Have your Valentine’s Day wines ready to go

February 13, 2021

Did you receive the COVID-19 notice from DE Public Health? What a disappointing note. So far, of our 100,000 peeps over 65, only 25,000 have been vaccinated, and they expect to do 3,000 more the week of Feb. 8. At that rate, it will take 25 weeks just for us remaining oldies to get the first shot. Since Delaware has a 2020 total population of 973,764, I subtracted 25K; it will take 316 weeks (6+ years) to hand out one dose to all those not yet vaccinated. Since most need two doses, it indicates longer, so if shots-given rate increases tenfold, it will still take 32 weeks to provide all with one dose. I did round fractional numbers down.

Recognizing this is a huge undertaking and they are trying hard to help, that effort seems lacking on many levels. Most of the state officials, the governor and legislators, from the left and right, have been in place for years. Those who voted them in should contact each and express their opinions, positive or negative. Feedback is critical to good governance. 

Since alcohol kills germs on surfaces, such as lips, mouths, throats on down, not to mention possible spillage cleaning hands, is it possible that we winos, at least those who obey the driving and public intoxication laws, are safer than the teetotalers? I’m sure cash for a study could still be inserted into that preposterous “new budget” proposal wending its way to the president. Those on the hill should all be ashamed of naming their financial plans a “budget.” Anyone else notice that most of the talking heads and public officials squawking about the teachers are doing so on various Zoom or FaceTime-type apps? Makes a fella want to drink.

Have you acquired your V-Day vino yet? Codorniu is one of Spain’s oldest winemaking families, dating back to 1551. Anna de Codorniu Brut Rosé DO Cava NV is rated 87 McD; under $14 gets a price point. It is a lovely pink sparkler that will please the palate without breaking the bank. Opens to strawberry and cherry bouquet, slightly sweet but the bright acidity keeps it clean. On the palate, citrus and some tropical flavors shine through. Great with tapas, sharp cheese and charcuterie. Those who want to party, with careful distancing of course, and avoid alcohol will be very pleased with Codorniu Zero Brut, around $11. While I’m usually not impressed with non-alcohol efforts, this was a fine surprise. Pale golden with a fine bead, it opens to white flower and green apple aromas. On the palate, citrus acidity and tropical fruit flavors continue through a clean finish.

A bit of reading explained that the alcohol is removed through a low temperature (under 35 degrees C) vacuum-distillation system similar to those used for desalinization. True alcohol-free wines go through the entire vinification process, then undergo a dealcoholizing process which removes the alcohol. Some also employ reverse osmosis, but that process requires large quantities of water and the alcohol taken off can’t be reused for other purposes. The third option is the advanced cone spinning process which is used in the perfume industry, as well. Here the aromas are captured during the vinification process. Fermentation causes heat, which prompts the esters to rise with the alcohol fumes. These are spun off and collected. The alcohol is removed and the aromas are reintroduced to the alcohol-free liquid. If one of these processes isn’t employed, you may be drinking grape juice. A truly fine example of ACS is Giesen 0% Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, 86 McD under $14. I’d give it 89, but without the alcohol an important component is missing in the aromatics. Lime, grapefruit, lemon cake. You can drink all you can wish with almost no aftereffects; 20 cal./8 oz. Let me close by wishing all a loverly St. Valentine’s Day.

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