Sunday, June 8, 2008

Wine 9

As I have suggested previously, although never in print and never on this journal, I am en vacant at the moment, but my excursions into my cellar have churned up a worthy subject, one which I brought with me despite the inherent dangers.
Danger? you say. Well, naturally there are dangers in attempting to bring any sort of creature comfort away from home and bring it with you, and wine is sort of the worst-case scenario. When one's particular oenological obsession involves those of extreme age, one must be doubly careful.
I feel I owe it to this journal to make every effort to keep the wines as palatable as possible. If a wine is ruined by heat, what does that prove? The only interesting outcome of proper excavation within a cellar is for the wine to have become something entirely else, whether thought good or bad, on its own merits. It is a matter of seconds for wine to be ruined in an uncontrolled climate. Please keep this in mind as you travel this summer. If you bring your wine with you, it might be ruined. Buy local wines wherever you go. It's probably Greener, too, or something. Sorry, I'll back off my vague soapbox now and move on to the subject at hand.
As I have doubtless mentioned here, Rieslings are not to be kept. They do not survive well and they are one of the wines which will almost never gain anything of value over the course of time. This wine has proved that it is part of the larger crowd. As per my usual, I do not mean to cast aspersions on the wine itself and I do not doubt that, had it been used as the manufacturer intended, it would have produced a perfectly satisfactory culinary experience. As it stands, this has become a terrible wine.
The nose still has hints of fruit, and although the pineapple which is often cried as being present and delicious in such wines is certainly not actually detectable, my first reaction (and that of four of the six tasters at this event) was the distinct note of fresh paint. I have heard that some experts and particularians can refer to this as a lacquer note, but I, having applied both substances to several surfaces, can attest to this wine having developed the former, if it ever was home to the latter.
I thought I detected an apricot or other actual fruit overtone, but general consensus was that this was more imagination than sensitivity. The nose smelled of artificially flavored pineapple-named candy or gum, but not of the actual fruit. As the site of this tasting was some hundred feet from several actual pineapple plants, we had a point of reference and knew from which we spoke.
Upon actually putting this wine in my mouth, I suddenly joined the minority third who did not make a disgusted face. As seems so often the case with these over-aged wines, the flavor was unimpressively thin and lacked any form of nuance.
However, in the first moment of tasting, before the entirety of the wine had been exposed to air and my tongue had rejected the substance as best ignored, I am sure I tasted real, actual pineapple, sweet and juicy. The sensation was impressively short-lived and died away into sour blandness almost instantly.
This Riesling was a bit of a stinker, I admit. Wines of this character are the reason I started this journal, mostly by way of warning, to be quite honest. Better wines, though, I remain confident, are yet to come.
From Vacationland, I wish you best of luck with your wines, and don't forget to throw out your old Rieslings. Don't even cook with them. I'm quite serious.

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