Saturday, February 12, 2011

Collecting and Aging Wine - Buy the Case

Collecting and aging wine - case lot periodic tasting over time

There are two risks to buying a full case of a wine... that you drink it too young, or, that you hang on it too long. (Some might say that you get it home and don't like it. As my teenager used to say, "Duh, Dad." You try it before you buy it. If and when you can't - the wine market has become incredibly 'liquid' with auctions to market and sell your wine. Worst case (you make the call whether pun intended ;>) ) you give it away as gifts, serve it, or hold it and one day find out its really really good after all!) The point is, if you don't taste a wine multiple times at various stages of its life - how will you know? Part of the fun and experience of tasting wine is to witness a wine's maturation and transformation over time. I have heard that the Italian's drink their wine too young, and the French drink it too old. Alas, its all in the eye's of the beholder. I purchased a case of Dominus Napa Proprietary Red Wine 1986 back upon release in the mid-eighties. I dutifully put it aside but succumbed to temptation to open a bottle every couple of years ... Invariably I was disappointed and underwhelmed by a rather flat uninspiring 'closed' wine. Finally, a couple of years ago in 2007 - I noted in my tasting notes (published on - "The Dominus now 20 years old continues to reveal its character through floral bouquet and flavors of violet and rose petals reminding me again that I drank most of this case way too young - year after year waiting for it to open and reveal itself." (The previous tasting note posted in 2002 should have been an indicator - "Dominus took three hours to open but when it did, it exploded with floral fruit.") 

Indeed, having purchased a lot of Bordeaux wines during their magnificent run in the eighties, I eventually learned, like the Dominus, I drank them too early. C'est la vie. I am now more patient with such wines. That's how or why you end up with a thousand (s) plus bottles in your cellar!    

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