Monday, July 17, 2017

Rant: Stop Hoarding Your Wine

Four years ago, I visited southern Oregon and stopped at Abacela Winery for a tour, tasting and lunch. The winery has a strong affinity for Spanish grapes and in 1995, they planted the first Tempranillo in the Pacific Northwest. Over  a delightful lunch with Paella, the star wine was the 2005 Abacela Paramour ($90), made from Tempranillo and created in a Gran Reserva style. At that time, it was an impressive wine, though the winery suggested it should be cellared for several more years. I purchased a bottle to take home and placed it into my wine cellar, where it sat for four years.

Last week, for my birthday celebration, I finally opened that bottle, sharing it with family and friends. It was an amazing wine, loved by everyone who tasted it, and I certainly wish I had purchased more when I visited the winery. For my birthday, I wanted to open a special bottle and price wasn't an object. I realized that I might never enjoy this wine again, and that the price for the 2005 vintage had probably risen. I might have been able to sell it for a profit. However, I don't have a single regret that I opened the bottle.

In the end, it was just a wine, something to drink and share. I didn't view it as an investment vehicle, something to save until its value increased and then sold it off at a profit. I don't have a single bottle in my wine cellar that wouldn't open for some occasion. And I also don't let my special bottles sit in my cellar, waiting for the perfect occasion which never seems to arrive. Every bottle in my cellar is meant to be drank.

Too many people let their special wines sit in their cellars and never open them. They say that they are saving them for a special occasion, maybe a holiday, birthday, anniversary or other celebration, but they never actually get to opening them. Wines don't age forever. At some point, a wine will peak and then it will begin to decline. Do you want to drink your wines when they are on the decline? Will you wait until the wine is actually over the hill, if not dead?

You need to stop hoarding those wines and drink them. Commit to opening a special wine on your next celebration, even if you are only celebrating that it is Friday night. Sure, you could try to save those special wines, hoping they gain in value so that could you sell them some day. However, what do you really gain? And what will you do with the money you might earn from selling the wine?

Life is about experiences not objects. And the experience of sharing an expensive bottle of wine with good friends and family is priceless. I have good friends who understand that sentiment, and freely share their own special bottles on various occasions. They are all about the experience, worrying not about the price of the wine.

Stop hoarding your wines! Share them with family and friends and savor the experience. You won't regret it.


Sue said...

I could not agree more! I used to save them too but last year, began to realize the time is now! They are meant to be drunk and enjoyed and though I have some that have been on my rack a long time, five years or more, I have begun to open and enjoy them now. We don't live forever - I don't want to live my best wines behind :)

S0rcy said...

This also goes for beer. We purchase special bottles and make a date to open them, such as purchasing Ninkasi's bourbon barrel aged space beer and Deschutes Black Butte birthday reserves for Game of Thrones.