What’s the first wine you ever tasted? The one that shaped your wine forming years to come? The one that made an oh so lasting impression upon your fuzzy mind?
Mine was Sutter Home White Zin. Yep. I think I was about 15 years old at my older sister’s wedding. I’d somehow talked each of my aunts to lend me a couple sips. At four aunts a few times, I was getting my first taste of the good sweet life. I would envision myself—cigarette in hand—at a local café, sloshing back my wine and writing intensely thoughtful poetry, with a stack of books including such names as Tolstoy, Woolf and Dostoevsky at my side. A canvas bag from The Strand in NY slung to the post of my rickety chair. I’d probably write something really original, too. As you do when you are infused with sweet, cloying pink wine.
Ahhhh, that wine that started it all.
But what of the last that touches your tongue? Ever allow yourself such a morbid moment to contemplate that?
All this talk of the Apocalypse tomorrow, it’s hard to wonder if one of these days ‘they’ will finally get it right. You could think of who you’d want to call…who you’d want to ask forgiveness from… who you’d want to sleep with one last (or first?) time.
But what one bottle would you consume?
Would you go for the top shelf and throw down for DRC? Go for nostalgia and share that wine you had on your wedding with your spouse? Go for volume and finally crack open that jeroboam to drown your sorrows and numb yourself of any apprehension?
Whether tomorrow’s apocalypse or another unfortunate time in the future I realize my number is up, I definitely want to attempt to go down with a good wine still evident on my lips.
So, today, I have given this some thought. Yes, DRC sounds yummy, especially since I have never had one. A vintage Champagne from Salon could be nice. Or perhaps the very rare 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc? And boy do I love my Rayas, Giacosa, Soldera and Raveneau…
Eh, I don’t know. The thing is, I will want something I know is worth it. Something I have had before.
To date, the most interesting, knee-buckling wine I have ever experienced was the 1957 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Gran Reserva. When I smelled that fifty-four year old wine, I quite literally teared up, not so much because I was sentimental…rather my senses had never smelled anything so incredible in my entire life. They were inspired. I was inspired. I wanted to stay in that smell forever. It was a collage of baked apples with honey, a note of marmalade, but mostly the impressive evidence of age and wisdom. It was not a wine on the wane. It was just coming to life.
If tomorrow is really it, wherever I am, I will live as large as I can for an ephemeral strand of time. If my life is coming to a close, I want a wine that is just being born.
I am curious… what bottle would you choose?