The other day, we went to a friend’s place for a dinner party. Before dinner began, my friend revealed that TODAY was the perfect evening for him to open a bottle of wine that he had been keeping in his wine cellar for so long.
He was going to share it among the 6 guests. This meant that we would only get one small glass each – which suited me fine, since I can only tolerate very small amounts of alcohol.
There was lots of ooohing and ahhhing over the French wine bottle. It was so old that it had literally gathered dust. It’s not every day that you get to drink an 11 year old bottle of French wine (well not for me anyway).
When the wine bottle was opened, there was great relief when the cork came out cleanly. My friend explained that the bottle had been stored upside down, and the wine kept the cork moist – so it would not crumble.
Dinner took some time to prepare, so we were all in quite a state of anticipation when we finally sat down to eat – and drink.
But then a funny thing happened. My wine loving friend ate two mouthfuls of the pasta, and a tiny sip of the wine, and then he said “Everyone stop drinking! This is not the right dish to go with this wine.”
At first, I thought he was joking, but then I realised he was absolutely serious. The pasta sauce was “too robust” for the wine’s “character”.
And since it was his wine, we all ate the rest of our meals with our wine glasses untouched.
Talk about fussy wine-drinkers!
About fifteen minutes after dinner, we allowed to resume appreciating the wine.
There was lots of discussion about how subtle the flavours were. How the wine had matured in “complex” ways. And how French wines were far more sophisticated than Australian wines, which typically have “bolder” flavours.
I thought the wine was just okay, and to be honest, I really enjoy wine with stand-out flavours. You know, tough enough to take over your mouth and say “I’m here!!!”
So, I’m afraid that the wine was wasted on my “uneducated” taste.
(I can only hope that my friend does not read my blog!)