A Simple Gift: Wine & Time

images-9 aged_wineThis week I made the trip to my wine locker. It’s a modest storage space that I rent in part because my home is a tin box that kills wine with heat. Living in San Francisco, I don’t have that modern convenience called “air conditioning.” The main reason for renting the space is that cellaring is another adventure in wine! When you mix wine with time, you have a recipe for fun.

To make the holidays even more special, I grabbed a few bottles that have been resting peacefully for the last 3 years. Before grabbing a bottle of 2006 Beaucastel by Tablas Creek I went to their website to find this handy vintage chart. http://www.tablascreek.com/media/files/pdf/vintage_chart.pdf. That gave me the green light I needed to open up a bottle of 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel to serve with lamb chops. (Only today did I notice that the wine had been named Wine Spectator’s #50 Wine of 2009.)

So what did I discover? Sweet and sour plums and star anise in a complex blend that made the lamb taste better.

Much gratitude to Tablas Creek for the vintage chart –an amazing and simple gift for wine lovers like me. I do wish more wineries with age-worthy wines would do this. Certainly makes me more inclined to buy and to become a wine club member. Hint, hint – any wineries out there thinking of tackling the vintage chart thing?

As a cellar “newbie” I would love to hear the tales of those with more years under their belt about the good, bad and ugly of opening that aged bottle. Naturally, there is a risk in storing too long but I am a natural risk-taker and believe the benefits of a finely and perfectly aged wine far outweigh the risks. As much as I can enjoy a good bottle of wine that has no aging potential, there is something about waiting and watching a wine “grow up” that makes my heart sing.

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