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Wine bottle deposits - pick a side!?!


#1

Nothing to do with money back for your empty bottle.
This is about your attitude to seeing a crust, sludge at the bottom of a bottle red or tartrate crystals in a bottle of white.
I will nail my colours to the mast, I am a huge fan of seeing deposits in a bottle.
It says to me that the winemaker did not filter all the tiny taste particles out of the wine onto a filter pad.
I read about a fashion to filter wines to a textbook clarity for the audience in the US, because they associated a deposit as an off wine. I think that the CH9dP producer Vieux Telegraphe flirted with this for a year or two but finally abandoned it. Basically, it eviscerated the wine, removed much of its taste, mind you it was as clear as a bell at the end of the process.
You see beer adverts where they proudly proclaim the they cold, triple filtered their beer, it has no haze to it and also tastes of virtually nothing.
Tartrate crystals in a white wine around the cork or at the bottom of the bottle say to me that the winemaker knows their stuff, and personally I would preferentially purchase a bottle with deposit rather than none. I once got hold of 3 cases of a 1983 Penfolds single number Pinot Noir that was on offer. They couldn’t sell it, I bought it at around £3.25 per bottle. I discovered that each bottle has thrown about one inch (2.5 cm) of deposit, my best bargain ever. Restaurants in the know bought all that they could, I tracked down my 3 cases in Swansea where they couldn’t give it away.
It was fruity compost heap with a tad of Brett!! Magnificent!!
Port without a crust?? Give your head a shake!!

But this most certainly is a democracy, I may be wrong.
So post with your horror story, your opinion even your coup, I would love to heat from you.


#2

I agree with you up to a point, a healthy deposit in the decanter points to a wine that hasn’t been mucked about with too much, but I don’t want to have to get out the tea strainer (which has happened once or twice).


#3

Coincidentally posted about my trusty port strainer earlier

I think I’d have to agree. The issue with this is that there is a certain additional barrier to the regular enjoyment of the wine. The drinker needs to have the time, awareness and knowledge to enjoy it properly as they need to select the wine in advance, leave it upright for several hours (ideally), and then pour it gently to get the wine.

On the other hand, I understand the argument about removing all sediments (including harmless tartrate crystals) lessens the wine itself.

I guess it is at least partly a matter of degree. I quite like finding SOME sediment in the bottle, pointing to minimal intervention and the structure for longer ageing, but I feel wineries also need to take the consumer experience into account.