Friday, January 24, 2014

the old peanut butter jar or adventures in decanting or both.

Last weekend I'd pulled a few old jars out of the cabinet because Izuki and Larry just came back from Palm Springs with bags of grapefruit, kumquats, and meyer lemons right off the trees.  I know, most produce is right off a tree, but it's not like backyard produce, like getting a homemade cake versus store bought.  Home tastes like home.  The jars were to preserve the lemons

Also last weekend I opened this wine, 1993 Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet, and like the lemons and grapefruit and kumquats, a very generous donation to the cause.  The first night this wine was unexpectedly lively, nice tannins and other edges, a pleasant surprise.  Night two was little difference, also unusual.  The cork crumbled when I opened it and I didn't want to store it a second night with just a stopper, so I seized the handiest resolution, the peanut butter jar, screwed on the lid and put it in the fridge.

By doing this I accidentally stumbled onto the benefits of decanting.  Historically, I actually like sediment in my wine.  It's like dessert. It's like a prize in a box of Cracker Jacks.  It's like a little bonus, or something to chew on while you're trying to figure out what the wine tastes like.  Genetically speaking, a troglodyte might be closer in cell structure to bacteria than to humans, so wine consumption is sure to occur in the worst ways, AKA, the simplest ways.  Nothing more heart breaking, I am certain, than someone seeing their most beautiful wines consumed in the most unseemly manner but alas, that is what I do.  So I poured the leftover onto the peanut butter jar.  And put it in the fridge.  And then had it for breakfast, which was kind of awesome.

It was then I discovered the other reason to decant: air.  Though the wine was in a loosely sealed bottle for two days, it was only after I poured it into the jar that I tasted secondary notes, like soft tobacco.  Also the tannins had exhaled. Nice breakfast!

The second day of the weekend I made another discovery thanks to the peanut butter jar.  Remember when The Deanster was in town and left behind this
 Orval Trappist Ale, the stuff that poured out like an over-soaped washing machine? 
 It turns out if you pour it into a really big jar, like, say, an old peanut butter jar, and then go clean your bathroom, by the time you're done the beer is ready to drink, sans epic foam. And really, what better way to finish cleaning your bathroom.

Fun with jars.