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Some Goodies from the Castello . . . and How to Open a Waxed Wine Bottle

To say I’m behind on my wine reviews is an UNDERstatement. I’ve had these bottles from Castello di Amorosa sitting in my queue for waaaay too long.
2017 Reserve Chardonnay ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 90 points 100% Chardonnay. The grapes from this wine came from the southern end of Napa Valley (think cool climate). 10 month sur lie. 100% new French oak, 75% malolactic fermentation. Super expressive and beautifully balanced, with flavors of ripe pear, ripe pineapple, and yellow apple. Finishes with a baked pear note. Wow. This is nice. 14.3% ABV. Retail = $58. 2018 Rosato Cresta d’Oro Vineyard ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 91 points 100% Pinot Noir. Cresta d’Oro is located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley (cool climate). The area is known for it’s gold ridge, sandy loam soils, and Cresta d’Or means “gold ridge” in Italian. Aged for 5 months in a combination of stainless and concrete. Dry, drenched in acidity, with a beautiful thread of minerality running throughout. Flavors of strawberry, red cherry, jicama, and rhubarb. ABV = 13.7%. Retail = $39. All Castello di Amorosa wines are sold direct-to-consumer. You won’t find them in a retail or restaurant. But they’re worth the special order. And if you find yourself in Napa Valley, put the Castello on your list of must-goes. I’ve written previously about the Castello here and here. Now, about that wax. I’m on Team wax-is-totally-unnecessary-on-wine-bottles. But I’ll admit the rose colored wax on this bottle is pretty swanky. Such a gorgeous color. To remove wax from a wine bottle, you basically have four options:
  1. Go straight in. Use your waiter’s corkscrew and remove the cork just like usual. In theory, it should pop right out. This works most of the time. Most.
  2. Cut it off. I don’t recommend this technique. Too risky. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly severed a finger trying to cut/chip wax off of a wine bottle. The only time I do this is if the wine is really old and I think the cork might be fragile.
  3. Warm up the wax. You can run the wax under hot water for a couple of minutes, or I’ve even seen people use the friction method (rubbing the top of the wax with a towel or something for a couple of minutes). I don’t have time for that.
  4. You can also melt the wax off the top of the bottle (with a lighter, or a blowtorch if you’re feeling jaunty), scrape the soft, melty wax away, and then open like normal. Bless your pyromaniac heart.

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