Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

Trivia question

Posted by outthere, May 15, 2010.

Testing your wine trivia. This will be easy for some but not necessarily for others.

Where does the red stripe down the middle of these barrels come from?

 

Replies

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Reply by GregT, May 15, 2010.

The wineries paint it so that the barrel looks better.  Otherwise there will be random stains all around the bung from topping off, tasting, etc.

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Reply by outthere, May 15, 2010.

Ding, ding, ding, ding... We have a winner. It's a marketing idea to make the barrels look more interesting to visitors. Cuz we all know that a stained barrel doesn't have as good of a product in it as a clean looking barrel does.

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Reply by Degrandcru, May 15, 2010.

By the way, thats a beautiful picture. Would love to sit down and have dinner there. What winery is it?

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Reply by outthere, May 16, 2010.

Spring Mountain in St Helena.

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Reply by VegasOenophile, May 16, 2010.

I would submit that they don't all paint them, but perhaps do smear and even out wine to stain it evenly since barrel sampling does render drips down that center area.

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Reply by shanwich55, May 18, 2010.

 When I was at Nickel & Nickel they had pretty barrels like this and they told me that they have someone come with a sponge and constantly make sure that the wine that spilled is sponged down evenly to make it look neat and to keep it in the lines, so I am with Vegas.  

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Reply by dmcker, May 18, 2010.

Now that sounds like a jobs program--wonder if the PR value pays for it? And when times get tight how quickly that job gets axed. Also would love to hear what a few French or Italian winemakers might have to say about the practice... ;-)

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Reply by shanwich55, May 18, 2010.

Come to think of it, during the tour, the guide phrased it like "even though we are busy topping off the wine and attending to our numerous duties, the owner insists..."  His hiss-o-meter spiked.  

Can you imagine being the guy in charge of that?  Maybe this could be a way for me to break into the wine business... sponging the barrels and releasing the feral cats to eat off grape predators. 

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Reply by GregT, May 18, 2010.

Shanwich - it's done all over the world and for the same reason - aesthetics.  One can call it "paint" or "stain" or something else.  The tastihg, topping, etc., will eventually make a stain around the bung.  But the wine doesn't get absorbed instantly into the wood - that's why they use tight grain oak. So you can sponge it up pretty quickly w/out leaving much of a noticable stain.  If you don't sponge it up and just let it sit and wait for it to dry, you have random stains, which some people object to, but you might also end up with a lot of gnats.  Nickel and some of the Napa producers that count on tourism want to keep their places looking nice and who wants to see flies and other things!

Most wineries tend to have cats around for some reason, but the predators of choice, at least in CA, tend to be falcons and other raptors.  A number of wineries have set up nesting areas for them as a natural means of pest control, which I think is really cool. 

Imaging going falconing like Henry VIII and then coming home for a great feast and unlike Henry, taking a bath that very day instead of waiting for your yearly!

Cheers

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Reply by dmcker, May 18, 2010.

Now that's an image, Greg. Gives new meaning to taking exception to too much perfume on someone else in the tasting room. And to 'funk' on the nose of a wine you're tasting... ;-)


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