Monday, March 16, 2009
WE WILL SERVE NO WINE BEFORE IT'S TIME
I don't know if anyone remembers that old commercial from Paul Masson. Orsen Wells delivered that tag line (okay I am seriously dating myself). For those of you who are movie buffs, Mr. Wells directly what has been called the greatest film ever made - Citizen Kane. Yet in the twilight of his career, he was pegged to deliver that famous ad for wine. And I think it was that line that led to one of the greatest misconceptions in the wine business today.
Let me explain.
Today, Shannon told me about a phone call she received from a customer who asked her, and I am totally serious here, if she had older vintages of Beringer White Zinfandel. She had heard on some show or in some article that it would be fun for someone to try several vintages of their favorite wine back-to-back to get an idea of how the wine ages. At no fault to the customer, poor Shannon was holding back the laughter, but I know that this customer didn't really know any better. Most people are truly under the notion that all wine ages.
That my friends is where they get it wrong.
The fact is that more than 90% of all wine produced in the world is meant for near-term consumption, meaning anywhere between now and 6 months. 90%. Very little is actually built for aging so something like Two-Buck Chuck, or Beringer White Zinfandel should be drank right away.
Heaven forbid if anyone actually HAD some five-year old White Zin, or even older. Man that would probably be some of the shittiest wine that could ever be tasted, probably something akin to strawberry viniagrette. Yummy.
So for all of those from my generation, and anyone who may have learned about the concept of vintages from the man who narrated War of the Worlds on the radio, drink now or you'll be dumping it down the drain later.