COLUMN WRITTEN BY PHILLIP SILVERSTONE
For some unfathomable reason I’ve had more requests to send a copy of one particular column to readers than any other. The unfathomable part is I thought everybody saved all my columns.
Now before you turn the page of your newspaper or peruse another page on your iPad, print or tear out this page and stick it on your fridge. It really is quite brilliant (Modesty is so passé, don’t you think?). Here it is again.
My wife has learned to master some of my more complex corkscrews. She does a very acceptable swirl if she’s in the mood, and thankfully she quaffs and never gargles at the table. But my wife isn’t the creature of perfection I’m perhaps suggesting she might be. She does something that infuriates me — she removes the cork and lets it sit attached to the corkscrew while the wine bottle remains corkless, attracting oxygen to its formerly corked aperture. This is tantamount to blasphemy. It’s going to the mall in your bathrobe. It’s sitting in a Bentley in curlers. It’s buying a McCartney album from his Wings period. It’s bad form.
As soon as the cork is removed from a bottle of wine, it’s just like driving a new car out of the dealership. It loses value instantly, or in the case of wine, the quality begins to deteriorate as soon as that cork or screw cap is removed. And just like the car’s value, it then tends to tool along quite nicely retaining its depreciated value, as long as you take care of it. In the car’s case, keep it shiny and do some routine maintenance. In the wine’s case, seal the bottle either with the original cork, or a plastic stopper, or by shoving in some aluminum foil. Then put the bottle — regardless of color — into your fridge, where it will stay relatively healthy for up to 3 or 4 days. The original quality will have faded, but it will remain a pleasant drink.
Port and sherry are different animals because they are fortified and have been blended with some alcohol in their formative years during production, and this protects them against the elements so they can simply be re-corked and left on the drinks table seemingly forever. I always keep dry sherry in the fridge, mainly because it’s more of an acquired taste than sweet sherry and port, and the nicely chilled bottle is always more palatable and refreshing, especially before dinner. In fact, a dry sherry straight out of the fridge and some honey-roasted peanuts always hits the spot for me. (Try Emilio Lustau ‘Solera Reserva’ Dry Oloroso Don Nuno Sherry, Andalucia, Spain — approximately $20)
While on the subject of what not to do with wine, remember to avoid vinaigrette dressings and tomato sauces when wining and dining. Both flavors tend to be too acidic for vino and often kill it instantly when it hits your palate. I’m hoping my wife reads this week’s column and will realize her habit annoyed me enough to inspire a column. Thankfully she doesn’t have her own column, although being perfect, I’d be absolutely no inspiration to her whatsoever. Modesty is so … Oh right, I’ve already said that!
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in this publication. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smartphones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining