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Restaurants,Wine

What if restaurants listed the alcohol percentage of the wine on their wine lists?

I know, I know… this opens up a can of worms.

That said, I just had a glass of wine in Napa Valley at Rutherford Grill last week, and it was so hot it nearly burned my throat. It was a Viognier; it lacked all varietal character, and I thought to myself, “This wine is oxidized… or something.”

So I called over my server. I said, “This wine is hot. I’m wondering how long the bottle’s been opened?”

She asked, “Hot?”

I knew that she was thinking that I meant the temperature of the wine, which was probably 55 degrees.

If that was the case, I’d be a really classic story for her to tell her friends. One that falls into the “You wouldn’t believe” category.

I went on, “By hot I mean alcohol. As it hits the back of my palate, it’s burning. Do you know how long this bottle’s been open? I’m just wondering if the wine is oxidized, or if it’s a high alcohol wine.”

She didn’t know, but said she’d find out. To her credit, she didn’t dillydally. She went right to the bar, as Jose and I watched her speaking with another person. The bottle was just opened, as it turned out. They both tasted a little bit of the wine, so they’d know what I was talking about, which is great…a  great learning moment for them. Meanwhile, they checked the alcohol, and Ashley returned to tell me it was 14.7 percent alcohol.

Eeee gads…  Do you know that this makes me want to just order white wines from Oregon from now on? Because from Oregon, I know – with their characteristic weather – their whites are low alcohol. It takes so long for their grapes to ripen, that it forces a higher acidity, which equals lower pH and alcohol (typically, 13 to 13.7 percent alcohol range).

Working with Oak Knoll Winery over the years has taught me this important lesson; as well as my Oregon Pinot Gris Group, and the Oak Knoll Winery Pinot Gris Symposiums. All have contributed to me understanding their whites and why they’re lower alcohol and very food-friendly wines.

So, back to my question. What if restaurants listed the alcohol percentage of the wine?

I know it sounds so nit-picky. But, I’m here to tell you that I – along with many people I know – would make much different choices.

Why?

  1. I don’t have the bottle and technical data sheets in front of  me in a restaurant.
    • If I have a wine arrive for tasting, I can see right on the bottle and on the sheet what I’m going to be tasting. So, if it’s a 14.7 percent alcohol wine, I know that in advance and won’t be questioning “why” it’s hot. Hot is hot, and it’s not an old wine that’s lost its character. Some of its character will just be gone, because the heat of the alcohol has taken away some delicate nuance we get from lower alcohol wines.
  2. Lower alcohol wines are more food friendly.
    • If I’m at the bar with friends, and were going to be hanging out for a while, maybe I don’t want a wine with such gentle nuance… Maybe I want something more brawny; although that’s not happened lately for me, but I’m betting that it has for others.

How about you?

How do you feel about this? Would it help you to make better choices?

And, no I didn’t send the wine back, because I had made the (uniformed) choice of what I was going to be drinking. I do have to share that after a while, some of the alcohol blew off, but that wasn’t the experience I was looking for in the first place.

#willnotorderthatagain

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52 Responses to “What if restaurants listed the alcohol percentage of the wine on their wine lists?”

  1. It couldn’t hurt for a restaurant to list the ABV, but they’d have to go by the official number given to them by the winery, which as you know can be wildly off. Also, different people have different thresholds for alcohol. If you don’t care for slightly hot red wines, you probably shouldn’t have ordered a Napa Valley Cabernet!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    I agree, Steve… with one minor exception…. It was a Viognier, and a 14.7 percent alcohol Viognier – which we both agree, can still be wildly off – was the wine I ordered.

    It was a big Jeeze-Louise moment…

  3. Sorry — automatically assumed it was a Cab! Still — most Napa wines are high in alc. I checked out the Grill’s wine list and it’s pretty heavy on Napa wine (as you’d expect). Myself, alc doesnt bother me, with the right food.

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    You’re lucky, Steve. I live with acid reflux, so high alcohol is the kiss of death. It doesn’t complete metabolize with foods, like low alcohol wines do.

    I know that winemakers don’t think about that one, but I have to.

  5. M Murdoch says:

    I used to put the alcohol content on all of my wine lists and many customers appreciated this. Most people, however, have very little understanding of alcohol content and what % ABV even means to them. And of course not all high alcohol wines are ‘hot’. Like you Steve, alcohol doesn’t bother me as much if I am choosing wine with food but I will go much slower on a high ABV wine if drinking as an aperitif. Of course if you want a versatile wine that works from aperitif to dessert with a low ABV then you can always reach for a German Riesling. Always a good choice!

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    A great reply, M.

    Something that people in the US don’t consider is acid reflux. They’d rather take some drug to mask the symptom, rather than doing the work to manage their acid. I manage my acid homeopathically with herbs, so I know when I’ve done something wrong… and high alcohol wines are just wrong for me, and anyone like me overly sensitive to acidity.

    I also don’t believe I’m an anomaly, based on how many acid reducers are available and sold, both over the counter and in higher prescribed doses. It’s big business, ask any drug company willing to share their sales details (and good luck with that). We’re bombarded at night with commercials to bring down our acid reflux, when… if we monitored what we were doing (like having access to alcohol levels in wine), we’d all be a bit healthier.

    I’d be one of your customers who appreciated the time you took to list alcohol levels, M.

  7. vinifra says:

    I don’t think it would help anyone to print alcohol levels for various wines on restaurant wines lists. The reasons are numerous. Let me try to just list a few:

    ~ Alcohol levels listed on wine labels may not be acurate due to the variance allowed by TTB ( http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=27:1.0.1.1.2&idno=27#27:1.0.1.1.2.4.25.8)

    ~ Alcohol perception varies greatly from one individual to the next and even professional tasters can be misled

    ~ Alcohol perception is a function of the combination of many factors: temperature, acidity, grape tannins, oak treatment, skin contact, viscosity, residual sugar, varietal character, oxidation…

    ~ Viognier is a white varietal with thicker skin than most other white varietals and therefore is proned to higher astringency levels particularly when subjected to skin contact.

    I would suspect that the intense burning sensation (in your throat) may have been caused by free SO2..??

  8. gdfo says:

    It is possible that the wine list was not composed with the menu in mind.

    Not all restaurants choose the wine list offerings with care. It may even be that the wine list was a collaboration between the restaurant mgt. and one or two distributors with the result being it had names that might have been popular but not really a good match for the food menu.

    Did you choose the glass of wine or was it suggested by the server?

    Did you talk to mgmt about your experience?

    Were you familiar with that label or were you experimenting?

    Did they offer to change that glass of wine for another?

  9. If restaurants put the ABV on their wine lists, wouldn’t it also make sense for them to list the grams of fat, sugar, salt, and all kinds of things about the foods they serve? Plus perhaps the wine list should then list the residual sugar amount too.

    Individuals who have a particular sensitivity can always ask the server. There is nothing wrong with asking the server for a wine below 14% ABV (or whatever threshhold you prefer).

  10. Jo Diaz says:

    gdfo,

    I don’t believe it was composed with the menu in mind. I do love when a restaurant does recommend certain wines to go with certain foods. This usually equals a sommelier is “int he house,” and gives me even more reason to be speaking with someone knowledgeable (to also address Larry’s comment about asking for a wine below 14% alcohol).

    I chose the glass, and was experimenting. This is why, when I was asked if I’d rather not have the wine, I kept it. I had made the decision, so I took responsibility… I’ll know better next time.

    No, I didn’t talk to management. I doubt if it would have made a difference. I would have just been a complaining customer. I’m my own problem solver. If I don’t like something, I’ll buy an alternative.

    I do have to say this… next time, I’ll ask about the alcohol level before I make a decision about a wine that’s new to me.

  11. Jo Diaz says:

    Larry,

    What a fun time it will be to ask a server to come back with a recommendation for a wine below 14 percent alcohol. The server will hate me, but I’ll tip accordingly… I should also decide what variety it’s going to be, so I don’t send someone off on a wild goose chase… But, I think it could also be a bit of that, too.

    Good education for the server, though.

  12. My favorite moment at a restaurant was when I saw a wine on the list that was not familiar to me. I asked the server about it, and he said it was new to the list and he had not tasted it. He went to ask about it, and returned saying no one had tasted it (except the non-present wine buyer). He then asked us if we would like to taste it along with the staff. The staff came to our table, we all tasted the wine and we talked about it. Needless to say, he was tipped well (and we did order a bottle of that wine).

  13. Jo Diaz says:

    Vinifra,

    I was with a couple of winemakers yesterday, and we were talking about this issue. When I told them about my experience, I was told that that wine could have been up to 15.7% alcohol. That was just reinforcement for now… as you’ve also noted.

    I’m familiar, but love having access to this important link: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=27:1.0.1.1.2&idno=27#27:1.0.1.1.2.4.25.8

    Regarding, ‘I don’t think it would help anyone to print alcohol levels for various wines on restaurant wines lists.” I get your point of view, because it doesn’t matter to you. My POV is that it matters to me, so I can safely say, it would matter to one person (me). I also know a few other people who would love this. We’re the ones who don’t appreciate a high alcohol wine, unless it’s totally in balance or we’re not trying to pair the wine with food. (And, just having a glass of wine for the sake of having one could also happen in a dining facility; but in a restaurant, that’s mostly what we’re trying to do… pair wine with food we’re ordering.)

    You may be right about the SO2, I’m not sure. With no varietal character, is that about SO2 or high alcohol and wine in terrible balance? I just don’t know, because I’m not a winemaker. You would know, I believe, if you tasted that wine.

  14. In one winery I worked for, I was talking to the winemaker. A guy comes out of the lab and says to the winemaker “It came in at 16.2”. Ok, says the winemaker. “Put 15.5 on the label.”

  15. Jo Diaz says:

    Larry,

    Great story about everyone tasting the wine.

    Yup… that’s what it’s all about… whatever the percent, they’re allowed to lower it. This is why I prefer lower alcohol wines (for food pairings). I don’t need that much acid… And neither does anyone else.

    I have acid reflux, and don’t need to develop Barrett’s disease. Neither do I want to become “dry.” Even the nuns preached “moderation is the key to life,” and they were the religious right wing.

    If we, in this country, didn’t have so much acid reflux, there wouldn’t be so many options for antacids. Yup, it’s everyone’s choice to pick his or her eventual demise… I’m trying to stave off the inevitable and live longer. If I have more info available to me, I’m make better educated choices.

    I know I’m an extremist when it comes to health, but his is also why I have to take so few drugs, preferring herbal supplements.

    Choices: and I can’t get too much info when it comes to healthy choices. I really do believe we are what we eat (and drink).

  16. Frank says:

    If you’re drinking a US wine, you can stay under 14% by looking for “table wine” on the label, which is TTB’s cutoff point between table wine and dessert wine. While it has nothing to do with dessert wine in real life, the 14% is the point at which the taxes go up. As I recall, producers are allowed a 1% variance if it is table wine and 1.5% variance if it is taxed as dessert wine. This allowance annoys people that want their wine to be a perfectly manufactured product like a diet Pepsi. Those who appreciate that wine is truly an agricultural product tend to be more reasonable about the variance.

  17. Jo Diaz says:

    Frank, Yes, I know about the variances, and in my early years in this business (about 20 years ago) winemakers didn’t cross the line.

    Once someone did, everyone else joined the fray, not caring about paying the extra tax, because they could make that up in sales for people who wanted to pretend they weren’t drinking alcohol.

    Pandora’s box has been opened.

  18. Alan Goldfarb says:

    The San Francisco waterfront dive (at least it used to be before Joey Altman consulted on the menu) Pier 23 used to list its wines by alcohol content. I asked — already knowing the answer — which wines sell the best? We all the answer, so say it with me: The ones with the highest listed alcohol content.

    No one, at least at the old Pier 23, which was known then as a biker-bar, gave a fig if the wine went with the food. It was all about the taste and the high octane, baby. Proving: What the hell do we know, anyway?

  19. Jo Diaz says:

    Alan… great laugh…

  20. Randy Caparoso says:

    I’m sorry, Jo,, but I must respectfully disagree with your premise because of this simple fact: stated alcohol levels (notwithstanding how much wineries fudge) are just one component of 1) sensory perception of “body,” and 2} ultimate quality, balance, harmony, sense of elegance etc.

    I’m sure you’ll agree that there are a heckuva lotta wines that are 15%+ alcohol that taste a lot more balanced (and even less “hot”) than wines that are under 14%. How many times have we all marveled at how “light” and refined a wine tasted, only to discover that it tops 14% or 15% alcohol?

    So while a curious idea, listing alcohol content on wine lists would also do a tremendous disservice to producers and wines that are perfectly wonderful, whether their alcohol level is 9% to 12%, or 14% to 16%. You hate to see wines pre-judged on this basis. If you’re a restaurateur, this would work against you because you want guests to experience the best wines possible in order to get the best possible dining experience — and alcohol levels definitely does not determine quality, let alone anyone’s true sense of “best.”

  21. Tim says:

    Jo although I know Alan is correct here for the vast majority, I for one may like to know abc. And of course Mr Steve is always right when he says the info on the label or website is not exactly spot on and some of us are not so picky. The last time I had a viognier from the golden state I put an ice cube in it to lower the “heat”
    Cheers on always having such thoughtful posts.
    TMcD

  22. john skupny says:

    “I know that winemakers don’t think about that one, but I have to.”

    Winemaker’s are people too and some of us suffer from Acid Re-flux.

    I can just look at a pepperoni pizza and my ears burn… also when I read pieces about the winemaker’s conspiracy to force people to drink high alcohol wines it is almost like the Dresden Fire Storm in the upper part of my chest!

    However – my main problem is that I just love those zippy aromatic whites and searingly crisp Sauvignon blanc…. but the acidity plays more havoc on my tubes then any thing high alcohol…

    As far as restaurants listing ABV – we winemakers can get it right – TTB can’t get it right – Restaurants have trouble getting the vintage right let alone the price…yikes

    Caveat Emptor!

  23. john skupny says:

    sorry,

    “winemaker’s can’t get it right”

  24. Jo Diaz says:

    Sorry, Guys. I played hookie yesterday, and had no idea this blog post would have so many of you commenting. (Most of my posts only have a few people reacting.)

    The swim was great; your comments are greater.

    Thanks.

  25. Jo Diaz says:

    Good points, Randy. I can’t argue with you…

  26. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Tim.

    I do like what Randy C. has written, also. It could do a disservice to a wine, but still I know that high alcohol wines aren’t so much my favorites.

  27. Jo Diaz says:

    John,

    Yes, I’ll bet some of you also have acid reflux… especially about this time of year 😉

    As for the TTB… They’re not in our business. It’s only recently that they dropped worrying about “firearms” in conjunction with conjunctions with the “a” alcohol in the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).

    And, I can’t reme4mber the last time I had a pepperoni pizza, either.

  28. Randy, you are correct in saying that if alcohol % was put on a wine label, consumers might miss out on a great wine, winemakers may lose sales, and restaurateurs might not be putting out the best meal possible.

    But isn’t this the same argument that Monsanto uses to refuse to permit food stores to say whether their food is genetically modified or not? People can miss out on some good food if they refuse to eat GMO foods.

    Also, the locavore movement could be stopped in its tracks if the taste of the food was the only thing that consumers should judge a restaurant by.

    Many (but obviously not all) people do want to know the ABV content of a wine. There may be people who need to limit alcohol consumption and even if a wine at 16% tastes great, it will have an impact on them over a wine that is 12%.

    I agree that having to put this information on a wine list can be detrimental to restaurants, though a good sommelier should be able to explain it to a customer who queries it.

    Ultimately the consumer should be informed about what he is consuming. But more than a law requiring this, consumers should be educated. That is our job, not theirs.

  29. Jo Diaz says:

    Larry, great points. I was thinking about this this morning, too.

    If we’re not interested in name-the-issue, we don’t have don’t go there. Freedom of choice is what our democratic society was built upon from 1620, when the first pilgrims landed…

    For those who do want or need that information, they have the choice to just not read it. Having the availability of it, for those who would choose to read it, makes it informational and educational for them/us, making for a happier, better informed society.

  30. Randy Caparoso says:

    No, it’s not the same, Mr. Chandler. Since when did the alcoholic content of wine become “unnatural” or abhorrent, like genetically modified food? Re my point: alcohol level is never an indicator of quality — or of style, or flavor, sense of balance or elegance, specific food affinities, etc., etc.

    The fact that, in reality, what’s read a label usually an approximation is reason enough not to list alcohol levels. Why encourage misinformation on so many levels?

    Yes, consumers should be “informed,” but there are so many other, better, sensible ways to educate guests in restaurant settings that can also maximize experiences. Persistent staff training, for one. Simple descriptions on wine lists. Wine suggestions on menus. Expanded glass and comparative flight programs. But listing alcohol levels? Oh, well. There were, after all, a few people who used to wish there were 100 point scores on wine lists, too… will absurdities ever cease?

  31. Randy Caparoso says:

    To Jo: you know I love what you do, so please don’t take offense if I point out the contradiction of your personal confession that higher alcohol wines are not among your “favorites.” I’m having trouble rectifying that with your unabashed love of Petite Sirah.

    Is there any representative Petite Sirah that is “lower” in alcohol? I would suggest that as a grape that is called “petite” precisely because of its small berries, and hence high skin to juice ratio, it is pretty much impossible to make a decent tasting one that is below 14% alcohol.

    There’s a reason why vintners wait for the skins of Petite Sirah to start to dimple before they pick it (always flirting with the disaster of possible October rains and bunch rot): Petite Sirahs don’t develop those delicious spiced blueberry flavors until sugars come into balance with the excess phenolics typifying the grape. This means big alcohol — which is okay, because in good Petite Sirahs, the alcohol is totally balanced by the intense flavors and voluptuous textures PS lovers love so much.

    So just imagine if there were Petite Sirahs on a wine list, but people were made afraid of them because their stated alcohols were above 14% or 15%? So much for spreading the love…

  32. Randy, who said alcohol levels are “unnatural” or abhorrent? And not everyone thinks GMO foods are either. This issue isn’t whether alcohol levels are an indicator of quality. They are not. And the ABV listing isn’t, as you point out, always accurate.

    But why shouldn’t the consumer know what the winemaker knows about ABV? You don’t address the point of someone who has to limit alcohol intake. It’s not always apparent (and in a great wine wouldn’t be), but ultimately the effect on an individual can be profound.

    There are many ways to educate a consumer, no question. But why the resistance to this? If it’s not important to most people, fine. But if it is, then sommeliers and wine retailers can explain it.

    A restaurateur can say his chicken is free-range, or not. A customer can insist on knowing. Some restaurants make sure their customers know that their herbs come from their own garden right outside. No one requires them to tell, and no one prevents them from telling. But if a customer demands to know and won’t return if he doesn’t know, can the restaurant afford to lose him (and others)?

    I don’t think anyone is arguing for a law demanding this on wine list. I would be opposed to it being done by fiat. And it’s on the wine bottle, so it can be shown to the customer upon request. But it’s not a crime to want to know this.

    It’s not relevant to point out the argument of using the 100 point scale. First, some restaurants do. Second, it’s not based in fact or science. A wine does not contain 100 points or 75 points. It contains 0 points.

  33. Randy Caparoso says:

    Why the “resistance” to this? Larry, we’re beating a dead horse. Stated alcohols simply don’t tell consumers or restaurant guests the real story behind a given wine, which is plenty enough reason why it’s wrong.

    Yes, it’s a lot more like 100 point scores than the GMO argument you originally brought up because this type of information is likely to be negative, not positive. Knowing that vegetables in a pasta dish come from the garden in the back, like knowing that a wine comes from Calabria and goes great with the chef’s primavera, is positive information. If a guest reads that the wine is 15% alcohol, and because of that decides not to order that wine despite the fact that it goes magnificently with the pasta — that’s a negative. The customer loses, the restaurant loses, the wine loses… very little is “right.”

    In other words, like 100 point scores, alcohol levels deter people from having a truly enjoyable experience because they are encouraged to base decisions on numbers, not by how a wine actually tastes — or how it reflects a place, how well it might go with dish, or, above all, how well it might suit a particular person’s taste.

    As a longtime restaurateur, I’ll always be against things that might prevent people from having a good time. We are, after all, in the business of pleasing people, and it’s as simple as that…

  34. Jo Diaz says:

    Randy, you know I adore you, too. I don’t have a problem with you having strong opinions… enough so to comment. I welcome other opinions. I learn from them.

    Regarding Petite: with that one, I’m going to know what I’m getting before I even begin to order it. (The blessing of printing so many tech sheets for so many vintners so frequently, seeing appellation patterns, tasting so many of them.)

    But with a white wine, like Viognier, I’d like to know. The one I had at 14.7 percent alcohol would make me think, especially if I weren’t in the wine business, that a Napa Viognier is just too “hot” a variety for me… and Napa Viogniers must not be a suitable place for growing it. Honestly, that’s what a novice would thing, and there are many novices that go to Napa to learn about wine, says she… the former wine educator at Robert Mondavi Winery – the most visited winery in Napa Valley.

    For me, it’s about being informed, so that I can make those educated choices, instead of uneducated mistakes, like the one I just made.

    And, Larry has brought up an excellent point. It doesn’t take much high alcohol wine to throw me off. I’m a woman with a smallish frame. One 14.7 percent alcohol wine puts my blood alcohol close to being over the limit with only one glass. (Bummer…)

  35. Randy Caparoso says:

    Fair enough, Jo, except for the fact that California grown Viognier, like Petite Sirah, is also invariably high in alcohol. But I guess you’re concerned for consumers not knowing that.

    Still, the issue remains: when you start putting numbers (aside from prices and vintages) on wine lists, people actually start to give them credence, which can result in more disservice than service. After all, as I pointed out, not all 14.7% alcohol wines taste “hot,” and it would be a shame if people made that assumption. Heck, most Pinot Noirs grown and produced today are closer to 14.7% than 13.7% alcohol, yet most people still think of them as nice and easy, not hot and heavy.

    But then again, who are we kidding? People who order table wines know they’re getting some degree of alcohol, most hovering in the 13% to 15% range. Only in Germany, or in the Asti region of Italy, are wines below 10%. If anyone worries about how a 15% table wine might effect their small frame, then 1) they shouldn’t be drinking wines at all, or 2) they should be drinking in smaller quantities (by the glass, not an entire bottle!).

  36. Jo Diaz says:

    Which is why I’m drinking by the glass, Randy.

    And, now that you mention Pinots… Off they go, those delicate, delicious berries….

  37. Even though as a blogger and now vintner I espouse wines of balance, low alcohol, I have to agree with Randy, to an extent.

    (I do think vintners have a choice, and the extended hang time for phenolic ripeness can be debated and overdone, sometimes. )

    I like to think of Two Shepherds as modest alcohol since most of the wines are 13.5 to 13.9%. Yet Lenn Thompson, a big fan of NY wines of low alcohol…primarily b/c they rarely have a choice, had expected my 13.8% Grenache Blanc to be big and hot, and wrote he was pleased about its balance. I’d love to see my wines be lower, and will try each year to dial them down a bit. Fortunately, sourcing from cool climate, allows me to do that a bit, and obtain phenolic ripeness.

    Sadly 14.7 for CA Viognier is modest, I see many over 15%. And you are right, its because it’s grown in too many hot places…its a Northern, not Southern Varietal. Its reputation, in CA as flabby and lacking acid, is the fault of growers and vintners. I love my new RRV Vio so much I threaten to keep/drink the meager 25 cases……13.8%, 3.3 pH and .8 TA at harvest; its as bright and refreshing as my Grenache Blanc, and acid hounds do a double take, and love it.

    To your article – I’d love to see restaurants list ABV, but I doubt few will, given some don’t even keep the damn vintages updated. And I am not sure most people would care, expect us wine geeks. and given the +/- 1.5% allowance…..

  38. Donn Rutkoff says:

    I get bombastic about abv on labels. Those in the biz who print it large and simple to see, bravo. To the rest, they are insulting their customers. Truth is the surest way to success, or something like that. Truth and real info is a foundation for building customer relations. Printing the abv in the tiniest and least readable legal way is NOT a good way to inform and educate customers. So few people in the US drink wine, and the industry does a poor job of trying to grow the participation rate. Boo. I do not expect most restaurants to list abv, and lord knows it is hard enough to keep a list, either digital or hard copy, up to date and on the right vintage. But I think it would be nice if a few that have shorter lists can do it. Or have some clue to assist the customer anyway.

  39. Jo Diaz says:

    Or, Donn, have cheat sheet for wait servers!

    There are people who want to know, and as you’ve noted… why keep the public uninformed?

    Some people like to wing it, and bless their hearts. I can’t wing very much any more, or I’ll end up with esophageal cancer… like a close relative of mine did.

    It’s that important to me now… not when I was younger, but youth is fleeting.

  40. Donn Rutkoff says:

    Acid reflux: this may seem odd, but, try 2 things together. One, find a good massage therapist to work on loosening your inner abdominal and core muscles, and get your lungs moving up and down, in and out, properly as you breath. Two, incorporate learning to sing, actual vocal lesson, which also center on the proper movements inside your breathing apparatus.

    The medical doctors may not say much about this, but they are trained to solve things chemically, not focusing on the body design mechanics.

    I was on & off the purple pill for about 6 years, then after 2 or 3 sessions of body work with a very experienced massagist, I have been free 13 years. I have occasional hiccup and “swallow won’t go down” moments, to remind me that the pyloric valve at top of stomach is there, but no Tums, Prilosec, nothing, nada. I eat and drink crummy wine as much as I want. Oh, yea, sleep in a slightly inclined way. I put some large pillows under the front end, between the mattress and the spring, to prop up the upper 1/3 of my body just a few degrees while sleeping.

    Now, back to work, did somebody order a glass of wine with that diagnosis?

  41. Jo Diaz says:

    Amazing, Donn. I’ve got a message therapist, but I haven’t shared with her that I have acid reflux.

    And, I’ll have to get back to singing. (I was in a choir years ago.)

    Pillows under our mattress… okay, I can try that, too.

  42. Donn Rutkoff says:

    your message therapist is probably a spam filter. You want a massage therapist for your reflux. and if your therapist disagrees with the concept, look around, for Alexander Technique, or someone who does take a wholistic approach. Skeletal outer muscles are different than the devilish ones inside the body cavity. Or get a voice coach for a few lessons and tell the whole story. My mssg guy said: look, it does not make sense that so many people are overproducing acid. Especially as we get older, we produce less, the body is less efficient, so the problem is not some runaway chemical or molecular thing, it is a reaction to stress. restricted internal movement means restricted blood and lymph flow, and that will cause problems. get the internals to swish up and down with each breath and the small vessels and such get enough blood and lymph to be efficient. Acupuncture touches on this too.

    I have a pretty badly curved spine and upper torso, Alexander Technique was the ticket for me, better than yoga and other things, and better than just ordinary physical therapy.

  43. Jo Diaz says:

    I have an appointment with my person this week. She’s *very* deep tissue, and her massages are far from, “Oh, that feels so great.” I’ll ask her if she works on acid reflux (I never thought to ask her). If she doesn’t she’ll know who does locally, and off I go. Thanks, Donn. I’ll let you know how it goes. You may have saved my esophagus.

  44. Tim says:

    ABV will not mean anything to 99.9% of the drinkers out there…Randy is accurate in discussing the person/food and that ever drink and drinker is different. Lets talk about cocktails and beer folks…Maybe the “acid reflux”wines that can afford to do it could provide Tums as a dealer loader on a neck hanger. 🙂

  45. Jo Diaz says:

    Great marketing, Tim.

  46. Claudia says:

    I would like that, and I would like to know the actual calories of the wine I am drinking. I never thought of the alcohol content, but now will do some searching. It’s a slow day at work and I have hours of Google time. Tin Tin!

  47. Jo Diaz says:

    William, lets’ get together with “Geeks, unite!”

  48. Jo, lets! I’d love to taste you through the new 2011 whites, think you’ll love the new Vio. (GB and a blend as well.) And Barrel sample the reds before bottled end of Aug.

  49. […] What if restaurants listed the alcohol percentage of the wine on their wine lists?(wine-blog.org) addthis_url = 'http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wine-blog.org%2Findex.php%2F2012%2F07%2F27%2Fwhos-more-responsible-for-higher-alochol-wines-mother-nature-wine-critics-or-winemakers%2F'; addthis_title = 'Who%26%238217%3Bs+more+responsible+for+higher+alochol+wines%3B+Mother+Nature%2C+Wine+Critics%2C+or+Winemakers%3F'; addthis_pub = ''; […]

  50. […] What if restaurants listed the alcohol percentage of the wine on their wine lists? […]

  51. Alan says:

    Consider where the Rutherford Grill resides. I’ve been writing about (and listing alc.%s) for the last 20 years. The Napkans though are getting it. What with two recent cold vintages, and adjustments in the marketplace (for lower alcs), we’re beginning to see alcs come down; blissfully.

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