Monday, January 6, 2020

Result of a 10-year experiment: does filtering out brett work?

This blog post has been 10 years in the making.

A decade ago, I interviewed Cameron Hughes. He's a San Francisco-based wine negociant and I've interviewed him a bunch of times, but on that occasion, he said something -- and gave me a bottle -- that I wanted to test.

Hughes had bought a batch of 2008 Napa Cabernet that he said was full of brett, so much that the producer couldn't risk releasing it under its own name. He boasted that he sterile-filtered out all the brett and now he had a prestigious wine to sell.

What if you didn't get it all, I asked. Even a little brett in the bottle could increase over time.

Hughes told me if I checked the bottle in 10 years, I would find no brett. And he gave me a bottle.

Which I put away for a decade.

Last week I got it out of my cellar. And on Saturday night I opened it. What would I find?

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This is the part where I talk about how the world was different in 2010, when I put this bottle away.

The first iPad was sold in 2010. A DVD-by-mail company named Netflix introduced streaming video.