Food & Drink

Got questions about wine? We have answers (or will pretend we do)

Because I am now a professional wine writer — or at least a person who likes to blather on about wine even if I know almost nothing about it — people ask me questions all the time. Questions like, “Do you seriously get paid for this?” and “How many people complained about that time you used ‘cat pee’ in a headline?”

Well, yes, I get paid for this in the sense I am employed by the Miami Herald and so far nobody has told me to stop me writing about wine. Yet. And only two people complained about “cat pee.” Neither was my editor, which is a relief.

But there are so many other questions! So since I’ve had a cold all week and haven’t been able to taste anything besides Ricola throat lozenges and chamomile tea, I thought I’d answer a few of them. Some of them aren’t even made up.

You wrote about Goth reds for Halloween. Are there any Goth whites?

I’m glad you asked. Yes! HobNob Wines has released a Limited Edition Wicked Chardonnay ($11.99). There’s also a Limited Edition Wicked Red Blend (also $11.99).

In truth the Chardonnay does seem somewhat less ominous than those deep Goth reds we were drinking last week. It’s hard to be sinister when you’re bursting with sunny tropical fruit flavors. We have it on good authority that Wicked Chardonnay pairs well with candy corn, so your Halloween dinner is now complete.

There are those who claim Chardonnay is always a horror story, of course, but as usual we will ignore them and quietly plot our revenge.

Have you ever tried Lambrusco?

I have not tried Lambrusco, possibly because I’m not entirely sure what it is. I do know it’s Italian and that in ancient times (the 1970s) my mother used to drink it with her friends in the form of something called “Riunite.” It is pronounced “Ree-you-nee-tee” and translates to “my mom is drinking this so it can’t possibly be something I want to try.” But I don’t drink many Italian wines, so perhaps we will revisit this issue in a further column.

Is it weird to drink rosé this late in the year?

Not if the temperature is 80 degrees or higher or you have some already chilling in the fridge.

Should I invest in a wine refrigerator?

Yes, absolutely. Also please pick one up for me, because I’m running out of room for milk.

How can I help the Napa and Sonoma wine industry after the northern California wildfires?

Buy and drink the wine. Visiting is good, too, if you can swing it. Many wineries and restaurants are reopening, and tourist cancellations hurt especially at the moment.

But if you can’t afford a trip, keep buying.

The Daily Meal website reports that Mayacamas Winery estate director Jimmy Hayes told NBC: “What anyone and everyone can do to help right now is just — if you have a winery you like, just buy their wine. Drink their wine. If we can keep vineyards, bottles moving from the warehouses to customer tables, then our businesses are going to be fine. And that’s how we’re going to pay to fix all this.”

There’s also a GoFundMe page for fire relief.