Great wines are like great books.
Once you start, they're hard to put down.
I was talking with a winemaker friend the other day about what constitutes a truly great wine. Or more specifically, what is the truest measure of a wine's allure. Indeed, there are many.
Yet in one of those moments of random synchronicity, we both came to the same conclusion at precisely the same moment.
Our shared realization?
With a great wine you should be able to drink the entire bottle without tiring of it. That's not to say you should or need to drink an entire bottle. But you get the point. Great wines keep you coming back for more.
When you're drinking a wine, at some point, for one reason or another, you will either stop or continue. You stop because there's something about the wine that's fatiguing.
My winemaker friend explained one perspective. When he and his staff are blind tasting their wine with competitors, at some point you lose interest in some wines while others remain captivating.
I often bring wines home from the office for that very reason. Tasting a wine again under a different setting is a way to consider why it appealed to me earlier in the day or perhaps what it is missing.
If you keep coming back to a wine it's because you find something delightful about it. Bottles you get tired of have something about them that causes you to lose interest. At least that's what happens to me.
Of course, you don't have to drink a whole bottle to know how much you like a wine. If you bag up six bottles for a blind tasting at a dinner party, see which bottle or bottles are emptied first, which take longer to finish and which ones still have wine left at the end of the evening.
That's one sure way to size up a wine. What are your methods?
Matthew Slywka — Seymour, CT — March 28, 2011 4:39pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — March 28, 2011 4:45pm ET
David Dickson — Sacramento, CA — March 28, 2011 5:10pm ET
John B Vlahos — Cupertino Ca. — March 28, 2011 10:10pm ET
Tom Vincent — New York — March 28, 2011 11:04pm ET
Michael Myette — Sacramento, CA USA — March 28, 2011 11:39pm ET
Jonathan Lawrence — somewhere in the world — March 29, 2011 6:51am ET
Jeff Ames — Napa, ca — March 29, 2011 5:30pm ET
Sandy Fitzgerald — Centennial, CO — March 29, 2011 7:22pm ET
Mark Garcia — Oakdale, CA USA — March 30, 2011 5:10pm ET
Don Rauba — Schaumburg, IL — March 31, 2011 12:53am ET
Dave Reuther — Deerfield, Illinois — April 1, 2011 6:07pm ET
Jim Mason — St. John's — April 2, 2011 7:59am ET
Harvey Posert — Napa Valley CA — April 4, 2011 4:18pm ET
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