Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Mystery Bottle

  So in the rush to unpack bottles from their boxes and arrange them on the back table at the WineFest, an accidentally unlabeled bottle got removed from it's box and added to the back stock without notice. While packing up to leave on Sunday, I found it. It was for sure either a bottle of Ray's Red or Freitas 08 Merlot, but nobody could figure out which. Lisa Pender, the Pillsbury Room's manager said "guess you better take it home and find out what it is".

So how to do that?  I have a labeled bottle of Ray's Red, but not a bottle of Merlot. If I had a bottle of Merlot, I could shine a bright light thru both bottles and note the difference in color, compare them each to the "shiner" and decide what it is that way. I don't want to open both bottles for obvious reasons. I try to stay on the no more than two drinks a day plan and the wines would go off before they'd get finished. Using the flashlight technique I shined light thru both bottles:
  Both bottles appear to have the same color. There's a considerable difference between the Red and the Merlot. The Merlot is more opaque and a deeper Burgundy color. The Red, probably due to it's San Giovese grapes, has a lighter and somewhat browner, more leathery color. I'm thinking this is a bottle of Ray's Red.

  So I open the shiner. Sure enough, the wine presents as very clear, with a leathery color as opposed to the grapey burgundy color of the Merlot, and as soon as the cork comes out I can smell the Ray's Red. It went real nice with some Dreamfield's Pasta topped with oil and a little Pecorino Romano and a sprinkle of Salish smoked sea salt. Thoughtful readers are thinking "this dipstick spent an entire weekend selling Ray's Red and Freitas Merlot, why didn't he just open the freaking bottle, pour himself a glass and he'd have known in a heartbeat what it was." Yeah, I coulda done that, but what fun would THAT have been?

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