September 30, 2008

Cleaning out the Wine Cooler

On day ten of our collective mourning we decided it might be prudent to clean out the wine cooler to make room for the home made malbec that will need to rest on its side for the next four months (at least) at a constant 70 degrees. Any straggling bottles--mostly forgotten dessert wines--were relocated and just as I was reaching in to check the temperature gauge, something way in the back caught my eye. I recognized the bottle instantly and held my breath. Fully expecting to find a more current vintage, I slid the bottle out and rotated it until my eyes beheld a wondrous surprise. I was holding a bottle of Dom Perignon Brut Vintage 1988. A great year in Champagne.
Another gasp. Could it possibly be good? Was it stored properly? Did he receive it as a gift? These were questions that could never be answered and so at my urging, we decided that this bottle, divine or vinegar, would be our celebration of life.

We popped the top rather unceremoniously and proceeded, in silence to take in the color, the aroma and the expectation we each had for this wine. In all honesty, I assumed it was probably cooked. In my mind, this find was too good to be true.

But what I experienced was intensely golden-hued, and at first, remarkably tropical. Lots of creamy pineapple and coconut, which mellowed after a few minutes into less fruity, more yeasty. The thread of minerality was still quite present as well as a very subtle hint of citrus. An altogether sublime experience, I had refilled my glass three times before I remembered I had to share.

My one great take-away from that evening was: if you've been holding on to a special bottle/vintage, or you come across one that you think might be past its prime but you're afraid to try, OPEN IT! Pour it. Share it with friends. Life is too short to keep it stashed away for the "right" time. The right time is now. Enjoy it.

Read More in: Champagne and Sparkling | Wine Tasting Notes

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Posted by Noël Wallace at September 30, 2008 9:28 PM
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