Okay, how many wine gadgets do you have? How many toys? Anyone have a battery operated cork remover? I have two, neither is worth a damn. Fancy aerators? Again I have two, I like them, but hardly ever use them. Trust me they do help on reds. How many fancy cork removers do you have? I like my rabbit the best. How about metal ice cubes or real rock “rocks”?
How many of you got a wine preserver for Christmas? For the value sippers, did you get the VacU Vin wine saver, of did you blow the $350 bucks for a Coravin? Drink the rest tomorrow is a concept that I believe most readers of Griffy on Wine would find foreign. And really for a $10 bottle of wine is it really worth the effort to “preserve”?
Well, today I read about a new gissmo, a wine purifier, named Ullo, for $80 dollars this miracle device will remove sulfites from you wine. Wow! How does it do that? Well, I talked to a chemist. I’m told it’s pretty easy to do this. I’m told that wine is a very complex mixture, containing multiply molecules. Some of these molecules will be attracted to each other due to their atomic composition. So if you want to remove one specific molecule from a mixture all you need to do is pour the mixture through a resin loaded with another molecule that attracts it. The two bind together and the rest goes on by. Ullo uses a coffee filter type disposable filter pack that contains the right food grade whatever that binds with the sulfites. Each filter is good for one bottle of wine. I think they are expensive at $20 for 6 filters.
Now, I’m told nothing is perfect and some of the sulfites will still get through and some molecules that you are not targeting will get caught too. This could be sediment and lees which is a good thing. However, no matter how careful the filter is there is going to be collateral damage to the wine. Which is fine if you are drinking a commercial grade factory wine. But, if you have invested in a wine expecting to savor the winemaker’s skill, craft and nuance looking for something special, you just killed your mojo!
Now my Chemist tells me there is another way of ridding you wine of sulfites. It’s cheaper, far less high tech and can be found in most bath rooms, but please do not try this as home, I might need a real lawyer if you do. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes sulfites, turning sulfites into hydrogen sulfates. As the Chemist said a few drops of H2O2 and you’re good to go.
Turns out this product already exists. SO2GO, that’s the name, comes in a small spray bottle $25 for 100 uses. Spray into your glass two to three squirts and pour the wine, no sulfites. There is also a single use packet for a bottle of wine. There is another product called Just the Wine which is also applied to the glass about three drops should do the trick. Both product use “food grade” H2O2. I’m told you will not taste the difference but if you’re drinking a first-growth Bordeaux, I’d skip this and buy aspirin.
For kicks I asked about using regular Hydrogen Peroxide. I was told it would work, but it would taste like your were drinking from a metal bucket with a serious level of bitterness. And you might vomit!
The real question is do sulfites cause headaches? No scientific evidence exists that says they do. Yet, legions of drinkers say it’s true. For me, I don’t care, red wine is great, and I don’t need a filter to enjoy it.
Now how about something to drink?
This wine is a great value. “La Bette” 2013 Côtes-du-Roussillon Villages. This is a great wine for under $20.00. The wine is a blend of 35% Grenache, 50% Carignan and 15% Syrah it’s all about the fruit. On the nose you get black and blueberry. Color dark red I’d call it garnet. Taste I got red currant, chocolate and black pepper. This wine made me think of warm days and soft summer breezes. La Bette is the nickname to a distinctive style of Catalan fishing boat. They are common all around the Mediterranean they look like they have a pointed bow at both ends.
This is one of the most violent wine areas in the world. Near the Spanish border you will see militant Frenchmen stopping tanker trucks hauling cheap Spanish wine and dumping the wine on the road. Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest wine producing area in the world. It’s also the most economically depressed one too. Synonymous with cheap low quality wines the area is not without its bright spots producing value packed wines. Cote-du-Roussillon Villages is one of these developing wine areas. This wine and wines from this area bat well above their pay grade.
And if you prefer a white; Manoir des Herbauges, Muscadet Cotes de Grandlieu 2015. The grape is Melon de Bourgogne and is white grape synonymous with the Muscadet appellation. I have never tasted this varietal before so I was in for a treat. The grape’s original home was Burgundy, but it was exiled in the early 1700 because the Dukes of Burgundy didn’t like it. The growers in the Loire valley were looking for a cold resistant white and so they adopted the orphan.
Don’t mistake Muscadet for Muscat. Muscadet is crisp and dry and Muscat is super sweet.
Muscate Cotes de Grandlieu is one of the four Muscadet appellations in the Loire Valley’s Pays Nantais district. This covers that are surround Lac de Grand Lieu, one of the largest natural lakes in France.
Melon de Bourgogne is not a powerhouse of flavor and the winemaker must take great care to not to produce a bland featureless wine. Our wine was anything but bland. Color was an extremely pale yellow, I’d say clear. Distinct apples and citrus on the nose. Flavor was again apples, citrus, hints of pepper and salt and minerality, think chalk. This wine would make you think, fairly complex. I’d serve with scallops or white fish or lentil soup. This was another great wine for under $20. Your best values will be from the Loire France, but you’ll find great offering of this wine from Oregon and Washington state also.