Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Sniffing The Cap
A nice line-up: Susanna Balbo, Saint Cosme, Charbonniere and Beaucastel.
This evening my father asked me about wines. He was looking for suitable wines for entertaining his friends this Saturday and wanted to know which wines he could use. Hmmmm...
That's when he made the declaration that he only wanted to drink inexpensive wines - like under ten dollar wines. Hmmmm....
Problem is, I don't quite recall how much that bottle of Languedoc was, or that South African with the funny bacon character. Nor do I recall how much that Nero d'Avola from Italy cost, or even that sensuous Cote du Rhone. I just buy them, I don't think too much about what they cost.
That's not to say that my cellar is filled with expensive wines, they most certainly are not. However, I tend to buy what I like and not worry too much about the price. Thirty bucks isn't "too expensive" for a wine, and I do start to balk when the prices cross the $50 mark - even though I've been caught spending a bit more than that for a bottle of something luscious.
Truth is, all those "special" wines, like those bottles of 1976 Auslesen, are hidden in the wine cellar to age in quiet cool humidity. They're ensconced in darkness surrounded by cool moist air until the day comes when they can be opened in victorious celebration.
My dad is worried about taking the "wrong bottle" meaning the bottle which costs "too much." But really, none of these bottles at hand cost "too much" but rather, their cost is commensurate with their enjoyability. "Take whatever you want," I tell him. There's no wine here that cannot be replaced.
As we're perusing the collection, I suddenly feel very much like James Carpenter. I'm animated and enthusiastic about each wine as I describe my experiences with them. With some I'm giddy with delight. Others I want to lick the bottle but only go so far as to sniff the foil cap covering the cork - as though I can savor the wines aromas. My dad has that look of restrained disdain on his face as I put the bottle back down.
"What do you have that's only ten bucks?"
In the end, I set aside a nice Tempranillo and a classic Chianti, along with a couple of French whites for him and his friends to enjoy.