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Robin Garr

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Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:14 am

Another sign of the end times. I'm not signing on to this one: It's not just a matter of traditional and conservative, it's just stupid. Drinking wine through a straw is like drinking beer straight from the bottle: If you mainline your beverage in a way that bypasses your nose, you're wasting two-thirds of the experience.

Harrumph!

Suck it and see: French launch carton of wine with a straw
Alasdair Sandford in Paris
Thursday September 13, 2007
The Guardian


To the traditionalists, the idea of drinking wine through a straw may indeed be the last straw.

Yet after wine in glass bottles (seen as "lame and fusty" by the youth of today, according to one expert), wine in plastic bottles, wine in cartons, and even wine in cans, the junk-food approach could become France's latest attempt to conquer a declining youth market.

Tandem wine is already being tried out in Belgian supermarkets, where the 25cl cartons are selling at more than 1,000 a week. At €1.25 a container (85p), the red, white and rosé Bordeaux wines can be found amid the snacks and salads, aimed at customers popping in for a sandwich and eating "on the go".

Full story in The Guardian
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Victorwine

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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Victorwine » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:24 am

Hi Robin,
What do you mean? Didn’t the Egyptians possibly drink wine through “straws” some 2000 years ago?

Salute
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Bob Ross

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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Bob Ross » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:47 am

Robin, I wonder if they weren't clever about the wines they are putting in these bottles?

In my experience, "red, white and rosé Bordeaux wines" don't really have that much aroma anyway, at least compared to many other wines where aroma is at least two thirds of the experience. An imbiber may not in fact be missing very much drinking those wines through a straw.
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Paul B.

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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Paul B. » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:06 pm

The Guardian wrote:Yet after wine in glass bottles (seen as "lame and fusty" by the youth of today, according to one expert), wine in plastic bottles, wine in cartons, and even wine in cans, the junk-food approach could become France's latest attempt to conquer a declining youth market.

Robin, I'm harrumphing along today in full concurrence. All issues of cute novelty (and an attempt to regain market share) aside, I agree that this does nothing to promote fine wine appreciation among the younger generation; rather, it just plays into the hands of decline and the ever coarsening appetite for kitsch that seems to be part and parcel of the sound-byte times we are living in. This trend isn't for me either.
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Eve Lejeune » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:36 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Yet after wine in glass bottles (seen as "lame and fusty" by the youth of today, according to one expert), wine in plastic bottles, wine in cartons, and even wine in cans, the junk-food approach could become France's latest attempt to conquer a declining youth market.

Hi Robin,

According to a recent study on young people and wine, young people favor traditional bottling and labelling because wine is serious and not a joke. I think some producers are just trying everything to differentiate themselves and sell more to the detriment of quality.
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:56 pm

Victorwine wrote:What do you mean? Didn’t the Egyptians possibly drink wine through “straws” some 2000 years ago?


Perhaps as an aid to mummification ... ;)
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:57 pm

Bob Ross wrote:An imbiber may not in fact be missing very much drinking those wines through a straw.


One might say the same about drinking American commercial "light" beers from the bottle, Bob. :roll:

But I'm assuming that using cheap, flavorless booze as an alcohol-delivery system is not why we're here.
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:59 pm

Paul B. wrote:I agree that this does nothing to promote fine wine appreciation among the younger generation; rather, it just plays into the hands of decline and the ever coarsening appetite for kitsch that seems to be part and parcel of the sound-byte times we are living in. This trend isn't for me either.


I'm not sure that I said anything like that for you to agree <i>with</i>, Paul. :D

I wasn't really delving so deeply into cultural issues. Just harrumphing about the notion of sucking wine through a straw, bypassing the nose and thus wasting any character there may be in the wine.
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:00 pm

Eve Lejeune wrote:According to a recent study on young people and wine, young people favor traditional bottling and labelling because wine is serious and not a joke. I think some producers are just trying everything to differentiate themselves and sell more to the detriment of quality.


Hi, Eve!

Now that I think about it, I realize that this idea isn't even that innovative. Without getting into Victor's ancient Egyptians, didn't Pommery roll out the little "Pommery Pop," which comes with a straw, about 10 years ago?
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Eve Lejeune » Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:03 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Now that I think about it, I realize that this idea isn't even that innovative. Without getting into Victor's ancient Egyptians, didn't Pommery roll out the little "Pommery Pop," which comes with a straw, about 10 years ago?


Hi Robin!

Pop did come with a straw about 10 years ago but now it just comes in small bottles. You can buy 3 little bottles packaged in a very cute box for about 40 euros in every wine store. Nice gift for somebody who doesn't drink much!
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:17 pm

Eve Lejeune wrote:Pop did come with a straw about 10 years ago but now it just comes in small bottles.


Which raises an interesting question: What did Pommery learn from its experience that Tandem doesn't know yet? :)
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by David Creighton » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:37 pm

i believe it also comes in 750 ml
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Bob Ross » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:42 pm

"But I'm assuming that using cheap, flavorless booze as an alcohol-delivery system is not why we're here."

A new gloss on what's permitted here? Naw, can't be ... we've discussed som expensive flavorless booze here, that's for sure. :)

In any event, I was thinking that even fairly good rosé wines, for example, have limited aroma.

I don't know about drinking beer out of bottles -- seems a bit sissy to me, frankly. But drinking beer, even pretty good beer, out of can -- done that, still do that, will again. Somehow the taste of the metal adds a whole new dimension. And there is plenty of aroma too.

Interesting thread -- thanks for finding the basic article. It reminded me of a couple of champagnes I've really enjoyed at the opera; here's the sales pitch:

Dressed in red and gold, Baby Piper, the small bottle by Piper-Heidsieck Champagne has quickly become the true star of every party. Party all the time, parties everywhere, today Baby Piper comes to your house too. Champagne in every heart, red on every mouth, we are drunk with the passion of its sparkling body that transports us through a black and gold straw into the magic of the night. Angelic and demoniac, Baby Piper has flirted with the angels, it has kissed love. It is more elegant, invited to every evening, unexpected and astonishing.

I'll type up my tasting notes and post them in due, but my vague memory is that Piper's aren't far from my reaction:


On the nose:

A sparkling clarity, pale gold in colour.

On the nose:

The very first impressions are of bright, fresh mornings. It is reminiscent of spring blossom such as hawthorn. They lead into more fruity notes such as summer apple and pear, then citrus, with hints of warm toastiness.

On the palate:

The first impression is lively and fresh. The citrus notes take on a certain maturity. There is passion with gentleness, lightness with spontaneity.


The aroma from the straw was really quite intense and interesting.

Regards, Bob

PS: hope that liking the Baby Piper doesn't require you to drum me out of the WLDG. :(
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by Paul Winalski » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:24 pm

This was one of the feature stories on the BBC World Service radio this morning. They interviewed a representative from the French culture ministry about it. Her take was that it was a pretty silly idea. See observed that foreign (non-French) producers were able to produce better plonk more cheaply than the French producers, and this was an attempt (literally grasping at straws) by them to compete. In her opinion, the French wine industry ought to be concentrating on what it does well, which is to produce medium-to-top quality wine, and leave the plonk to those who do it better.

IMO these market conditions in France provide a way for the EU and France to finally exterminate those vast plonk vineyards that were planted after the phylloxera epidemic, that never should have been planted in the first place, and that now produce wine only to collect government subsidies.

-Paul W.
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by alex metags » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:33 pm

In addition to the Baby Piper, another bubbly available in the U.S. that comes with straw is Coppola's Sofia Blanc de Blancs, when sold in the 187 ml can format. Anyone tried this one, using the straw?

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al
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Re: Stupid idea of the week: Sucking wine through a straw

by wrcstl » Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:18 pm

I can't keep quiet anymore. I believe in "to each his own" but this is ridiculous.

I do not drink wine through a straw.
I do not drink wine out of something that looks like a milk carton
I do not drink wine from boxes with internal baby bottle bags.
I do not drink wine from alumimum cans

I cannot believe any good wine will use the above enclosures/methods. I do not drink wine to just drink wine, I drink wine for enjoyment. Once the wine experience and enjoyment is reduced to any of the above I will go back to Scotch.

Walt

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