GEORGE BALLING: Of questions and myths

Print Article

PAID CONTENT

Through the holiday season we received many questions from readers and customers alike. Wine is a great subject to write about, let’s face it the folks that read on a weekly basis like wine probably quite a lot, and with rare exceptions it is almost controversy free, a true blessing for the author in this day and time! So here are a few recent questions we have received.

This question we have received multiple times over the years we have written the wine column. Do European winemakers and wineries add sulfites into the bottles they export to “the States?” Flatly and emphatically NO! This question has almost taken on an urban myth type quality and we want to dispel this notion. It is nearly impossible to run a winery without the use of sulfur based chemicals; they simply fill too many needs not to have them. They are used to clean, they are used to stop fermentation, and they are used to preserve color in the wine and as a preservative in general.

Having said that generally speaking and caveat here that generalizations are always fraught with peril, Europeans tend to use a lower level of sulfites than wineries here at home. Of course there are exceptions on both sides of “the pond” but Europeans tend to take a more naturalistic approach including the deployment of sulfur.

The idea though that they would add some or additional sulfites to wine destined for the U.S. is without merit, if for no other reason than it would be very difficult. Trying to keep batches of wine separate based simply on their destination would be daunting at best and result in an uneven quality of the finished wine. No winery that I know of is signing up for that, when one of the hallmarks of the industry is to produce the best and most consistent product they can.

We continue to receive many questions on how wineries and vineyards are doing in the fire zone in Napa and Sonoma Counties. For the wineries they are beginning the rebuilding process, and for vineyards they came through the fires largely intact with little damage. For the vineyards as we speculated early on there is just too much water in grapevines for them to burn.

Wineries, hotels and restaurants are all open for business and what we hear most is they want us as wine tourists to come back! The biggest devastation is in housing. So many homes were destroyed that the rebuilding of the housing stock is truly an overwhelming task, the effects of which will be felt for years to come. The many families that are left to secure housing need our help more than any other group and will for some time.

We do not see a price spike in wines from California, the wine market is too big too diverse and too global to allow that. Having said that, you may see certain wineries that do not have product in the market from the 2017 vintage if they either lost their wine or it contracted smoke taint.

We consistently get questions about the availability of this wine or that wine here in North Idaho. We always are willing to help customers find their desired bottles and we order 1 or 2 bottles for folks all the time once we find them. Here is the trick. The wine must be distributed in Idaho in order for me or any other wine retailer or restaurant to be able to get it. That is the way our liquor law is written if a winery is not affiliated with an Idaho licensed distributor we can’t carry it, that will be the only time we can’t track a wine down for you.

Keep the questions coming it is one of the most rewarding parts of writing our weekly wine column.

If there is a topic you would like to read about or questions on wine you can email George@thedinnerpartyshop.com or make suggestions by contacting the Healthy Community section at the Coeur d’Alene Press.

• • •

George Balling is co-owner with his wife, Mary Lancaster, of the dinner party — a wine and table top décor shop in Coeur d’Alene by Costco. George has also worked as a judge in many wine competitions; his articles are published around the country and is the wine editor for Coeur d’Alene Magazine (www.cdamagazine.com). You can learn more about the dinner party at www.thedinnerpartyshop.com. You can get all of these articles as well as other great wine tips by friending us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.

Print Article

Read More Healthy Community

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — SHEREE DIBIASE: A momma’s brain: The fourth trimester

October 10, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press So, I wish I knew what I know now about how a mother’s brain literally changes during pregnancy and afterward. We’ve known for years about all the physical changes, but it’s only been the last few ye...

Comments

Read More

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — HOLLY CARLING: When your hert goes a-fluttering

October 10, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press When your heart flutters it can be a scary experience. If any other organ has a glitch, we don’t worry near as much as when it is the heart. While not all heart flutters are serious, it’s important t...

Comments

Read More

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — GEORGE BALLING: Wine torture

October 10, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press What is the proper way to store wine? It is one of the most frequent questions we get in the shop from wine consumers, and it is asked by everyone who buys the $15 and under bottles to the big-time c...

Comments

Read More

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — HOLLY CARLING: Health detectives

October 03, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press What is a “Health Detective” and what does she do? When someone is sick there’s a reason for it. The body doesn’t just suddenly decide ‘Hey! I have nothing else to do today. Maybe I’ll make my immune...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X