Wine Experience of the Week – For 1000 Likes
If you are not into Facebook, the title probably won’t mean much to you. Wine a Day recently gained 1000 people on our Facebook page. Thanks to the people who follow us via Facebook, as well as Twitter and here on the blog. So what does one do to celebrate – yes that’s right, open one of the bottles of wine you have been keeping for such an occasion.
Unusually, I selected a white wine for this occasion. Unusual because I usually prefer big red wines, but also because I do not often keep white wines for too long. The fresh zinginess you get from young white wines is often what you are after when you reach for one. Therefore, a lot of white wines do not lend themselves to being aged. There are many exceptions though. Before you go and cellar that Chardonnay that has been in the fridge for the last 2 weeks, there are some things you should do before laying down white wines:
Always ask. If you are at the winery they will probably volunteer information about it being a “drink now” wine or if it will benefit from some time in a cellar. If it is at the wine shop, get their opinion. If it is for drinking right away they will tell you.
Failing that, look on the internet. If a review suggests it could do with some more age, then go for it.
Buy more than 1 bottle. This way you can open one of them after a couple of years, just to make sure it is getting better with age.
If you are still not sure after all that, then try one of the bottles you have bought. If you think it could do with some added depth and richness, then go ahead and keep one for the future.
For this Wine Experience of the Week, I have the Hugel & Fils 2000 Traditional Riesling. I was lucky enough to be given the advice that it could be kept for a few years at the winery. The old vines in the Alsace region can lend themselves to making white wines that can age well. This vintage was only released by Hugel in 2007, so they took care of most of the aging. Despite the age, the wine was still fresh when tasting it at the winery; with floral, fruity and slight aniseed aromas and a great depth in the drinking.
Tasting the wine recently the aromas had developed to be sweeter, almost honey sweetness along with white flower, peach and aniseed that had been retained. The colour seemed to have deepened to be more golden. Tasting the wine you get a fruity start, with some slight nutty depth to it. To finish it is dry with some good acid. You can enjoy this wine with fish, light pork or even veal with a light sauce. I had it with chicken, with some delicate Thai flavors and it went down very well. At around €25 to €30, looking at prices on the internet, it is pretty good value for the quality you are getting. If you have not tried wines from Alsace before, this would be a great place to start.
The wine probably wouldn’t benefit from much more aging however, so if you have one sitting around, find a good reason to open it and enjoy! If you have had an experience with a white wine you have kept for aging, please share a comment. It is always nice to hear other experiences.