Monthly Archives: January 2011
Don’t be disturbed…
You’ll be pleased to know that whilst Christian may have sacrificed a bottle or two of his own stash for some fun in the sun, the wines back at the warehouse are safe and sound and kept in a cool, constant 63-65°F degrees at all times. We have even gone so far as importing our wines using climate controlled and insulated containers enabling us to better control and monitor the temperatures the wines will have endured during their journey to Bermuda. It’s just another example of Discovery Wine’s commitment to bringing you some of the best quality wines out there.
NEWSFLASH! CHRISTIAN COMMITS OENOCIDE!
So the boss (David Butterfield) describes wine as a living organism. He believes that in the bottle exists life that has energy and that can easily be disrupted by external forces. I have always known that direct light and extreme temperatures affect wine negatively but had never really thought of wine as “alive”. Well, if what he says is true, and wine in a bottle has life, then I just committed oenocide big time.
I’m on vacation right now. Left Bermuda on Boxing Day to meet some friends on a little Caye off the Belizean coast for New Year’s. My friend who lives down here was in the wine business himself for a number of years in Washington State, and another friend meeting us is a winemaker in Oregon, so I knew it would be a special treat if I brought some nice bottles to share for our New Year’s celebration. I brought a few from my collection (an ‘85 Leoville Barton, a ‘94 Leoville LasCases, an ‘05 Butterfield Beaune 1er Cru) and a few others that we have in stock at Discovery Wines like the ‘06 RR Pinot Noir, the ‘06 Defaix Rully, and the ‘09 Tempier Rosé. I packed them in my fancy-shmancy wine carrier and off to the tropics I went.
So I arrived in Mexico with my wines safe and secure. A few days later, after a long taxi ride and an even longer boat ride, I made it to Ambergris Caye, Belize, a magnificent island about the size of Bermuda with the second longest barrier reef in the world right off its eastern coast. Our New Year’s gathering and celebration was about to kick off in style. Let the wine drinking commence!
New Year’s Day was all fly-fishing and sunshine so something refreshing and crisp was in order before the evening’s hedonism truly commenced. The Tempier Rosé was spot on (it had been stored in the refrigerator at every point of the trip just to be on call and ready). As for the others…let’s just say the wines from then on were a bit of a disappointment. I’m not going to go into too many details but I cooked ‘em, all of ‘em. The thought had crossed my mind, that it might be a little warm, but I stored them in their wine carrier out of direct source of heat but 83 degrees ambient temperature is 83 degrees. We opened them all and found redeeming characteristics for each wine but it was just a bit too obvious for the oenophiles to critique what was lacking. Our winemaker friend from Oregon explained what researchers at UC Davis (the Harvard of winemaking schools) had concluded about wine and heat and that basically the rate of chemical reactions in wine can double with each 18°F increase in temperature. This means that a wine stored at 75°F can change twice as fast as one stored at 57°F – and not in a good way. I had basically sped up the aging process on all of the wines, which was especially detrimental for the older Bordeaux I had brought.
Lesson learned. I’m sure my boss considers me a murderer now and with that said, I hope all of you had less tragic wine drinking experiences over the holiday than I did. Happy New Year!