Why The Bottle Let Him Down

It didn’t have to be that way for Merle Haggard. He sang that “The Bottle Let Me Down” and, in particular, that “the wine don’t take effect the way it used to.” There was a simple preventable reason: he failed to cool his reds down to proper cellar temperature–55-58 degrees or so, depending on the age and quality; not as cold for the grand crus and fully mature bottles, of course. His mama tried to teach him, but to no avail, all because the fightin’ side of him wouldn’t admit that room temperature reds make one perceive more alcohol and less acidity–not a recipe for fine wine appreciation.

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