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Some thoughts on a wine tasting

(After today I will probably stop talking about wine for a while, so stay with me--it feels like I've practically got a wine blog at this point.) I used my Christmas money this year to buy the most expensive wine I have ever purchased, a bottle of Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir 2003. Saturday night at our friends' place seemed an ideal occasion to uncork it--except that to my surprise, it was sealed by a screwcap instead! I was robbed of the fun of popping a cork, but both enclosures have their advantages and I was not put off in any way by the discovery.

The wine certainly spoke for itself. I thought I detected some chocolate and indeed, it paired very well with home-baked brownies! Clearly, it was a good wine. But I won't be drinking it again any time soon. To my unrefined palate, I'm not convinced it was worth the price. At our budget I'd rather have decent wines every other week than an excellent wine every other month. (And there are some very decent wines available at bargain prices... I refer you once more to the invaluable Dr. Vino.)

As a counterpoint to the Pinot Noir, we opened an extravagantly foul bottle of '95 Merlot that was dumped down the drain after one sip. Chalk it up as a learning experience: now we know what wine tastes like when it goes bad. Remember kids, it's basically only reds that improve with age and even then it's only premium wine, stored properly, that will be worth saving. Don't even try aging that bottle of Yellowtail Shiraz. It's good if you drink it now, but in a few years it'll turn to shite.


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