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Another Decade

February 27, 2011

For those who haven’t been reading the Sunday wine post for the past few weeks, last night was the twelfth annual Open That Bottle Night. As planned, Mrs. Fussy and I opened one of the two remaining bottles of Domaine du Gros’Noré Bandol from 1998.

Our plans for OTBN were put in jeopardy by Friday’s snowstorm, but everything worked out in the end. The daube de boeuf got a bit dumbed down so it could be ready in time. Regardless, the resulting beef stew was delicious and went splendidly with the wine that still amazingly after over a decade had some firm tannins intact.

It’s sad to think there is just one last bottle of this wine. Raf bought us ten bottles of it (and two bottles of a delightful Châteauneuf-du-Pape) as a wedding gift in the summer of 2001. The idea was for us to drink a bottle a year and watch it develop and age in tandem with our marriage.

Now it’s almost gone, and I think we need to buy another case of wine to keep this tradition rolling. Maybe you should too. What follows is another case for cases.

This last remaining bottle of wine has seen a lot of change. It has lived with us in two states and four different domiciles. It was here for the births of our two children and the deaths of loved ones on both sides of the family. It has witnessed my transition from ad man to food writer and Mrs. Fussy’s evolution from student to teacher.

There has been a certain comfort, a distinct connection to the past, that this wine has brought into our lives. Mrs. Fussy thinks it has substantially declined, but I’m not so sure. It’s not the brash jump-out-of-the-glass monster it was in its youth, but nonetheless it’s still kicking. Just like us.

What will the next ten years bring? I have no idea. I could never have predicted ten years ago that today I’d be living in upstate New York writing a food blog that is read by hundreds of people.

But I’d like to bring another wine along on this upcoming leg of the journey.

Although maybe this next time, we stay away from the heavier reds in favor of something that might be more appealing when our anniversary rolls around in the summer. Obviously this will require some intense negotiations with Mrs. Fussy.

It’s not an inexpensive undertaking. Age-worthy wine tends to be pricier. And we do not plan to invest in any kind of climate-controlled device in which to keep it pristine.

We will keep it in a cool, dark place.

Likely I will go to a local wine store that I trust, and talk the problem through with them. I’ll look for recommendations, and I’ll mull them over. Then I’ll bring home a couple of the more promising bottles to try them before committing to the case. Right now I’m thinking either white Bordeaux, an Auslese Riesling or an Alsatian Gewurztraminer. But I’m open to suggestions.

I suspect that the next decade will be all about raising children. And I imagine that if I weren’t starting to feel old already, the challenges of raising kids in our modern information age would really put me over the hill. I expect this subsequent ten-year period will be more stable than the last, but one never can tell. But it would be nice to know that whatever the future brings, there will be some constant: A bottle of wine that is aging alongside Mrs. Fussy, the Fussy little children and me.

Without markers, the time just slips away. And this is a great excuse to put down a small and manageable quantity of wine. It’s never too late to start a new tradition, and perhaps you will consider taking on a case of your own. If you need any help, or have any questions, just let me know.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2011 2:36 pm

    This reminds me of a tradition I have heard about in passing from Europe. Being at the distillery affords me the opportunity to talk to a lot of interesting people and I have heard of (more then once) the idea of putting a spirit in a barrel for your wedding and letting it age until your first born is married. Another version is that you put the spirit in when your child is born and likewise wait until the wedding. It is usually done with Cognac, or so I am told.

    While I don’t have 55 gallons of spirits to devote to that, nor a child — it would be interesting to try something along those lines. So don’t mind if I steal your idea about the wine cases! I just got married in December, and will now begin the incredible task of finding a wine we both like that will age well. Thanks for the idea and cheers!

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