Ray Isle linked today to a rather odd little video produced by the people behind Mollydooker, a newish and apparently popular winery from Australia. I’ve not had the wines myself, so I can’t really comment on how they taste. The video, however, speaks well enough for itself:
Okay, so maybe they’ve got a problem with nitrogen during bottling (and why they’re broadcasting this to the world as a funky dance is beyond me), but after watching this video I can’t help but think of one of the biggest problems faced by wineries who use screwcaps: reduction. I’m no chemist and am oversimplifying here (please correct me if I’m wrong!), but to be reduced in the wine world means, essentially, to be a wine starved of oxygen. A wine in a reduced state smells funky, almost like vulcanized rubber or plastic, and one way to get it out of this state is to aerate it–to ‘shake it up’, as it were. I taste a lot of wine and one thing I’ve noticed is that reduction seems to occur most often in the relatively sweet, juicy and alcoholic style so favored by New World/international winemakers; and frequently these wines are sealed with a screwcap which seems to exacerbate the problem (screwcaps are very good at keeping oxygen out). That said, wine bottled with corks can also be reduced, and, in fact as a few winemakers in California have told me, the syrah grape itself might be inherently reductive. So, nitrogen?
For some reason I’ve got the Cars in my head now, so below for your viewing and listening pleasure is the classic, ‘Shake it Up’: