30 Second Wine Advisor: Really, really old wine
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In This Issue
 A note to readers: 24 hours in a day Our Wednesday and Friday editions return to their roots as "Wine Advisor Express."
 Really, really old wine In current topics on our forums, we visit with a Parisian collector of very old wines, and offer a poll about the oldest wine you've tasted.
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A note to readers:
24 hours in a day
You'll see a small change in the Wednesday and Friday editions of The 30 Second Wine Advisor beginning today: With occasional exceptions, you'll find - most days, anyway - that it's a bit more concise.

Because I've taken on yet another exciting but time-consuming project, I'm facing the reality that there are only 24 hours in a day. Something has to give, and rather than cut the Wine Advisor back to only one or two days per week, I'm going to try returning the weekday editions to their original intent as "Wine Advisor Express" ... a quick, digestible bite, a brief wine-tasting tip, wine-news note, wine-related hotlink or concise tasting report.

Really, really old wine

What's the oldest wine you've ever tasted? There's something rare and exciting about opening an exceptionally old bottle that makes any wine occasion special, and one litmus test that defines a dedicated "wine geek" is to ask whether he's ever enjoyed a wine older than he is.

Ancient wines can offer an ethereal experience, developing subtle and elusive flavors that can be almost impossible to describe; and of course, in an all-too-obvious metaphor for life, the most ageworthy collectibles seem to gain richness and complexity with age ... but then they turn frail and weak and eventually they die.

Most of us get to taste very old wines so rarely that we vividly remember them, and they tend to come out for special occasions when good friends gather. I still count among my most enduring wine memories a few ancient bottles and the friends I shared them with: A 1942 Vega Sicilia enjoyed with wine-forum pals in Madrid; a 1947 Seppelt Para Port shared with other friends in Sydney. The 1948 Niepoort Port opened with a small group of friends on the eve of the Millennium, and an amazing wine-forum tasting in 1993 that featured more than a dozen Chateau Palmer Margaux from 1921 through 1989. Memories are made of this, or wine memories are, anyway.

Speaking of really old wines, Parisian François Andouze, a participant in our WineLovers Discussion Group, is a dedicated collector of old wines, which he frequently enjoys with fellow enthusiasts who gather for old-wine dinners, paying their way by their own older bottles to share. You might enjoy his detailed report on one such event in this recent wine-forum post.

Tell us about the very old wines you've enjoyed! I've set up a simple online poll in our Netscape WineLovers Community. You can vote in the poll and view the tally without registration, although of course you're welcome to hang around and add your comments. Here's the ballot.

Want more wine talk? Got a question? You're always welcome to join the online conversations in our Netscape WineLovers Community,
and, for more advanced wine-geek discussions, on our non-commercial WineLovers Discussion Group,

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.

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To subscribe or unsubscribe from The 30 Second Wine Advisor, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail at wine@wineloverspage.com, including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.

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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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