For the last five years I have been drinking the wines from my closet. I realized that eventually I was going to run out of time but there was still a lot of wine in the vault.
Inside the little room are lots of old friends. Some of them have passed on to other realms.
The 1983 Barbaresco from Marchese di Gresy was ready to be drunk in the 1990’s, but raising kids and taking care of ill partners left those bottles untended. I forgot to take care of that little wine and now I have a great wine to braise a roast with. There is life after a wine passes from what it was intended, when time passes faster than it should.
A little bottle of 1970 Barolo from Luigi Pira that was hidden under some bottles of La Chapelle Hermitage. I thought it was part of the trust fund, or at least my retirement drinking. But the Barolo passed, in as untimely manner as the sad winemaker who made it.
A bottle of 1971 Fattoria Vignale Chianti Classico Riserva, once a Nureyev of a wine. I remember the wine from the early 1980’s when it jumped into my soul. Now it has to take the long journey to its resting place: not to the celebrity cemetery in Venice; this time via the drain in my sink..
Collecting is more than storing. It is also about knowing when to open the curtain and let the wine perform its role. With the loss of these three friends I have begun to re-visit their livelier colleagues in my wine closet. Hello Mouton, Hello Sassicaia, I hear you calling.