Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wine in Dog Years
This week I turned 50. Never thought twice about the moment. Spent many younger years thinking age was only a number and not a barrier to life. Still think this way.
Age in wine is not always a good thing. There is an old adage that says, "it is a far greater crime to drink a wine too old than too young." This speaks about missed opportunity and hope lost. So as a consuming society we do this more than ever before. We consume our wine, sometimes far too young, but what are we waiting for anyway. Life is to be tasted, not shelved in anticipation of things to come! Yet, every now and again I think about lost opportunity and getting a "do-over". Wine allows this to happen when we get the right vintage, producer, vineyard and varietal all in the same bottle. These things are fleeting, but are available to us every year. When they are made available to us, we can set them aside and wait for the right moment to open them. Moments like anniversaries, birthdays, reunions.
Sometimes the effort is worth the wait, sometimes not. Wine ages in dog years. One year to a wine may be like 7 to a human. Upon first release they are like so many new puppies, playful, awkward, fun. As they age they become intelligent, thoughtful, engaging. At extreme age (10+ years) they are slower yet held in higher esteem, more respected for their longevity.
I found a border collie sitting in my cellar this week. A 1992 Cabernet from the Alexander Valley. At 17 years it was energetic, elegant with a shiny coat and seamless intelligence all still intact. These are singular things that come along rarely and it made me think of turning 32 not 50. I may not cellar my wine as much as I would like anymore, but I am glad I did this time.
Thinkin' that in the future I am going to refer to wines in dog types to better prepare myself for the way they may age. Buying a poodle? A German Shepherd? A Golden Retriever? I hope to find more Border Collies, the energy they seem to always have will hold memories for me and my kids for years to come. Cheers!
Posted by George Parkinson at 6:42 AM