Wednesday, August 20, 2008
When we are interested in something and it becomes a big part of our lives we can forget that others, who don't share this interest or degree of enthusiasm, are bored when we 'go on' about it.
I have an excellent LyncBob cartoon in which a classic wine bore is holding court over some guests in his lounge.
He pontificates " ...of course I've drunk up most of my '29's...I'm still waiting on the '28's...but aren't we all. Heck, I'll probably finish the '53's before I get to the '28's. '61? Don't even talk to me about '61"
When you look closely at the guests sitting in lounge chairs it can be seen that they are all dead - died of boredom.
Which reminds me...the best wine I have ever drunk was a 1953 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, a Grande Cru class Pauillac. The wine was from a magnum and was drunk in 1976 making it 23 years of age at the time (only 1 year younger than I was).
This was not the 'best' wine (on ratings) I have ever drunk having been fortunate to have experienced many first growth Bordeaux, top Burgundies and other wines in my lifetime, but this wine was my best because it was drunk at the perfect moment to drink it.
What does this mean?
It means that in my lifetime of drinking wine I have felt that I have been lucky to have drunk only a dozen or so wines at their optimum age - maybe less. Aging wine is a hit or miss affair even with the best cellaring and record keeping. It is one of life's great pleasures to experience a wine at this stage of its development. It is also very hard to describe what it is like given that taste is different from person to person. The best I can say is that with the Pichon it had the texture of milk but still with fresh berry characters - everything had come together in harmony. There were no rough edges, no hard tannins, no drying -out of fruit. It was delicious and I still remember it.