Say you get invited to a holiday party where you are expected to bring decent wine. Your self respect prevents you from bringing plonk anyway. But the lumpen do not deserve your fine wine. What to do? Hide your wines. Place the bottle strategically in the cognoscenti wine room b-e-h-i-n-d the other bottles. Make sure the other bottles are suitably distracting. Check every 15 minutes that your bottle – the really good one you have no intention of opening with this group – has not been moved which would indicate someone touched and examined that bottle.
When not ruminating pointlessly, try these other suggestions. Go to the track. Smoke a stogie, or your choice of natural leaf. Hug your loved ones. Listen to corny Xmas music. Drive carefully or avoid it as much as you can. Hang out with your pals, drink their wines and act silly. Eat something.
Wines tasted through the first half of the insufferably extended holiday known tactically as “the build up”…
Domaine Matrot Meursault-Blagny Premier Cru Cote de Beauney $35 (but a CT site named grapeswine.com has it for $24!?!?): Goldun wine. Burgundian chardonnay at is finest. At this O20 price it is still a very good deal because you get to taste the difference. Built like a Norman castle. Napoleon may have been stranded in Elba with this wine. Let it open. Superb.
2011 Patrick Piuze Petit Chablis $22: Another Goldun wine. Steve specializes in stony non-oaked Chablis. Yums. Every time we taste this wine we cannot wait to purchase more. The 2012 is available throughout the northeast at $20. U20 sensational steal.
2012 ‘a Rina Etna Rosso by Girolamo Russo $18: Rockettes get in line! Straight from the hottest vineyard in Italy, on Mt Etna where the lava still flows, the newest production by Girolamo! If Rousanne and white Rhones are the King of 2014 then Mt Etna is the dauphine. How many have we tasted this year that were simply impressive, intriguing and delightful? This wine was the toast of that holiday party. At this price, one can have at it without regret. Light to mid weight with spicy cranberry flavors. Loved it.The Barolo to your right was seen at Wally’s in early September. If you need to impress someone who knows more about wine than 100 Parker points and collectible Napa Cabs, you might consider.
Turning to a darker subject… There are undrinkable wines. They are so awful, so miscast – usually as “100 points” or Wine Speculator Top 100 – that they cannot possibly live up to the hype. The killer is that the winemaker tries to justify the tag or the rep or the commercial lust for his or her label. So they pick fruit too ripe, let the juice sit in oak way too long, manipulate the hell out of what is left and then price it at a suitably high level to make sure the consumer is getting something really really really really… pricey.
Coming soon. Undrinkable wines. From the Wine Whisperer.
Have a warm, relaxing Christmas Day full of happiness. Taking next week off.