The five of you won’t last long in my house!
I’ve never been much of a wine collector. Sure, I’ve tried, but inevitably I succumb to its presence. I mean, there’s always a reason why I’ve tried to save certain bottles: I brought it home from Italy, it’s the wine my husband and I served at our wedding, it’s the best rose I’ve ever tasted, it’s sold out at Ponte. It lasts a while in my wine fridge, but, sure enough, I find myself out of all my other wine and, well, it’s there. So it’s opened up and enjoyed. Today, my wine fridge sits empty and unplugged. Sometimes I wish I’d held on to this or that, but then I think to myself, “What for?”
Why wait? Let’s enjoy it today
Four months after I moved to Pittsburgh from San Diego I experienced my first east coast thunderstorm. Let me tell you, thunderstorms in southern California are n-o-t-h-i-n-g like what they are out here. I came home from work and had the television on. I remember the skies were growing very dark and the wind was kicking up. Suddenly, the tv program broke for a severe weather alert. I don’t remember what the meteorologist said about rainfall or temperatures; I remember one word: tornadoes. As I sat down, glued to the screen the thunder started. In California, thunder was a grumbling sound, boom here, bang there. I was utterly unprepared for the sounds that came out of the sky that day…first a literal ripping sound, like a dictionary being torn in half by Superman, “RIIPPPP!” then CRASH! The loudest, most horrifying crash of thunder I’d ever experienced. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I fully expected my apartment to be shattered by sound waves. Seconds later, “BOOOOOM!” another one, and I haven’t even gotten started on the lighting – over 1,000 lighting strikes in the county in a matter of minutes. Ah, yes, and back to the tornadoes. Mr. Meteorologist calmly stated that tornadoes had begun to form at Three Rivers Point…I lived blocks away from there. The first thing that popped into my head? “I need to get under a doorway.” A doorway! My California elementary school earthquake drills came into play beautifully! I hadn’t a clue what to do during a tornado. The only thing I could do was pray. And pray I did. Turns out, the tornadoes were very, very minor and the storm passed. Sure that my life could have just ended, I thought to myself, “Boy, I’m sure glad I drank that bottle of vintage port I’d been saving last week. It would have surely perished if this roof had been blown off.” I’m totally kidding. And, of course, when precious life is at risk and natural and unnatural disaster strikes, it is not wine or even things we think of; it’s life and loved ones. And that is why I ask the question, “What are we waiting for?”
I’ve got to hand it to you folks who are serious about aging your wines for years and years. That takes more patience and self-discipline than I’ll ever have. One thing I love about Ponte wines is that they are always released ready to drink. Sometimes our winemaker, Mark, will let us know if a particular vintage has the potential to age well, but that never means it isn’t ready yet. Thank goodness because I’m in the camp of “enjoy it now because tomorrow’s no guarantee.” I’d rather share a rare bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or my last bottle of Arneis with my friends and family who love wine like I do than let it hang out in my basement until the perfect occasion. In my experience, the perfect occasion never seems to happen; like John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” So drink up. Wine is a wonderful, delicious example of what mankind can accomplish from the good things the earth gives us. It is to be shared and appreciated. It’s to be celebrated with, it is to be gifted, it is to bring smiles to our faces and warmth to our hearts. What are we waiting for?
–How about you? Do you age your wines?