Growing up, I was always told to, as you mentioned, cut the foil just below the bottle top on reds, but to completely remove all foil on whites… Any “truth” to this?
KF: No truth that I've ever heard. I was trained in Michelin 3 Star service and all bottles are cut where the lip connects to the neck of the bottle.
O: And back to the bottle top… now glass “corks”… is there still a resistance to screw tops, plastic corks and other untraditional ways of sealing the bottle?
KF: Yes, for many years there has been a resistance to screw tops, particularly, due to our natural tendency as humans to distrust new technology. Screw caps are victims of less snottiness now. Plastic corks have never been accepted well because they break cork screws and plastic doesn't leave such great aromas in the liquids it touches. Glass corks are very expensive, and they are 1) gorgeous and 2) completely take away the metal of screw caps, which is a bit suspicious to some with wine being an acid and screw caps being metal.
O: Or is it finally mellowing down?
KF: Yes, see answer above.
O: How would you compare a Zin to your basic Shiraz or Malbec…?
KF: CA Zin v Malbec = About same body, more cooked black berries v fresh black berries, same or a little less tannin
Italian Primativo v Malbec = Lighter body, cooked black berries v fresh black berries, less tannin
CA Zin v Shiraz = Lighter body, jammy fruit v meaty/black pepper/dark berries, less tannin
Italian Primativo v Shiraz = Lighter body, jammy fruit v meaty/black pepper/dark berries, way less tannin
O: Lately, we have had Zin with our pizza… something that might make some past Sommeliers turn in their caskets…But what the heck…
KF: Zin w pizza is great if it works for you. The only thing I would say to this is the acidity of the tomatoes in combo with the lack of acidity of most Zins might make a big, tomatoey bite taste sour. Everything else would probably work great as both the pizza and the wine would have big personalities to complement each other.
Kirsten Fox is CEO of Culinary Wine Institute. Her second book, The Profitable Wine List: Three Steps to Quickly & Easily Increase Wine Sales just came out.