Memories are made of this…

By: Stacie Hunt – Certified Sommelier
Contributor’s website: Splash Pros   
What do you remember about last night?  Sometimes a  special bottle of wine can make memories, or start a tradition.
Each Friday, I used to look forward to the Wall Street Journal. No, not checking my 401K (which is now more like a 101K), but to the now-deceased wine column written by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher.  Each year the duo would have a special reader event called, “Open That Bottle Night.”  I’m delighted to say they have continued this tradition, via Facebook.  It takes place on the third week of February each year (you don’t have to remember this, I’ll remind you as it gets close). 

On the specified night, we readers are to open that bottle that we’ve been saving for—-for—-um, for something.
I’m proposing we take the opportunity of this upcoming holiday to recall or create a memory with a bottle of wine.  Wine bottles do take on special and deep meanings. Maybe you received a bottle from someone who’s now departed (either permanently or temporarily), or a bottle that was a special vintage, or and this is my thing—a bottle purchased while traveling. Just looking at the bottle brings back memories. Teaching my classes, I always say: “Wear your good shoes and drink your good wine.” Why? Because we have no idea what’s going to happen to us next ( I mean, we just dodged the “End of the World” bullet). Drinking a good bottle of wine (heck, just about any bottle of wine) pretty much guarantees a memory will be created.
But here’s a less sentimental reason to open that bottle of wine: It’s possible that the wine will be past its prime. This is especially true when it comes to value-priced wines. These are the wines that are in the under $10.00-$25.00 category. Wines in this price range are usually wines that are ready to drink now, enjoyed in their youth. Aging these wines too long can rob them of their vigor. This is especially true of white wine varietals such as Albariño and Verdejo from Spain; Trebbiano and Pinot Grigio from Italy; Torrontes from Argentina; Chardonnay blends from Southwest France and California; Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc from anywhere.

Young reds in this range also desperately want out of the bottle. The Rosso d’Montalcino, Chianti and Sangiovese wines from Italy; the red blends from SW France; Tempranillo and Grenache (Garnacha) from Spain; and the wines with creative names on their labels from Australia.
Take advantage of the great prices and refreshing tastes being offered for these wines this spring season.
How about tonight or this weekend, we all try something together?  For those of us who enjoy wine, why not offer up a toast with one of those bottles we’ve been saving? Now, we have for sure created a memory for ourselves and perhaps a new tradition.
Wine Tip of the Week:  Solsticio Torrontes won the Silver Medal at the Prestigious LA International Wine Competition.  You can find this wine for about $12.00 at fine wine shops such as Du Vin Wine & Spirits.  And, pick up a copy of  Love by the Glass, by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Becher a true story of their love through a life of wine.
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Contributor’s website:  Splash Pros
(Image credits:  Romantic Dinner with Wine, iClipArt; Dorothy J. Gaiter & John Brecher,; Solsticio Torrontes Label,; Opening Wine Bottle,; Couple at Sunset,

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