Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aging Spring Wines

An aspect that may take years for me to gain some handle upon is the effect of aging on different wines. General wisdom calls for aging a wine at least half a year and ideally a year. Beyond that, my impression is that wines have a certain stability, after that first year's aging.

Is this the actually the case with spring wines? Last Thursday, coming home from a day's labors -- literally labors in my case, since I had been doing some concrete work -- I fetched up a Wine 22, a dandelion wine that had seemed quite satisfactory when sipped during the time of dandelion blooming, and in the month or so before that.

On Thursday the flavor seemed to me less than ideal -- making me wonder if these wines should not be enjoyed early in spring, and finished before the arrival of summer. The wine is still changing as the season does, after all.

Does it not seem possible that the wine is at its peak at that point of its first year of age, when its ingredients are again fresh at hand, in yard and field?

Is it not just as possible that the spring-influenced imbiber is at peak receptivity for the product of the season being re-experienced?

Another thought is that basement temperatures may be part of the picture. Those temperatures are now rising from their winter lows. Bringing a wine up from the basement is not the same as it was: for the wine I bring up today, though cool, is warmer than the somewhat chilled wine I brought up in April.

Chilling the wine does seem to restore some of that spring freshness. I remain uncertain, however, about whether the wine tastes quite as good as it did when the yellow brightness of riant dandelion blooms adorned the yard.

Cheers ...

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