Sunday, September 06, 2009

Eight signs that your wine is going through midlife crisis

You bought a couple of cases of that special Barolo, Amarone or Brunello several years ago. Maybe it was some highly rated wine, or maybe it was something you found by chance encounter. Perhaps you grew up with the wine in your family, drinking it during holidays and special occasions. When you became independent and were on your own and started to settle down, perhaps you made the plunge and committed to a couple of cases or in any event an ample supply of the wine. You knew the wine and wanted to grow old with it. And then, something happened after 10 -15- 20 years. The old spark, that magic that attracted you to that wine was harder to find. That, my friends, was the beginning of eight signs that your wine is going through midlife crisis.

Makes a dramatic change in style or appearance and is suddenly harder to get to open up.
All of a sudden you find pamphlets in the cellar about organic and biodynamic interventions. Catalogs arrive in the mail for preparations and there is a smell of incense in the wine cellar that you never smelled before.

• Displaying the classic signs of depression – dry cork, loss of fruit, imbalanced flavors.
Every time you take the cork out of the bottle it shatters. The wine is cloudy and won’t settle. The flavors are muddled and dissonant

• Has severe quality swings and is inconsistent every time you open up a bottle.
One in 4 or 5 times you bring the bottle out to open it is happy and merry the other times it is all over the place- corked - no fruit – Brett – Mercaptin.

• Expressively detached and restless with whatever glass or decanter presented in.
No Reidel, no Spiegelau, no Schott; No vessel seems to be the right fit.

• Has this empty feeling inside and seems to be uneven for no apparent reason.
In the middle the fruit has dried out and the wine sags, is excessively hot, and is overly alcoholic.

• Seems to only care about laying down in the dark and not being disturbed - distant and unresponsive.
Hard to find in the cellar, often misplaced or missing, like is has been moved or taken to another location. When found, it lies there stuck in the rack, not wanting to move or be moved.

• No longer seems satisfied with what food you're able to provide to match up with.
All the classic dishes that went with it no longer seem to match up – the old combinations no longer work. Family members seem as strangers.

• Seems the wine’s manner has changed - it still loves you, but it's "not in love with you."
Not that the wine can say it, but after all these years one can sense that something is wrong, something is over. No matter how hard you try to coax the wine out of the vessel, it comes unwillingly and with trepidation. The taste, the fruit, the flavor, screams “we’re over.”

Eugenio - bon anima -Sept 7 2005


R. Whitney said...

Sounds like my 91 Castellare Bird Wine, lots of reasons not to drink, but DAMN the torpedoes. Will say it here--sorry to hear about Bill Watson's passing

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

too funny... Great post - and very true!

BK said...

Sounds just like Big Puss, one of our cats. He will, however, still eat most anything....

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