Old wines that are best forgotten

August 19, 2012 — 2 Comments

How many of you have wines, foods, or activities that you once loved but today, repulse you? Maybe repulse is too strong of a word, but the idea is the same. You used to love a wine, a region, a food, an activity, and when you return to it many years later, well, you find that it just doesn’t get your pulse racing anymore. It’s happened to me.

I’m sad to say that I’m in the middle of finishing off the last bottles of wine from an old client, and with each and every bottle I wonder more and more why I ever liked the wines in the first place. At the time when I worked for them, I was new to Spain and a bit caught up in the moment. I probably found the ability to love things more generously, with less skepticism. I remember really liking these wines back then.

Today I am a different person. The style these wines present to me today are 180 degrees from where I want to be drinking here and now. The wines are heavy, over oaked, and sickly sweet. They do score big points and as a friend pointed out last night, “some people love that vanilla flavor dripping over the top of over ripe fruit”. He has a point. These wines are “award” winners – wines to cellar for a long time, or in my case, forever. But as I open each one, slowly depleting my stock, I am more and more confident that I don’t need these wines in my life any more.

I am at a loss though. Did these always have that sickly oak, and I just forgave them? Or have they changed? I know I have changed, but I do look back on tasting notes of mine from the same time period and find that I was consistently making mention of wines that were “overdone”. Maybe when they were my client, I truly couldn’t be objective. Maybe my desire for them to succeed truly tainted my ability to see them for what they were. I would hope that that is not true. Today I have pretty nuetral feelings towards the winery, so I don’t think some pent up ill will clouding my opinion today. In truth, I’m not sure what the reason is.

Last night, the overly heavy bottle and oaky fruit soup from within never fully opened up. It never shed the unctuous unctuousness’s unctuosity. It sits here now as I type this, 3/4 full next to two empty bottles that were both drained with smiles firmly planted upon our visitor’s faces. I guess we invited the wrong guests.

I suppose I can say one thing for sure, my tastes are a changing. They most likely continue to change as time goes on.

I’m ok with that.

It gives me something to look forward to. Tomorrow.

2 responses to Old wines that are best forgotten

  1. That only has to do with you, your experiences and your taste. Human palate is a tough one to keep satisfied: always looking for a new adventure. Instead of looking for new favors, you should try to tech him how to be more mature…

    • I want to agree with you, but it’s interesting to read notes from that time in my life, and I consistently picked out wines that were over bearing, over oaky, and overly sweet for their style.

      While yes my tastes will and do evolve, I also think these wines are maturing in a way that is not very interesting and in the end might not be very interesting in the near future.

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