Ever heard of phylloxera? While it sounds like a venereal disease or a type of periodontal infection, phylloxera is actually a tiny white louse that sucks the nutrients from the roots of grape vines, slowly killing the plants. It decimated the French wine industry in the 19th century. And a couple of years ago, it caused thousands of acres of vineyard property to be bulldozed in Napa Valley. And now it’s in Oregon. It’s anybody’s guess as to the extent of the damage it will do, but you can be sure it’ll do plenty—then move up I-5 to Washington.
Drink this while the bugs march northward
In an era where wineries shove bottles onto retail shelves long before the wine’s ready for consumption, you’ve got to hand it to any winery that holds back its wine for extra cellar aging. A case in point is the 1996 Kestrel Cabernet Sauvignon ($25). That’s right, the ’96 Kestrel, not the ’98. This luscious wine pumps out huge flavors of black cherry, blackberry, chocolate, and spicy oak. And, if you’re patient, it’ll give you at least five more years of goose bumps.
What do you consider the perfect wine glass?
Is your name Francine or Juanita? I’m confused. Anyway, like a lot of things, there are dozens of choices in wine glasses—some large, some small, some cheap, some expensive. Purists love the outrageously pricey glasses made by Riedel. I don’t. They’re too damn fragile. No, my faves are the glasses you get in the tasting room at Silver Oak Winery. These glasses are a perfect tulip shape, hold a whopping 18 ounces, and have a stem that feels perfect in the hand. Call Silver Oak at 707-944-8808. They’ll ship you a six-pack of them. Trust me, it’s worth the long-distance call.
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