Blackberry Life

The Art of Aging

These days, it seems that the most anyone ages a wine is the time it takes them to drive it home from the store.

Most wine gets consumed and not saved. Restaurants are focused on turning inventory and the cost of storage. Retail shops similarly are there to buy wine and sell it quickly. It’s not bad, it’s just business. That bottle sitting on a shelf only makes them money when they sell it. And the consumer? Often, they buy a wine to drink tonight, not to put into the cellar for their children to enjoy.

But isn’t it exciting to think of tasting a wine from a bygone time? Wouldn’t you get excited today if someone shared a bottle of Burgundy from 1928? What about a Madeira from 1834? Or a Napa Cabernet from 1978 even? A nice Barolo from 1947? Those opportunities are rare. The wines have all been consumed, and there are precious few left.

For us, that idea has always been an exhilarating one. Since the inception of our wine program (this was a dry county 19 years ago), we had a vision of being able to offer amazing, cellar-aged wines to our guests. Wine worthy of age is made in finite amounts, and time always marches on. Each bottle that gets opened today is no longer available tomorrow. So we try to be selective about the wines we share today in order to preserve what is in the cellar for the next generation – and the next after that.

There will be a time in 60 or 100 years, when 2015 Burgundies, that are just now on the market and readily available, are a rare and aged commodity. The heralded 2013 Napa Valley wines that you can find in a store will seem like hallowed, ancient offerings. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino’s will become equally hard to find.

Aged wines are not necessarily better than current offerings, but well-aged wines are a treat simply due to their scarcity. We need only exercise patience, and before we know it, the collection will be full of well-aged gems that you can’t find anywhere else.

Andy Chabot, Director of Food and Beverage

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