It’s been a bit, folks. I have missed doing these and I’m glad to be back in the writer’s chair!
Something that I have come to appreciate recently is my library. Now, I’m not speaking about the plethora of unread books on my living shelf (makes for great conversations/decor). The library I’m talking about is my collection of wine.
When I’m talking about wine libraries during tastings, there is always someone in the group who has to pipe up and say “Oh I couldn’t do that. I drink it quicker than I buy.”. A rousing chuckle and eyerolls from the group and we move on. Sometimes there’s another vocal individual who responds with “Oh, Cheryl, you’re so wild!” or “There’s a classic Dan moment there!”.
Libraries are so much more than yet-to-be drunken wine. I had started building my collection because I found wines that I really liked and knew that there was a risk that the next vintage could be completely different than the one I favoured. Mine was born out of shear paranoia that I’d never taste that exact blend again, however, that was just the birthing of it and my love for it goes deeper than some sort of weird alcoholic hoarding.
Back in September, I got to really see the benefits of holding onto wine. I had dinner with my mom and she had picked up a few steaks from the local butcher. Since we weren’t having just some cheap grocery store meats, I figured we should step it with the wine and opt for something that wasn’t on the liquor store shelves. I decided to finally break open one of beloved bottles of Black Cab (now called The Old Bill, this was a beautiful, full-bodied red blend from the homeland/Luckett Vineyards using Cabernet Foch, Lucie Kuhlmann, Castel, and Precoce.).
Now, I should mention that I absolutely loved this wine. I bought a bunch of bottles, but I was always too nervous to open them because I knew it would diminish my supply. Well, friends, I’m here to tell you that sometimes you just need to live in the moment and enjoy the day you’re in. My mom splurged on good fantastic steak, so I thought that is was only fair that I try to balance it.
I’m glad I did.
The same wine that I loved and held on to so dearly had gotten better. Letting it hang out in the crawlspace had allowed it to mature and flourish. I certainly won’t be digging into it every night, but I’m glad that I have seen the wonders that aging wine can do.
It really isn’t easy to relay the emotions behind that moment through text, but it has become a source of joy and helped me find a new admiration for wine. My suggestion to you is to find a wine you like, purchase two bottles (or cases, I don’t judge), and keep one of them tucked away. Drink one as soon as you want and then with the other one, resist drinking it for a few years and then find a special occasion to break it open.
Word of advice, make sure you store them properly. If they have a cork, put them on their side so that it doesn’t dry out. Keep them in a cool environment that doesn’t have a direct source of light constantly shining on them. Otherwise, this whole project goes from “fun” to “Goddamnit! Why do I ruin everything I touch?” (wine rack on top of your fridge near a light, is a bad place).
And of course, have fun with it. James and I have spoken about our collections before. His is a bit nicer because he actually puts his on racks and separates them based off of “Can drink” to “I will never forgive you if you even touch this”. Mine are just in cardboard boxes in the basement and they’re all local/95% Luckett’s wines. There’s some bragging/pride that can come with it not just on the bottle count, but also what’s in them.
– D R E W