The Story of Memorable Wines

You just never know what’s going to impress.

Saturday we had a nice little dinner party here. No reason for it other than just to get together good friends. Of course, wine was involved. No one broke out any big guns that night. But, we did sample some very interesting wines that demonstrated something that is all too often the case:

An evening’s wines that are the most memorable often have an interesting story to tell.

Wine #1: Pinot Noir, 2000, New Zealand (Producer Unknown)
Yes, producer unknown…or at least forgotten. The label was in tatters, though I recall that in the candlelight someone still was able to make a guess at it. However, the name escapes me. Nevertheless, what I do remember about this wine was that it cost $1.99. And it was marvelous. Marvelous not because it was drinkable or even acceptable. But, marvelous because its aromas, flavor and texture was all so harmonious. But that’s not the story, is it. The $1.99 is the story. It came from a bargain bin at a local fine wine shop here in Sonoma. How it got to be listed at $1.99 I do not know, other than, of course, it was not selling at whatever its original price. I love finding wines that go so far beyond "bargain" they have no other descriptor for them

Wine #2: 1966 Rocha’s Port
K&L Wine Merchants tells the story like this. "The
most famous Port you’ve never heard of. Ridge Vineyards was looking for barrels (very scarce back then). The
only way to get them was to import them – full of Port! The wine has
held up extremely well, and is a true collector item."

Yes, THAT Ridge Vineyards. All of us thought this wine delightful. Yet, we all agreed it had seen better days and might have been better in 1996 rather than 2006. Yet, at the end of the night the bottle was emptied between 9 of us.

I think it it must be true that the most memorable wines we’ll ever taste are those that have a good story to go with them; a story that sparks our intellect and our memory.


One Response

  1. Outdoorgrrl - August 29, 2006

    You’re close! The most memorable wines are not the ones that have a story to tell, but rather are the ones you have a story to tell about.
    I still remember the cheap bottle of table wine my boyfriend (now husband) and I bought in Chamonix. We sipped it from plastic cups we’d nicked from the bar and watched the first snow of the season blanket the valley outside our window. Heaven!
    Last night, I had the last glass of Dissident (Mark Ryan Winery) with a plate of parmesan smothered ravioli. It was delicious, and the winemaker has a nice story. It won’t be very memorable though since I drank alone…

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