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When the Good Stuff’s in Your Glass

Posted on: July 5th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

This summer, it is quite possible that many of us will be honored with the opportunity to taste an “expensive” wine, courtesy of friends and family.  When this happens it’s tempting to assume an attitude of indifference by thinking “I can’t really appreciate this anyway” or “I could never afford this no matter how good it tastes”.  But don’t!  There are other options.

Good stuff in your glass…

If someone offers you glass of expensive wine, be glad, and enjoy it with an open mind.  Even though it may seem frivolous to simply consume a liquid that may have cost over $10 an ounce, look at it as a learning experience or even enlightenment.  After all, there are many wine aficionados who pay big bucks to simply share the fruit of the vine, not to impress or intimidate, but to highlight the moment as a time for celebration.

Here are few things to keep in mind before giving the “good stuff” an honest try:

Take your time.  Most experts would say “approach the wine”.  Keep the $10/ounce figure in mind and savor the experience.  See if you can catch a hint of the bouquet as it is poured.  Some of these special bottles can send aromas across the table.  Gently swirl and see if you can pick up the bouquet about 4 inches above the glass before sticking your nose in for the classic sniff.  You may also decide to sit the glass down after sniffing and have a bite to eat to eat before tasting.

Be prepared for a surprise.  Good or bad, the overall taste of an expensive wine is never quite as you expect, even if you have tasted top-shelf before.  This is because the market for wine is relatively efficient.  Wines that get high ratings cost more.  Often the reason they get high ratings is because there is something inside that sets them apart.  This can be in the form of “extreme” flavors that you either like or don’t like.

The wine may be too young.  Many expensive wines are produced especially to be cellared for a long time.  Consume them too early, before their components have had a chance to integrate, and their full potential is wasted.  If your host makes this mistake, oh well.  You may not be able to resist saying, “Wow, this will cellar for years!”  If asked for candid comments, let ‘em have it.

Don’t forget to thank your host.  And if you have just acquired another rather costly habit, finance accordingly.


Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.



About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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