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Why Do You Hate Pumpkin Beer So Much?

It’s not that I hate pumpkin beer, I just don’t think it’s very well made. I am not a fan of Beaujolais Nouveau, either.

If a Wine Label Says It Spent 40 Percent of Its Time Aging in New Oak, Where Did It Spend the Rest of Its Time?

Great question! If your wine spent 40 percent of its time aging in oak, and the winemaker doesn’t specify where it spent the remaining 60 percent, there are a few other places where it could have gone. Your wine might have spent the rest of its time aging in a stainless steel, concrete, or clay vessel, or it could have been in the bottle.

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The main reason why winemakers communicate how long their wine was aged in new oak is because oak has a profound effect on flavor. They might want you to know that the wine could have aromas or flavors indicative of oak aging; but, because it only spent 40 percent of its time in oak, those notes won’t be too overpowering.

Making wine is similar to cooking, and it’s helpful to imagine oak as being salt. Each chef seasons the dish appropriately with salt in order to achieve the desired balance of flavors. The same is true with oak and how a winemaker approaches its use. Too much and the wine will taste like licking the inside of a barrel, but too little and the wine may not be elegant and well-rounded.

Should I Be Worried About BPA Getting Into My Canned Beer?

BPA has become a growing health concern, especially among women interested in conceiving, because the compound mocks estrogen. When consumed in large quantities, tasteless and odorless BPA can disrupt biological processes and interfere with the reproductive and nervous systems as well as behavioral development.

The problem is, that’s about as much as we know about BPA. Researchers aren’t yet sure how much BPA one can consume before it really impacts reproduction. And while many manufactures have worked to remove BPA from their plastic bags and other plastic products, the one place it hasn’t yet been removed is the lining of aluminum cans.

“Every aluminum beverage can has a BPA lining,” Katie Wallace, assistant director of sustainability at New Belgium Brewing, and chair of the Brewers Association’s sustainability committee, said in an interview with Beer Advocate. “For beverages, it’s the only option.” That doesn’t mean New Belgium isn’t asking can manufacturers like Ball to research alternatives. “We talk with them regularly about this,” Wallace says.

No one knows exactly how the BPA from a beer can could be affecting you, but the beer industry is pushing for BPA-free linings.

What we do know is that, the more acidic the beer, the more likely its lining will erode. So if you are concerned about BPA you may want to avoid cans entirely — I mean all cans, not just beer — and you should especially avoid sour beers, whose high pH might erode the lining even faster.