Wednesday, January 29, 2014

In which I make a wine cellar, and it turns out to be a mistake

Now, the house is 121 years old ... and I do remember that wine shoppe "Inferno." Never seen it since.

The first bottle I put into it was Nina Negri Inferno -- Valtellina Superiore 2002. Delicious, finishing like currant and raspberry jam -- velvety.

Unhappily, this is the basement of a hundred-and-fifteen-year-old (we think) house. Humidity doesn't begin to describe what lurks in the air down here. (Think of it ... the bricks were laid when Queen Victoria was a doughty 74-year-old grandmother, just a few years away from celebrating her Diamond Jubilee. And the wooden steps up from our basement are warped in the middle, from generations of use.)

Even with my cellar up off the floor, my bottle of Inferno -- which I soon rescued from the depths and opened because someone who should know told me that the wine is at its peak now -- tasted like a basement. I don't think the bottle was corked. There was just enough whiff of rain-soaked cardboard to make me doubt my judgment, certainly to rethink my definition of a wine cellar, and to ruin the bottle. For the moment, then, I am reduced to my usual expedient, drinking what I buy ....

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