Learnt an obvious lesson yesterday. One of those things you already know but need to relearn every now and again. Too easily I open a wine, taste it, not really enjoy it and am tempted treat it like a Harry Potter novel – with disdain.
Of course I know that wine can need time to breath, the aeration brings out the full spectrum of the its aromas as well as getting rid of nasty smells from sulfides and sulfites. Knowing this I was still surprised to see how much a Sauvignon Blanc improved over three days.
When I opened a bottle of the Lomond Pincushion 2008 Sauvignon Blanc whilst lounging about Clifton 3rd on Friday afternoon I found it flat, with none of the zingyness and concentration I’ve been used to with this wine. It was tepid – in flavour not temp – almost watery around the edges, hardly any flavour. It was like that uncle you knew growing up who used play with you and your cousins, running about telling jokes, the life of the party, and now he just sits drooling in the corner. I persevered with my glass for a bit, but gave up and went for a swim.
Popping back into Vino Pronto I asked Shirley if she had tasted it recently. She’d tasted it about a month or so ago and said it was drinking fine then; we decided the wine must have gone into a bit of a slump.
On Sunday evening I opened the fridge and saw the bottle still sitting there half full. I decided to pour a glass and see what was going on. To my surprise the wine was far better now, it had grown in stature and length, the overbearing tinned pea flavours that were all I could taste at first had mellowed out and some tropical notes had emerged along with a richer mouthfeel. You could taste the wine had been left open for a bit, but on the whole it was a far better wine than I had drunk on the Friday.
So the wine is probably going through a slump and I would advise against opening your 2008 Pincushions for now. It made me realise that I have to start thinking about the context of the wines I drink more. Wine is a living thing, constantly changing, developing, it can march forth and then subside only to re-awaken again with new flavours and complexity.
Next time I don’t like a wine I’ll try to remember to stop and think about where it is in its life, and give it a few days to prove itself before tossing it down the sink.