Pardon, Madoff, barrel motel, Saran Wrap, discussion – sipped and spit

SPIT: presidential pardon
Of all the names circulating for a presidential pardon, few lists would include Fred Franzia for his federal offense (and, no, as much as reader Alberto would like, it wasn’t making Two Buck Chuck). But Franzia wants to own a gun. That’s one thing that he can’t do because in 1993 he pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to defraud, paid a $2.5 million fine. The AP reveals how he worked the system–unsuccessfully–to try to get a presidential pardon. He’s no turkey! (via Mark Fisher)

wine-barrel-hotelSIPPED: roll out the barrels
A hotel in Holland (of all places) allows you to fulfill one of your wine fantasies–sleeping inside an old oak barrel! Wait, that’s not one of your wine fantasies? Well, you can now do it anyway. Just don’t bring luggage because a 15,000 liter vat is not all that roomy for two humans! (Treehugger, via Mark Fisher)

SPIT: editors
Ruth Madoff may be in the news for the alleged Madoff Ponzi scheme. While the details of that are being sorted out, Karen MacNeil, a Napa-based wine and food writer, has come forward to say that she was more than an editor on Ruth Madoff’s kosher cookbook. “But in point of fact, I wrote the entire book,” MacNeil told the Times. (Thanks, Steve!)

SIPPED: pennies and Saran Wrap
Just in case you thought manipulation of wine was limited to the winery, Harold McGee gives people the discusses dunking knives and pennies in his wine–but ultimately gives people the green light to use plastic wrap to remove cork taint! Has anyone ever done this successfully? Hit the comments! [NY Times]

SPIT: discussion
Over on eBob, discussion about my recent Q&A with John Gilman was cut off after 130+ comments.

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4 Responses to “Pardon, Madoff, barrel motel, Saran Wrap, discussion – sipped and spit”

  1. Winemaker Sara Fowler showed me this trick when I was the wine buyer at the Borgata. She, at that time a winemaker at Franciscan (now with Peju) and was tasting her wines with me. We opened a bottle that was corked and she asked if she could have some saran wrap. She took the saran wrap and carefully twirled it into a piece that resembled a straw and stuck it in the bottle. We corked the bottle (with an untainted cork) and I left it until the next day. When I retasted the wine the next day there was no sign of TCA. I have continued to do this since.
    I have also heard of people using Ziplock bags – but I have not tried this yet.

  2. That hotel looks like such a neat experience. It has never been one of my dreams, but certainly is something I would try now that I know about it.

  3. I have successfully used the saran wrap trick as well as the penny in the wine to dispell the reductive burnt match aromas. I was very skeptical, but I’m a believer now.

  4. The Saran Wrap trick does work, kinda. First of all, apparently not all plastic wrap is created equal and some brands work and some don’t. From what I can tell the plain, basic Saran Wrap brand works best.

    However, when I have done this successfully, yes the TCA is lessened or eliminated, but so is much of the wine. The wine is left seeming dull, lifeless and lacking aromatics. I don’t know if the Saran Wrap absorbs other aromatic compounds or if the TCA taint did something to the wine in the first place. Either way, while this trick may produce a “drinkable” wine, it certainly doesn’t seem to produce a good wine. Therefore, I’ve stopped trying it and just return corked bottles if I can or dump them down the drain otherwise.



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