I guess that anyone reading this Blog enjoys drinking wine but many will think it’s almost as enjoyable talking about it and discussing it. And from there, it’s just a small step to arguing about it! Of course, such arguments can never really be resolved – we’ve all got our own likes and dislikes and everyone’s sense of taste is unique to them. So, when a good friend of mine tells me (as he does regularly) that I always open bottles when they’re too young and I, in return, accuse him of leaving them until they’re well past their best, we’re both right in our own minds.
But, a couple of bottles my wife and I have enjoyed recently have made me wonder if I should have a bit of a re-think. I ordered a bottle of Moulin-a-Vent, one of the village Beaujolais, when we tried an excellent new Bristol restaurant, Box E, last week. Now, I would expect to drink this within, perhaps, 3 or 4 years of harvest at most, yet the bottle I was served (a 2009 vintage) was deliciously fresh with lovely fruit and, despite already being more than 7 years old, clearly would have had several more years of pleasurable drinking ahead of it.
And then, at the weekend, we opened a bottle of Fayolle’s ‘Sens’ Crozes Hermitage (Corks of Cotham, £15.99).
This one was 6 years old (2010) but was full of silky, youthful blackberry fruit flavours and hints of pepperiness. But, accompanying this were distinct tannins – showing a wine that was still young and, indeed, would certainly improve if carefully stored. (A word of warning: decant this before serving and pour carefully as you’ll find plenty of sediment in the bottle).
So, this leaves me with the question: should I wait a few years before opening all my 2015 and 2016 wines? Probably not! But, I may take a chance on a few and will, hopefully, be pleasantly surprised. And, if you’re like me, why not try the same?
One final thought: if you open something in a few years time and wish you’d have drunk it sooner, you’ll probably have forgotten that it was me who suggested it!