Monday, August 1, 2011

My wine made me HURL!

Actually, just gagged a bit... Let's explain--no, I wasn't on a bender and no I didn't consume too much. In fact, I hadn't had anything to drink at all! I was just on the 'smell' stage (e.g. Swirl, sniff, sip) and the result was so harsh I actually almost threw up.

Background-had an old 1995 French wine; nothing super nice, just something my Mom had out in their workshop for a while (a/k/a wine room). I don't know if it got hot there (that room is air conditioned though), in the car on the way home (even though we drove w/Air Conditioning and we never parked/left it in the sun) or if it was just plain OLD but I should have known better than to have sniffed so hard... I decanted it and it was quite orange (a bad sign; old and aged but mainly just old...) and then I poured a glass, swirled a few times and stuck the nose in deeply to take a huge sniff and... OMG! Calm the gag reflex dude! I couldn't believe it. Was it corked or just plain old? I had to throw it out and opened up something young and fun to put that smell out of my memory banks. (I actually left the decanter out for a bit; tried a SMALL sniff about an hour or so later but it was still foul). SO lesson learned-if it looks ugly, be a bit more careful about a huge sniff! The result may not be so friendly.

(I think I have another bottle of the same that I poached some time ago; we'll have to see if perhaps the 1st one was a one-off or if both are way past their prime!) Again, it wasn't an old-growth Bordeaux, but typically Bordeaux can be (should be?) cellared about a decade to calm the tannins; as an example last night I had a nice 1998 Robert Sinsky Stags Leap Cabernet and it was PHENOMENAL, so the fact that it was 16 years old shouldn't have been a problem--we'll have to try the last bottle to see if it too is nasty...)