Ask the WC 1: Loose corks, cava, unadulterated wine

loose corksBecause the customers always write — this feature, which will run every now and then. Ask a wine-related question by clicking here.

Greetings WC:
A bottle of white wine I bought got warm in the car last summer and the cork pushed out a small amount. Is that possible? If so, should I expect any negative impact to the wine getting warm?
Car & Driver

Dear Car & Driver:
Heat expands, and that’s what happened here. It’s not unusual, and often happens with wine kept in warehouses without air conditioning. Yes, they still exist. The wine may have spoiled or oxidized; really no way to tell until you taste it.

Dear Mr. Curmudgeon:
I am a faithful reader of your ever informative and always entertaining blog. I want to re-stock my wine rack with cava. Any suggestions?
Bubbly drinker in New York

Dear Bubbly:
So hard to answer while I’m blushing. But you can’t go wrong with the widely available Segura Viudas and Casteller and Naveran from Ole Imports, which may be more difficult to find. Each is around $10. If you want to spend a bit more, try Raventos and Juve y Campos.

Dear WC:
I’m looking for a simple red wine, one that is unfortified, unsweetened, with nothing added — no spices, flavors, etc. What’s available?
Confused by winespeak

Dear Confused:
I’m surprised I don’t get this question more often, given the terms used to describe wine flavors. If a wine writer says a wine has cherry fruit, it’s not untoward to wonder if cherry juice has been added. But most dry red wine is made without adding those things — typically, just grapes, yeast, and sulfites. You can buy a red wine from McManis, for instance, and it should meet your criteria. The fruit flavors come from wine grapes, which have different flavor properties than table grapes.