Wine Stain Removal

wine-stainHow do you take out red wine stains?

This is a question that comes up all the time, and I like most people am just an amateur with experience. I decided to do the logical thing and ask a fabrics person, Ms. Arlene Skull who knows everything there is to know about dying and fabric. (Okay maybe not everything, but more than enough to satisfy my needs. She’s got a degree in fabric science from university.)

Here is her official response.

“Spray with oxiclean and rub in. Let sit. Rinse. If not successful, make a paste with the [oxiclean] powder and rub in and let sit. Wash. Don’t put in dryer unless stain is gone as the dryer sets the stain.

Repeat as necessary.

The most important thing is “speed” – dilute fast. Then proceed.”

I assume OxiClean is available outside N. America. If not, you need to find a similar product.

In Stately Dr. Booze Manor, the carpets I am reasonably sure are acrylic fibre and pretty stain resistant. I use a Bissell spot stain remover with the recommended detergent. I used to use the Little Green Machine before this machine and it was great, so when it started wheezing, I bought this one.

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Sloe Gin Rickey & a Negroni

For those listening to John Gormley live on June 7th Here are the two drinks I served him.negroni and haskap gin rickey

Haskap Gin Rickey
50 mls LB Distillery Haskap Gin
1/2 Lime, juiced
Club Soda to taste

30 ml Sweet Vermouth
30 ml Campari
30 ml Black Fox Wooded Gin

Serve over ice with an orange slice. (I used a slice of Meyer lemon for the drink I made John.)

The other three drinks I served were:
– Dusty Boots Hard Root Beer (Available at the SLGA and elsewhere)
– Sleeman’s Railside Session Ale
– NZ PURE Lager

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Rise Up Against the Tyranny of the Stem!

For years now we’ve been dealing with the hegemony of Riedel stemware in the market. In general it has been a good idea, because it has made people more aware of subtle details. At least it did at first. However with Appellations and companies commissioning the design of stemware to compliment their particular drink, what we are now dealing with is a sort of forced Corporate group-taste.

When all is said and done, stemware serves the same purpose of a good brassiere: it displays the contents to advantage. (This makes Riedel the Victoria Secret of stemware.) However you should never forget that somewhere far away, somebody is deciding what exactly you should be tasting.

Several years ago I took to tasting everything from ISO tasting glasses. They have become over time my preferred drinking vessels despite my enormous inventory of stems. However I still do the photo shoots in the “proper” stem for fear of some newbie wino having a snit fit over my glass. (I do vary this rule for purposes of photogenicity.) Today I was reviewing a rather nice Rioja Crianza, Altos by Torres. Theoretically you should drink Rioja from a big bowled glass, which indeed is what I used as the prop glass.

Stems for Modernity

Stems for Modernity

I had been making my notes using the ISO glass, but as I’d filled the big bowl Riedel I took it back to my desk. The taste difference was remarkable to say the least. The big cab/shiraz bowl emphasized the viscosity, the oak flavours (vanillin, caramel etc.) and minimized acidity and fruit.

Out of curiousity I put another splash back in my ISO glass for an A/B comparison and, no my memory is not geriatric yet. I promptly repeated the experiment with a rose I had on hand (Gamay/Pinot Noir 80/20) in both. Again the difference was remarkable. I may start tasting my whites from the big bowl and keep the reds in the ISO glasses.

This is an experiment everyone should carry out for themselves.

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Vodka that Saves!

bellion tall

Well the world of alcohol is full of all sorts of interesting claims but this is a completely new one on me. It may possibly be true.

Bellion Distilling of NJ, has started producing a line of alcohol, that they call “functional spirits.” The booze is infused with a patented substance called NTX, more on which later. For the moment the Vodka is the only one available, and then only in MA, RI, CT, TX.

The claim to fame is that NTX provides some degree of protection to the liver from the ravages of alcohol. The leader of the inventing research team, Hartha Chigurupati of the eponymous firm Chigurupati Technologies has actually run some scientific studies comparing the liver enzymes of drinkers with and without drinking his NTX infused alcohol.

To cut to the chase you have three liver enzymes, which will be closely monitored by your doctor if you are on harsh medications or have told the doc the truth about your alcohol consumption. (Near as I can tell virtually everyone lies and says they only drink “occasionally, you know, maybe a couple of glasses of wine a week.”) When I pressed Dr. Chigurupati for an example he told me the following.

The research sample were instructed to drink to a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) 0.12 nightly for two weeks. Their enzyme levels were measured before and after. They were then given two weeks off to recover, and the process was repeated but this time the alcohol was infused with NTX. I picked (arbitrarily as I’m no physician) on the GGT numbers. Dr. Chigurupati said during the first drinking session, a person with a GGT level of 23, saw that level climb to 35. Drinking the vodka with NTX two weeks later their GGT levels only climbed to 24.

Obviously this is a huge breakthrough for most drinkers. However it is unlikely to be allowed in the advertising as governments will see the ingredient NTX as offering drinkers protection when over-drinking, and therefore encourage over-drinking.

I haven’t tasted the vodka. Bellion promises to come out with a Bourbon, Tequila as well soon.

Over to y’all gentle readers. I can’t see how the addition of NTX will hurt, and if it helps I’m all for it.

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Petra Kir-Yianni

It’s been brought to my attention (Thanks Bill!) that most people haven’t a clue what I’m talking about when I mention Kir-Yianni in the next post. So here’s my take on the grape. It’s not common – you’ll need a good wine store with a broad international selection, probably near a Greek neighbourhood. On the other hand it’s a steal of a deal under $20.

kir yianni petraIf you are of a certain age the phrase “greek wine” conjures sun baked islands, retsina (harsh red wine flavoured with pine resin) and pitchers of tart white wine the colour of urine. This is the problem for modern Grecian vintners – a bunch of super-annuated drinkers like me, who would rather be dead in a ditch than face the rigours of Greek wine again.

Greece is the cradle of modern European wine. Their grapes were exported to Italy and the south of France. Their techniques were copied and improved upon. And even today they harbour a number of grapes that would do well when planted abroad. More importantly they too have imported modern viticulture and vinification techniques back into their country.

There are a handful of reds on the shelves here (I have recommended Naoussa in the past in this column) and two whites. One of the whites has a small following as a bargain Muscat (AKA Moscato). The other is fairly new and deserves white wine drinkers give it a try.

For the cork dorks in the audience it is blend of Roditis and Malagouzia grapes. I know what you’re thinking. “Not ANOTHER Roditis/Malagouzia blend.” Roditis is a pink skinned grape that resembles pinot noir. It has the wonderful capacity to maintain acidity in hot climates. Malagouzia is an ancient grape going back to biblical times and probably earlier, and makes elegant aromatic wines.

The combination produces a light coloured white with a citrus and lemon zest bouquet, a crisp palate with – and this surprised me – a very round finish. The zip of the attack and the lingering finish are the hallmarks of a first rate food wine. Opa!

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