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Old 08-14-2008, 11:26 PM   #11
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yep, zz, add me to the chorus of "take it back"s. blue nun is a lower-priced riesling, and as such, it's rather sweet (not the dry, more complex, more acidic stuff of the alsace). there should be NO musty/pungent smell going on in there. light, sweet, fruity, little bit of wildflowers sure...but nothing stinky in a riesling.

if anything, these less expensive white wines will have a metallic taste (not smell, necessarily, but sometimes that too), since they're all fermented in big ol' bulk aluminum tanks. could this possibly be what you're tasting?
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:00 AM   #12
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Well here's the conclusion to this Blue Nun episode :P I didn't take it back. It was a cheap bottle of wine, so I didn't expect much of it. However after ditching the screw cap for a vacuum plug and having a glass a day, I found it to be much more agreeable. A friend of mine who is knowledgeable about wine suggested it might be that it wasn't filtered properly and might have done some extra fermentation in the bottle. I didn't see any sediment though so who knows. Tomorrow I'm going to buy an Australian Riesling with a cork to see how that goes :) Thanks for the help and advice everyone!
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:01 AM   #13
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It doesn't matter if the wine has a cork or a screw cap as to quality. Many wineries are now using the screw cap even on their expensive wines because of the problem with corks becoming moldy and no longer as readily available. I just purchased a $20 bottle of Late Harvest Reisling with a screw cap. Fantastic wine and very good quality. Frankly I like the cap, it's easier to open no matter where you are.

You might want to ask the person selling the wine whether you are getting a sweet, medium or dry Reisling. The LHR I just bought is on the sweet side and perfect for desserts.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:11 AM   #14
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Well, I'm not convinced that screw caps seal the bottle that well. This cap was made of an alarmingly thin metal, and I have no doubt that any rough handling would warp the metal and let too much air in. I'm sure there are good screwcaps out there, but this wasn't one of them :P

At any rate, I usually carry a waiter's friend around with me when I know I'm going to be dealing with wine. I'd rather impress my date by expertly opening a bottle of wine. Since I'm studying in the field of hospitality, it's an expected skill to have ;)
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:33 AM   #15
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I heard a guest on an NPR cooking show say that screw caps seal wine too well. Since it does not allow the wine to breathe, the wine can develop a sulphur smell/taste if it sets too long (around 18 months).
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:57 AM   #16
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Isn't removing the cork a ritual we will miss? And what if you are in a restaurant? Will the waiter offer you the cap to sniff? I do understand the picnic angle though.
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Old 08-23-2008, 02:09 PM   #17
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For what it's worth, I also have had this exact same experience with a Riesling that was a screw top. It had a very uninviting odor, which pretty much ruined the taste. I've never had the same issue with a corked bottle.
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Old 08-23-2008, 04:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankin View Post
For what it's worth, I also have had this exact same experience with a Riesling that was a screw top. It had a very uninviting odor, which pretty much ruined the taste. I've never had the same issue with a corked bottle.
Well, not to get too technical but there is a difference in a "corked bottle" and a bottle WITH a cork.

You may be experiencing that petrol nose but since it's a 2005 I doubt it...but nothing is impossible.

Screw caps are not a bad thing. You actually won't get a corked bottle (that "technical" thing I mentioned above), which happens when a fungus infects the cork and ruins the wine. I think the issue, in this instance, is with the wine versus the closure. When this happens to a bottle (it will smell like a musty basement or attic) it is called a corked bottle.

The issue for this wine may be solved by decanting your wine - giving it some air post-bottling. It's worth a try, anyway, if it happens again.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:58 PM   #19
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funny how wine works, isn't it? i've had plenty of tasty stuff with natural cork, foam cork, and screwcaps each, and for all that i'm a major wino, i honestly don't have a preference. yes, Kim, i too would miss the sniff-ritual if all corks went away...but i do love the convenience of doing without. regardless, i have a standard waiter-style corkscrew stashed in my handbag ***at all times*** because the impromptu need for one has come up on more than one occasion.

and speaking of rieslings and corks: i was at a wine tasting this past saturday where i found a real treasure. several of the local wine stores do free tastings on weekends, but the one in question puts on a biggie with 3-5 vendors, 4 or 5 wines each, about every 6 months ago. this weekend's was one of the big ones, with 20 different mediterranean style wines, all of which were merely ok, sadly enough. i saw the owner/manager guy pouring over at a separate counter from the main show, and asked what it was he had there. turned out to be a 1975 german riesling, yes, with natural cork covering the bottle. i thought for sure there was no way such a light sweet unoaked little thing could possibly last that long! 30 years in the bottle and that riesling should be dead as dreams! but no, it was the most amazing thing EVER, and i was totally in love. the only thing as good as the taste was the price. an utterly insane $25 for this beauty. i'm in my wino happy place, for sure.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:44 PM   #20
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The cork is given at the table to make sure it is A) wet i.e., showing it was stored properly and B) to make sure the wording on the cork matches what's on the wine bottle i.e., someone hasn't changed labels, which has been done in the past. I've never encountered this one though.

Don't sniff the cork. If the wine is "corked"/gone off, you will be able to sniff it from the glass they pour the taster and tell. A corked bottle of wine will not always show on the cork.

So...you can see if it is wet or you can feel it and then glance at the words on the cork, if there are any, that is.
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