I’m still only 38. Granted, I’ve got a few creaks and groans, but I’m far from old. And within that time frame I’ve only been buying and cellaring wine for about 15 years. That’s hardly ancient in terms of wine time. But for the first time ever, I had a wine that made me feel old …
Over the weekend I opened up a bottle of 1999 Méo-Camuzet Nuits-St.-Georges Aux Murgers. It's one of those wines I only have a bottle or two of left and have been achingly waiting to open, hoping that when I do, I hit it at just the right time. With the calendar changing, I figured 10 years from vintage date was a good enough reason to pull the cork on my second-to-last bottle of it.
As I was taking my first sip, I looked at the inventory on my laptop. Like most wine geeks, I keep records on where and when I buy my wines, the price, as well as a historical record of when I open the bottles. I keep plenty of tasting notes too, of course. I noticed that I bought the wine at $50 on release—not exactly cheap by today’s standards, which means it was fairly expensive back then. I was curious as to where the current vintages were priced. I had an idea, but I did a quick search online just to double check.
Today the 2006 retails for about $135, a price that is now squarely out of my price range, and was even before things got tight. The 2005 vintage retails for a laughable $200.
I started bellyaching to Nancy about prices, whining how the wines that I could've splurged for here and there in the past are now nothing more than just fantasies. Barring winning the lottery, I realized there won’t ever be any Méo-Camuzet added to my cellar from here on.
Looking through my inventory of Burgundy in general, and Méo-Camuzet in particular, I noticed how I went from buying premier cru bottlings in the 1999 vintage, to village wines in 2002, to basically nothing (Burgundy-wise, at least). A few well-intentioned verticals never got off the ground.
Nancy was completely disinterested in my complaining (I bet she thinks I’ve got enough wine anyway, or something like that). Suddenly I felt like the grumpy old guy who tells the neighborhood whippersnappers how he used to walk to school every day, five miles, in the snow, uphill—both ways.
Maybe it's a midlife wine crisis? It’s certainly the first time a wine has ever made me feel old, rather than young.
Jim Nuffield — Toronto — January 12, 2009 4:16pm ET
Peter J Gatti — Austin, — January 12, 2009 4:23pm ET
David W Voss — Elkhorn, Wi — January 12, 2009 4:42pm ET
Michael Tracy — Corona, CA — January 12, 2009 4:53pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — January 12, 2009 4:57pm ET
John Jorgenson — Seattle, — January 12, 2009 6:34pm ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — January 12, 2009 6:45pm ET
James Molesworth — January 12, 2009 6:51pm ET
David Peters — Mission Viejo, CA — January 12, 2009 7:14pm ET
David A Zajac — January 13, 2009 3:44pm ET
Wesley Stone — Houston, TX — January 13, 2009 9:27pm ET
John Shuey — Carrollton, TX — January 14, 2009 9:15am ET
James Molesworth — January 14, 2009 10:17am ET
David A Zajac — January 14, 2009 10:50am ET
Jason Carey — willow, ny usa — January 14, 2009 1:14pm ET
Anthony Clapcich — new york — January 14, 2009 3:50pm ET
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