Cork vs. Screw Cap: Uncorking Conventional Wine Bottle Closure Lore

Let us muse, for a moment, on the issue of bottle closure methods, a debate that has gained momentum in recent years. Which is superior: the time-tested, almighty cork, or the upstart, convenient screw cap?

The two camps are entrenched. Traditionalists claim that only cork allows wine to age gracefully. Those hipster modernists, on the other hand, insist that screw caps prevent excess oxidation and cork taint, while affording easy opening. Get drinking, 10 seconds faster.

Who is correct… or is there even a “correct”? Let’s find out ...

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The Vinous Deduction Theorem: A Guide to Blind Wine Tasting

This week I take to the road to facilitate a blind wine tasting event for the Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii. The Italians need their vino. Mobile Musings is on the job.

Deductive tasting is wholly dependent on the senses. A systematic approach is useful to refine those senses and translate observations to accurate wine conclusions. This post provides a few tips to get you started on your journey of vinous cogitations. Remember, there is no “correct” approach; fashion a system that is effective for you. Taste, hypothesize, repeat. Andiamo!

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Musings by the Masu: Sake Science 101

Sake - "the drink of the gods" - has evolved over thousands of years and developed particular customs and etiquette as intricate and exciting as any other beverage in the world. Primarily associated with Japan, it holds a proud history, fascinating traditions, and clean yet complex flavor profiles. So, why do most Americans seem to know so little about it?

Although it was discovered in China as early as 4800 B.C., sake quietly remained in Asia, and principally Japan, for most of its life. It was only in the 1880s that sake made its global debut in the suitcases of Japanese immigrants traveling to Hawaii as laborers on the sugar plantations. Aloha, exotic tasty beverage. With the rise of Japanese culture and influence abroad, sake has experienced rising popularity in the West, especially among youth, who are more prone to fermented experimentation. But despite the recent dabbling, sake's character-laden labels and foreign terminology can still make one feel a bit lost and intimidated. In a series of posts, I attempt to assuage those feelings, and get you drinking with confidence. Kanpai!

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Rocky beginnings ...

It would only seem natural that the inaugural blog post would begin in the soil, amongst the limestone, shale and schist.  Yes, this is how my mind logically operates.  It is, at times, frightening.  And yes, I do realize this is likely not a failsafe strategy for garnering a loyal readership. But hey, rocks matter.  Even the best climate, most favorable slopes, or ideal sun exposure do not necessarily translate into fabulous wines.  The bedrock and soils must contribute just the right combination of minerals, acidity, alkaline balance, and drainage.  To justify my geological infatuation, journey for a moment through the wonderful and diverse terroirs of France.

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