Mail Bonding

Wine queries from around the world.

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This quarterly column lets you talk back. I'll print whatever wine comments and questions you might have, so have at it. If you have something to add or air, e-mail me at [email protected].

Like What I LikeKenny Ortiz of Savannah writes: "I read your column and was hoping you could review my current favorite wine that has nothing on the label besides 'Lois.' It's a green wine from Austria. I haven't heard of green wines before and your readers might like to know."

I hadn't heard about Lois or "green wines" either, but after Googling for it, I discovered it hails from a winery called Loimer and is made from the fragrant white Gruner Veltliner grape, a specialty of Austria. Since the name is similar to the word "green," maybe the confusion arose there? Not sure, but toast the New Year with your favorite juice, my wine-loving friend.

Clarification of Origin

Doug Samuels asks: "What do you think about putting the country of origin in parentheses after your wine recommendations? We're very interested in knowing from which country a wine comes."

Damn fine idea. It will educate people about appellations as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

Cuckoo for Kosher

Carly from Atlanta mentions: "I read your article online from 3/20/02 regarding Kosher Wines. I see your recommendations, but you don't cite any local places where these wines can be purchased. Please advise."

How cool is it that people read my columns two years after I write them? Many thanks for the ego boost. The wines I review are all available in the markets where Corkscrew runs, but specific retailers are not my forte. You can, however, order them directly from the distributor through any friendly wine shop.

Sucking at South African

Robby critiques: "I respect your writing, and your viewpoints obviously reflect a great deal of experience, but whenever I see you write about South African wines, as a South African, I'm struck by how opinionated and sometimes a little ignorant you are on the subject. I wish you'd take a tour of the Western Cape region around Paarl and Stellenbosch, and learn a bit about what's offered."

Since the better wines from South Africa aren't yet widely available, I'd love to be better educated. But do you have a couch I could sleep on over there?

Craving Cask

Ramon Delfin from Atlanta asks: "I read your article about cask wines. I have been looking for the 'premium' wines but so far no luck. Can you tell me where these can be found? I can only find Franzia, but I would prefer trying out the better wineries."

Look at wine retailers, but not grocery stores. Since the cask craze is just beginning to emerge, grocery store chains are slow to react. Look for the better wine-in-a-box from Australia and California. They are worth the search effort.

Avoid Sweets

Mary Eberle opines: "Never trust anyone over 30, my generation of now old fogies used to say, and never expect them to understand any descriptions of wine, particularly using the term 'chocolate,' unless comfortably couched in terms of how dry or sweet... Can you help us sort out the new code words that would clue us in to the sweetness of a wine, or would you, in your descriptions, give us a sweet/dry ratio rating? We so enjoy your column!"

As a trustworthy over-thirty-something (but not by much) who receives lots of correspondence, I have answered your call to arm readers with the knowledge of sweetness. I appreciate the suggestion. [email protected]

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