Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wine 14

"Memories. Sweetened through the ages just like wine."
Let me tell you, this lyric was probably written by someone who hadn't had a lot of old wine, and certainly was intended for an audience who hadn't.
As wine ages, sugars are still being converted just like they were when the yeasts were at their peak. Wines become different over time, but they famously do not sweeten. Not that that's all bad.
Today's selection was, in fact, my wedding wine, but two vintages later. This wine is not very old, for which I would apologize, but I needed two weeks of ringers after lucky 13 set me on hiatus. In my defense, two years is still twice as long as a Muscat generally ought to age in your cellar, really.
It was a beautiful ceremony.
A friend of my family, one who shares a surname with a former Most Famous English Writer of All Time, performed the ceremony. He wore a priest's dog collar with a tiny little longbow strung through it, because he loves puns. This alone would have made him the right choice, and it wasn't even his best qualification.
He was ordained through the Internet, through the authority of which august body we were joined before Friend and Family alike, and felt nervous about being the officiant of our wedding. He has an overarching sense of the appropriate, which also made him a fine choice.
When the ceremony was over, he and his wife and children partook of cake, then snuck away before the party began in earnest. He understood that the minster must maintain dignity, even if he questions it himself, a point upon which I agree, even if he doesn't. He might just have felt uncomfortable in the role of priest. I couldn't really say.
We had cake and we had wine.
My bride and I picked the wine based upon a previous exposure to it. We stayed at a B&B in Stonewall at which the proprietor stringently suggested that we partake, and as we stumbled back to the room we resolved to visit the source of this ambrosia. We did so, driving most of an afternoon there and back, and were immediately impressed. Sister Creek is a no-nonsense group and they produce a uniformly high-quality product.
Their muscat is slightly carbonated, a quality which increases as the wine ages, and this year took on a wonderfully viscous mouth feel. The flavor was undimmed, but had taken on strong notes of the peaches for which the area around Sisterdale is famous, and the sugars had softened as the carbonation strengthened. This wine, once a crisp allegro, has mellowed to a quiet nocturne, and gained a contemplative side which is so wonderfully expressed by muscat at its peak.
Like our wedding, I wouldn't say that this wine has sweetened through time, but it has become more interesting, and isn't that more important that sweetness, in the end?
OK, maybe I shouldn't be so mean to Bill Strange and Scott Davis, but they did, in fact, get this detail wrong. I know, poetic license and all that. It's an intro. It got you into and out of thinking about the wine. What do you want from me?

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