Like e-mail scams and Eastenders storylines, the same wine articles just keep on appearing, over and over again. To save you the trouble of reading them, and to prevent repetitive strain in wine writing, SEDIMENT presents a summary of their contents. We’ve read them, so you don’t have to.
How to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew
Is there some shortage of corkscrews? Why are people even embarking upon the idea of a bottle of wine without the key implement required? Perhaps there are articles on how to jump from a plane without a parachute, or how to cut a sausage without a knife – or perhaps those people just choose to do something else, for which they are properly equipped. Surely the simplest solution if you don’t have a corkscrew is to buy a bottle with a screwcap, no?
But the web is full of people risking disfigurement by opening bottles with knives, coathangers, corn cob holders, paperclips and hammers. The latest suggested method is to bang the bottle inside a shoe against a tree. I don’t know about you, but it’s easier in my kitchen to find a corkscrew than a tree. Some articles suggest hot tongs to snap off the bottle’s neck, although what are the chances of a pair of hot tongs in a kitchen which doesn’t have a corkscrew? Or, for that matter, of a picnic basket missing a corkscrew, but containing a coathanger? People would be far better off expending their considerable ingenuity on finding a shop which sells corkscrews.
Pairing a certain wine with a certain food
In these articles, a writer brags about discovering an ideal combination of a wine so obscure that you will never find it, with a dish so rarefied that you will never eat it.
Cork vs Screwcap
Some prefer the ‘convenience’ of a screwcap, which means they’re either hamfisted with a corkscrew, or they’ve forgotten their hot tongs. Either that, or ‘convenience’ is a euphemism for the fact that before you’ve even removed the capsule from a traditional bottle they can have a screwcap off and wine down their neck. Others prefer the ritual of pulling a cork, with all its flourishes and accompanying sound effects and corkscrew possession bragging rights. A few articles discuss closures and wine longevity, but longevity’s an issue no-one will decide upon for a long, long time.
Pointless articles all, because if you want a particular wine, you will simply have to put up with whichever closure its producer has chosen. Would you buy a tablelamp because you liked it, or decide on the basis of whether its bulb had a bayonet or a screw fitting?
How to order wine in a restaurant
No-one would walk into a car dealership knowing absolutely nothing about cars, and trust that the salesman would sell them the most modest, best-value vehicle. Yet these articles propose that, by asking for advice in the right way, a salesman will actually guide you towards something which is eminently suitable, only modestly marked-up, and well within your intended spend for a car. Sorry, bottle of wine.
What to do with leftover wine
To which wags always respond, “What’s leftover wine? Ha, Ha!”, to the endless amusement of, er, themselves. These articles are occasionally technical discussions about making wine vinegar; or using old white wine for removing red wine stains, with little said about how to remove the resulting pink wine stain.
But the basic story is: cook with it. Or freeze it in ice cube trays, so that when you want you can… cook with it. There seems to be an assumption that if you drink wine, you must also cook, with little advice on how to use leftover wine with a diet of sandwiches, tinned soup or ready meals.
Some articles focus on preserving wine, and all the various systems involving vacuums and inert gases which will keep your leftover wine for weeks, during which time for some reason you will not be tempted to finish it. But no-one ever considers why one would even wish to return to a wine which was presumably undrinkable in the first place.
Is wine in a box as good as wine in a bottle?
On the whole no, because they don’t put the best wine in boxes. Job done. The rest is all down to waffle about preservation, and quantity, and convenience (again), and smart-ass Comments from @Sedimentblog asking “Wine in a box? Is that like cigars in a bottle?”
Wine is bad for you
It is linked to cancers, gives you headaches, makes you fat, rots your liver, reduces your potency and makes you depressed, and it must be so because these studies say so.
Wine is good for you
It reduces your risk of heart problems, increases your wellbeing, protects against colds, may prevent herpes and is a factor in Mediterranean longevity, and it must be so because these studies say so.