Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ten Green Bottles...

I have neither the time nor the liver to get through the amount of wine I taste. But that doesn’t mean that I open the bottle, slosh some round my mouth and immediately dispose of the rest to the sink/postman/dog/whatever. What I do do is annoy the pants off my wife by having several bottles in various stages of consumption.

Why? I’ll put it this way. Have you ever got to the end of a bottle and thought that the last glass was significantly better than the first? Intoxication may be a factor – particularly if it’s just you and the bottle – but there’s also the fact that the wine has changed. It’s one of the two main reasons that people decant wine (the other is to get it off the harmless but unsightly sludge). Expose a wine to air, and released from the confines of its bottle, it opens up, it sheds its reserve, it taken its shoes off and relaxes.

Hence the plethora of open bottles in the kitchen, some of them for up to a week. Sometimes the wine stays the same, sometimes it even gets worse. But often, shy young wines reveal their charms, while big brash brawny New World reds calm down and begin to show subtleties that weren’t initially apparent. Even if you don’t have the time, space and/or inclination to follow a wine’s progress over several days, do try decanting your wines – even whites.

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