Just before we moved, we had our favorite neighbor over for one final dinner at the old house. This was one of our last nights there, which meant most of our things were already in boxes. Takeout Thai food was served on paper plates, along with a California bubbly in juice glasses.
After dinner, as we were relaxing in the living room, the power went out. It was more funny than annoying—the power used to go out all the time in our remote neighborhood. We settled into our conversation, speaking in the glow of my iPhone.
Most of the wine had also been packed up at this point, but I wanted to keep the night going. I remembered a bottle of dessert wine that was stashed in the back of the refrigerator, an Alana-Tokaj Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2005. Of course, my wine openers were packed with the rest of the kitchen items, so I went out to the car to fetch the knockoff Swiss Army knife that was stashed in the glove box and thankfully had a corkscrew attachment.
The Alana-Tokaj was wonderful—thick and creamy in our juice glasses, it had all the wonderful, rich notes of honey, dried apricots, caramel, candied citrus peel and spice that you would expect from this prized Hungarian wine made from botrytized grapes. (Learn more about how dessert wines are made and what 6 puttonyos means.) A nervy acidity kept all the flavors bright and even juicy, never cloying. I rated it 94 points, non-blind. It was magical to sit there in the dark, to concentrate on the company, the conversation and this wonderful wine. What a shame when the lights came back on and the bottle was empty.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Alana-Tokaj Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2005 (95 points, $136/500ml).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated wines from the Tokaji region of Hungary.