A glee, that could be described as like a kid in a candy store, had overtaken, and almost an hour had eclipsed. Joyfully filling empty rack spaces and re-arranging sections in a modest, pine-racked wine cellar had produced a few additional rewards, as well. There was discovery: almost a mixed case of wonderful 2012 Rioja's present, as well as the big-fruit 2015 Beaujolais' collecting dust in that dark, cool space. And, even as our small medley of cherished 2010 Bordeaux remained undisturbed, we found that our broad collection(1 of this, 2 of that) of Italian values had actually expanded, with odd lots picked up here and there. It was time well spent for any disciple of wine.
Although there are a few exceptions(mostly generous gifts), the collection of bottles in this particular hoard has been put together having an average price of less than $15 per bottle. In and of itself, a good quality wine of modest price that can actually enhance a meal is worth celebrating. Adding the patience to naturally develop that wine, allowing it to mature in a living cellar for its surprising debut around a loving table is just that much more fulfilling. As all wines have the capacity to benefit from aging, these selections from trusted producers and revered locales provide much more of a reward for those of a little cellar restraint. You also need to have an idea of what you have, and importantly, what you may be missing for variety.
|Variety, the spice of life, even in a modest cellar|
A couple of Rieslings, one from an Alsace domaine, the other from Anderson Valley AVA, an award winning Gamay Beaujolais from the remarkable 2015 vintage, a white-Rhone blend from the Central Coast, and a few rose' bottles graced our table over a recent week. Not one cost more than $20. Each of these dry selections offered typical varietal characteristics, some even echoed the season and unique place they were from. Each was intended to either complement or contrast the principal flavors and strengths of most of the delicious preparations they would dance within the mouth.
|Wine & food pairing, an insightful art|
For neophyte wine collectors, referencing vintage charts and reading labels from known producers can help, but a trusted importers' label may be more valuable. Those ubiquitous shelf talkers, if accurate, can encourage, but most are just typical marketing fluff. Most wines available from volume retailers are just that, produced by the vast industrial wine complex, and not much beyond vin ordinaire. Search out small shops and smaller regional producers that along with heritage, have lower costs of production to supply your value wine cellar. More valuable may be the insight offered by the independent wine merchant and a relationship that is built over time. And, as always, the information we gather independently to nurture our wine hobby, weather by tasting or reading is a valued base for any collector. Shopping local wine sales and on-line flash sites will only add to the liquid adventure. Ultimately, for the price of a single movie ticket, a surprising and delicious bottle of value vino can be acquired, matured and pleasingly shared. If, by now any remain unconvinced of the hedonistic pleasures offered by such a frugal wine hobby, at the very least it is almost a case.
|Wine from the cellar, a special treat regardless of price!|