking right now. For most people, that's enough to appear quite sophisticated.

There are, of course, exceptions and variants to this. For example, not all wines use cork. Some of them use screw caps, which you should do your best to ignore if you actually encounter one. A screw cap cuts the base number in half (so, a merlot is now only 3). There are other variants you'll see on bottles (pictures of kangaroos, oddly shaped bottles, names that remind you of pastries) that indicate the wine is of poor quality as well, and will also significantly lower the base number. You should avoid these in general.

I should also mention "decanting." Decanting is a way to cheat the normal aging process. What it means is that you open the wine, pour it into a special container (a decanter), and swish it around. Swishing wine helps it breathe, which means it ages faster. On average, assuming normal arm strength, one swish through the decanter ages a wine about 3 months -- so, 4 swishes per year you want to increase the wine's age. So, if we take our 2010 Merlot and want to drink it now, today, (still about 2 1/2 years away from its prime), we should open it, pour it into a decanter, and swish it 10 times. DO NOT swish any more than you have to, because you might push the wine past its prime or even (shudder) turn it into vinegar if you go too far. This actually happens to amateurs all the time.

Remember -- lots of people are intimidated by wine. But there's no reason to be. A votre sante!


Once again reminded why I have you favorited. Well done.
 
2013-12-03 05:56:11 PM  

brantgoose: There's at least six Mona Lisas (the one in the Louvre may not even be the original given the vagaries of crime and art criticism) and you may be sure the real one would be very useful for the world's top mobsters and dictators if it is out there somewhere.


I think there was a documentary on that subject a few years ago:

basementrejects.com
 
2013-12-03 10:34:22 PM  

hobnail: wildcardjack: France has a problem they cannot deal with... Actually, most of Europe has this problem: To many highly paid legislators. 65 million people supporting a National Assembly of 577 politicians, each drawing about $200k a year in salary and expenses. If you want to save money, start by reducing the number of assemblymen, France.

Let's see. 577 * 200,000 = 115,400,000.  Divide that by 65,000,000 and it works out to less than $2 per citizen.  Somehow I don't think this is the source of their budget woes.


Really?  A symbolic gesture won't solve the country's problems? Do tell.
 
2013-12-04 02:14:41 PM  
To borrow a phrase from Pocket Ninja - Actually, subby,  it isn't the PM's wine.  "The French prime minister's official residence, Matignon, is selling 1,400 bottles of its wine, amid efforts to streamline costs." I presume that Matignon is, like the White House, owned by The People.  {Or I should probably compare the French PM to the Vice-President and cite the Naval Observatory, but NOBODY wants to be compared to that shot-gun toting Biden.}
 
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