Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

And another thing (Curmudgeon Rant, Part II)

Twin Fin Pinot Noir. Now dagnabbit (that's curmudgeon-speak), I tried this wine when it first became available at Trader Joes. I was attracted by three things: the price ($5.99); the label (it has surfboards sticking out of a convertible); and the screwtop cap.

Waitaminute, you say. Screwtop cap? Isn't that, like, what they use for Ripple and Thunderbird?

Well, yes. But it's not the screwtop that makes the wine bad. It's just...bad wine. Point of fact, according to the Essential Wine Guide at Epicurious.com, the screwtop cap 'makes the perfect wine closure; no taint, no oxidation, no problem. After all, if screw caps are good enough for $200 bottles of Scotch, why not for $20 bottles of wine?'

Ever gotten a bottle of wine at a store or restaurant, opened it and smelled a nasty, moldy smell that you just knew wasn't part of the winemaker's intention? "Hmmm, let's see if we can't get a hint of dirty sweatsocks with a touch of mildew in this Cabernet..." Nah, doesn't happen. That icky, funky stench means that this particular bottle of wine is corked . Specifically, it's a wine that has been bottled with a cork that is contaminated with TCA (2,4,6-Trichloroanisole). And that's as technical as I'll get.

This begs the question that a wine can be corked, if you get a bad bottle wine with a screwtop, can it be screwed? No, but you the customer can be if it's a crappy wine to begin with.

ANYway...back to Twin Fin Pinot. I tried a bottle for the above reasons and was blown away by the quality and flavor. Total pinot noir cherry/raspberry nose, a rich mouthfeel (something that I like in a wine), and, well, just a lot of bang for the buck. And it had surfboards on the label! Figuring it'd be around for a while, I got a few bottles over the last month or so, including one I found at Target (yes, Target!), and another at a little liquor store in San Diego.

Then...Trader Joes wrote it up in their Fearless Flyer.


I went back last week to get a bottle and they were sold out. And, horror of horrors, the Twin Fin pinot noir would no longer be available at TJ's.

I called around all of the local stores within a 40 mile radius. Sold out. I looked at Safeway and Albertsons, where Debbie, a Twin Fin wine rep, told me I'd be able to find 'all of their fine wines.' Hah! You lied to me, Debbie! I found the Twin Fin cabernet, the Twin Fin merlot...but no pinot noir.

So I Googled Twin Fin Pinot Noir and discovered that, much like zombies, everyone had discovered it.


Thanks to SIDEWAYS (a movie that I love because it's brilliant, yet hate because now everyone is getting into wine, especially pinot noir, and it's made the prices in the Santa Ynez Valley wineries and restaurants shoot through the roof) and TJ's, no more Twin Fin pinot...at least not until they release their 2003. And I bet the price goes up too...

Ah well. Can't keep zombies and good wine a secret forever...


  • At 4:21 PM, Blogger OoBrOwNEyEz said…

    Try Georgian wine. ITS AMAZING!

  • At 11:26 AM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Georgian wine? Hmmm, never heard of it! I'll see if I can't hunt some down...

  • At 4:01 AM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said…

    "I'm not drinking any fucking merlot!"

  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Poor Merlot...it's gotten such a bad rap because of that movie! There are really some very good ones out there...it's just that so many of them are bland and ordinary...basically easy to drink for people who are new to red wine. but I've had some very good ones...

    Back to your Boones Farm, Mr. F!

  • At 3:38 PM, Anonymous BoxWineGuy said…

    I haven't tried the pinot noir yet, but for the price the Twin Fin merlot and shiraz are quite nice. The screw cap is a bit disconcerting, but in reality is probably the wave of the future.


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