When Wines Go Bad

vermeer, wine tasting

The Glass of Wine, by Johannes Vermeer

Last night I got together with a friend to plan my first book signing / book release party.  We look just like the picture. I swear.  My friend has very generously offered to host the event, which I appreciate immensely.  As is our wont, there was wine involved: An ’05 Mount Aukum Syrah.

She had already uncorked the wine and allowed it to breath for about 30 minutes before I arrived.  It is a remarkable wine.  The darkest of dark burgundy in color.  No light penetrates into its Stygian darkness.  Remarkably, it has almost no aroma.  It was good: very smooth and full bodied.  It tasted of rich, dark cherry, black pepper and spice and a nice long finish.  This was a wonderful wine to drink on its own.

It reached it’s peak about an hour after we started tasting it.  So that’s 90 minutes after the wine was opened up.  The flavor seemed to stabilize there for a while.  I don’t know if it would have changed any more as we’d polished off the bottle in another 30 minutes.  :-)

Although it was good, we both agreed that it lacked the acid and tannin required to make it a great wine.  I might even go so far as to say this wine is “flabby”.  But who of us over 45 isn’t, really?  The ’05 has already peaked, perhaps, and needs to be consumed soon.  But don’t pair it with strong flavored foods, it won’t stand up to it.  I’m thinking cheese and cherries for an afternoon or late night snack.

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About dslocicero

David is an author and architect living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes about wine, food and travel. His first book is Pour Me Another: An Opinionated Guide to Gold Country Wines, now one of the highest rated books about California Wines.