This month’s wine writing challenge, Success, was selected by my BFF (that would be blogger friend forever), Loie of CheapWineCurious, as a result of winning last month’s challenge. I would like to interject that the BFF title was self-appointed by me. I’m sure Loie is currently reaching for her phone to send my information to all law enforcement west of the Mississippi…
Success is a drinkable bottle of wine.
I am a wine drinker. And by that, I mean, I am not a wine collector. Sure, I have a few very special bottles that I have saved over the years–but most of them are deemed special because the winemaker has signed the bottle for me.
But I do not buy wine to lay it down for years and years, delicately babying it until the moment it is perfect to open and decant and blah, blah, blah. Not that I think collecting wine is a bad thing, I just have no self control. It’s like an open bag of M&Ms: it’s just not going to last, despite my best efforts.
Lack of self-control aside, the other reason I don’t save wine is because I don’t have a great place to store it. I currently live in an old drafty house that’s a bit too chilly in the winter and way too warm in the summer. I don’t mind, but it certainly isn’t conducive to keeping bottles for years. And I think we can all agree there’s nothing more tragic than pouring a bottle of wine down the drain because it was bad.
When I choose to open the aforementioned bottles, I mentally prepare myself that it will probably be bad–that way IF it is, I’m not too devastated. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very sad but I’m not openly sobbing and throwing myself to the floor bemoaning my tragic loss. If it’s still good, it’s like a celebration and I feel like I should open another bottle!
There are three notable exceptions. Granted, I did not buy any of these wines with the intentions of holding them for so long, rather I just knew I wanted to save them for a fabulous occasion.
Remember these posts about my very special Burgundy that I have been holding on to for years?
What better occasion than drinking it with the one person on the planet would I knew would enjoy it as much as I would and in honor of a BIG birthday ( I hope you appreciate how I tied in this month’s writing challenge with my current topic of my Fabulous Not Forty birthday trips!).
I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous–first in getting the bottle safely to Florida and then in hoping that it would not be corked. I couldn’t even bring myself to try the whole “think of it being bad, so I wouldn’t be devastated” ploy. In fact, I was in full panic mode while opening it. I knew that if it was corked Christi & TK were going to have to pick up a blubbering idiot off the kitchen floor. Actually, they’d probably just leave me there for the night (hopefully throwing a blanket over me before they went to bed). I nearly cried tears of joy when I realized the bottle was in fact, not corked. SUCCESS! I may have teared up a little bit. I certainly needed a moment while drinking it.
The other two were both wines I loved drinking but as the vintage came to an end, I became a bit of a hoarder. I moved up to New York with three bottles of each left.
So far on the Becker Vineyards 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, I am 1 for 2. The first bottle I opened last year–and honestly 8 years ago, I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me I’d be keeping this wine around for so long. It was amazing. Delicious and spicy: a big, bold-in-your-face cabernet sauvignon. It was everything I remembered, but the spicy notes were more pronounced and the wine was overall very smooth. I was so excited that it was drinking so well that I opened another bottle a few nights later, and alas–down the drain it went along with big, fat teardrops. I have one more left and remain hopeful…
Happily, I am 2 for 2 on the Chisholm Train Winery 2001 Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Also a big and bold cabernet sauvignon, however, with a lot less spice and much drier than the Becker. Both bottles were really smooth and opened up very nicely (thanks Paula!). I will say that this wine has mellowed considerably. Rather than being biiiiig with a very dry, clean finish, it is big and dry, but now with a lingering currant and blackberry finish. I’m probably jinxing myself, but I’m actually excited about my last bottle.
I am envious of those who collect wine, but personally it’s too stressful for me. I want every time I open a bottle of wine to be a success. And while I know that any bottle can be bad–for a plethora of reasons–in my brain, the longer it stays in my wine rack, the greater the chance that will happen. Thus far my track record has been pretty good, so some might think my reasoning flawed. However, I prefer not to take that chance. You know, just like letting M&Ms go stale…