Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On filters and flavour




What does everyone do with that 1/2 inch of Vintage Port filled with sediment and other refuse in the bottom of the bottle? Dump it? Gargle it? Spread it on toast?

I pour it into a glass, and have a taste, as my first experience with the wine. I spit everything out of course - the sediment is just vile, like drinking chunks of dirt and bark. I tried something new this time. Filtering through a paper coffee filter takes a while, and usually requires two of them, but it does remove all the junk. The filtered remains look remarkably like mud, both in colour and consistency. And you're left with clear wine - success! But all things wine rarely end as perfectly.

The wine is absolutely stripped of character. This particular wine, a 1997 Delaforce Quinta da Corte Vintage Port was wonderfully ripe, with minerals and dates on the bouquet. The glass that was filtered seemed flat, with an absolute lack of fruit. Funny how dramatic the difference was. And to think that wineries have filters with the ability to even strip colour from a wine . . . just frightening to think that calisthenics in the winery occur so often, yet people are still tricked into thinking that wine is a natural product. Something to think about. And it was just a coffee filter!


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