Oenophilia – An obsessive disorder or just a way of life?

Swirl, Sniff, and Spit with your friend, Patrick

Archive for April, 2008

Zinc Nasal Gel May Kill Your Sense of Smell

According to the calendar, those of us who live in the northern hemisphere should be well into spring. For some of us, that means a couple of feet of snow or inches of rain. Nasty bud-killing frosts aside, sunny California is…well, you know, sunny. Either way, the viciousness of this winter’s colds is still haunting many and the misery of spring’s allergies has taken over our noses and eyes.

I thought I’d take this moment to remind all my fellow bloggers, reviewers, judges, vintners, winos, and everyone else – DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PUT ANY COLD REMEDY CONTAINING ZINC INTO YOUR NOSE!!! There is a medically documented possibility that applying topical zinc through one’s nasal membranes can cause temporary or permanent loss of one’s sense of smell – Anosmia.

Yes, gentle reader. I said using the only ingredient in over-the-counter remedies that has been proven to lessen the symptoms and duration of the common cold may incapacitate your schnozz. Zinc may halt your honker. Zinc may prejudice your proboscis. Zinc may bust your beak. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, that anatomical implement which allows us to enjoy that which has brought us together this day in cyberspace is in grave peril! My friends, the organ with which we unravel the mysteries of the universe as presented by the “Fruit of the Vine, Work of Human Hands” is endangered by an ordinary cold remedy. Simply put: you may no longer be able to smell your wine.

This has been batted around the medical journals and courts for years. Many of you may already avoid topical zinc for this reason. There is only a chance that use may cause this catastrophic result. But WHY RISK IT?

These are just five citations of the many that draw attention to this:

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/520031

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/zinc/

http://repositories.cdlib.org/uclabiolchem/nutritionnoteworthy/vol7/iss1/art1/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15283486

http://tinyurl.com/2t7fv7

If you can’t imagine your life without sticking your nose in a glass of wine, find another way to unstuff your nose!

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WBW #44: Romance in a Glass; My 1st Feminine Cab Franc

Let me officially say that I LOVE DOMAINE 547! JB’s selections have been spot on. I seem ready to love each of her wines even more than the last. However, this one rides straight to the top as the newest of my favorite wines. Chateau du Hureau 2005 Saumur-Champigny – Wine Blogging Wednesday #44: French Cabernet Franc!

WBW #44

I first tasted this wine at around 7:30 this morning and continued at around 8:30 because I was so smitten. I just had to revisit this lovely. Did I mention I love Domaine 547 ?

Chateau du Hureau is a domaine in the Loire AOC of Saumur-Champigny. Aside from being the birthplace of the Plantagenet Dynasty of England, the Loire is home to a beautiful expression of Cabernet Franc. The Domaine that produced my fantasy date for the morning is indeed a serious Cinderella Loire Valley Chateau. BTW – un hureau is a solitary old wild boar, very NOT like this wine!)

Her beauty poured in a seductive soft purple hue that reminded me of the color that I would have wanted my raspberry coulis to come out, if I had ever thought to make a raspberry coulis. The first aromas to surface were garden iris and raspberry. They were soon overtaken by green & red bell peppers, black cherry, white peppercorns, and ginger – leaving behind creamy vanilla and the sharpness of Stilton. Her scent was alluring enough to make me want, no need, a taste.

The primary impression that came to mind with the first sip was that this was one well-balanced Cab Franc! No aggressive attack, just a cool medium viscosity not unlike milk. Yet the mouthfeel had enough acid taking over as the the wine left my mouth to get the glands juicing and pining for more. The flavors fused together beautifully trying to elude direct identification, wanting to present a total, yet iridescent impression. She is calculating in the seduction of her unwary prey.

First the fruits : Plum, raspberry, a hint of roadside blackberry and wild strawberry. Then she roughs it up a bit to turn my admiration to longing: radicchio with a very mild soft bleu and bits of crispy bacon. Then she rewards me with a little creaminess: mixed berry yogurt on the way down my eager gullet. Her finish played with a little leather and showed very mild dark and toast caramelized onions, citrus peel and heaps of soft tannins that dried out my mouth only for the acid to do its job and slack my thirst.

And you wonder why I am just posting this now after tasting the Saumur-Champigny almost four hours ago? It has taken me this long to recover. There is still two-thirds of a bottle left. Maybe after my daughter goes to bed tonight, I’ll uncork this beauty again and, in the French tradition, share her with my lovely wife.Romance in the Loire