Friday, January 24, 2014

Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon, 1979

Ought one to store one's wine upright in the back of a liquor cabinet for thirty years? Hmmm. Well, surely they'll make more.

What's interesting is that, according to Alexander Valley's website, the winery was built in 1975, so this vintage may have been the very first and certainly had to have been among the first.

In thirty years, the wine had done what good wines are supposed to do when they age: all its mouth-puckering tannins were gone, its color had altered from mulberry youth to nut-brown age, and its taste was all sherry, pecans, and baked date syrup, if there could be such a thing. This cabernet probably reached its prime ten years ago, for it certainly did not thrill the party enough to finish the bottle -- and when it comes to it, people drink up what they like.

But it was fun to bring to a Wine 101 tasting the following week, so that everyone could literally hold up to the light and see two examples of the same type of wine, made thirty years apart. Some actually gasped as they watched the brown liquid pour into the cup. But it didn't get drunk up that night, either.

So I still have half the bottle. May I cook with it, or will it ruin any dish?

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