Decanting with Delkin
By Fred Delkin
The Oregon wine industry just enhanced restaurant wine service with a new system
named "Bio-Cask" a technological advance that both cuts cost and simplifies a retailer's offering
Willamette Valley Vineyards has just introduced a stainless steel cask that
contains the equivalent of 26 750ml bottles and adapts to a beer tap setup. This pioneering effort
is yet another advance in facilitating wine consumption that ranks alongside the recent
introduction by Australian bottlers of a screw top that properly seals even fine wine.
Oregon prides itself on being environmentally friendly and this development fits that mode. It
eliminates dependency upon glass bottles, corks, foil seals, labels and plastic-wrapped cardboard
cases. No recycling of materials here, just refill the sealable cask for resale. Willamette Valley
founder Jim Bernau is credited with launching the Bio-Cask, and Portland's El Gaucho restaurant
has been a successful test case.
The Bio-Cask avoids the pitfalls of opened wine going round the bend and enables the server to
offer a lower cost by-the-glass to the consumer. We expect this container to achieve global
significance through wine distributors.
A Boost from Bolivia
Check with your local OLCC purveyor for an opportunity to purchase "Agwa" -- a Coca leaf
concoction crafted in Holland that uses leaves imported from Bolivia and processed to eliminate
the narcotic addiction of cocaine. The flavor of this 60-proof liqeuer is unique and potent.
Consumption is enhanced with lime juice, as in a "Bolivian Mojito" , utilizing a shot of Agwa
mixed with soda, sugar and « a fresh lime. Agwa's producers credit it with being a superb
substitute for Tequila, as in the "Bolivian Kiss" which is achieved by biting a lime wedge,
downing a shot of chilled Agwa and then "feeling the buzz." They also tout Agwa as an energy
drink in its purest form...so forsake Red Bull!
The latin influence has strongly impacted the world of wine, with the importation of labels from
Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Chile. Our local retail shelves now offer a wide choice of low-
priced, high quality bottlings from these regions. Chile first marked the way, then the Argentines
on the other side of the Andes realized the opportunity. Spain and Portugal have greatly
expanded their premium wine production based upon the North American continent's thirst. No
longer do fortified Ports and Sherries as defined by British habits dominate exports.
You'll find no better values than both still and sparkling wines (known as "Cavas") from the
© 2011 Oregon Magazine