No I am not talking about the late 90’s Britney Spears hit (although a specific image springs to mind). I am talking about the six boxes of wine I can see on the door step as I turn into my driveway, the big smile growing on my face which is instantly replaced with a wince due to the ear piercing shrill from my wife “SSTTTTUUUUUAAAAARRRTTTT”.
Don’t laugh! I swear if she had a rolling pin in hand I would have been pummeled. In my house there is always an element of danger involved when buying wine which results in my mixed feeling of nervous expectation when I see the wine boxes stacked by the front door. I feel “PURE FEAR” like a naughty school boy sent to the headmaster’s office because I know my wife will kick my arse when she finds out how much I spent. I always try to cover by saying ‘I got some champagne for you too and they are the most expensive purchase’ in a weak attempt to redeem myself.
But the possible risk of physical injury passes as “JOYFUL EXCITEMENT” takes hold as I take the boxes inside, unpack and inspect the bottles. I check the wine to make sure they delivered the right bottles, check for signs of damage or signs of leakage and start cataloging the wine (yeh right). Carefully selecting what I will open that night and what will be put away to allow the sediment to settle.
As I buy wine I can hear the devil’s advocate in my head saying, “go on, you deserve it, you work hard… get a couple of bottles of champagne to sweeten her up, just in case you get caught… she probably won’t even be at home when the delivery arrives”.
My latest purchase is the beginning of my real wine cellar and time to experiment. We have finally bought the ‘family home’ and I have a space that holds a constant temperature. My mates say “it looks more like a shop” which makes me laugh and in a way they are right. I am concentrating on a creating a wide selection of wine varieties from Muscat to Port, Riesling to Durif and international blends. I have always bought wine for all occasions and I like unusual varieties.
If I find a wine from a local shop or supermarket I will seek older vintages of the same (or similar) wine to gain an understanding of how it will evolve. I love Pinot Noir, which is a curse as it can be expensive and recently drank a 2011 Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir which was very reasonably priced. So when I saw the 1990 at auction I bought it. I expect it is past its peak, but the window of opportunity for good drinking is still open. I will now keep my eyes open for late 1990’s and early 2000 vintages and when I have a small selection I will invite the rest of “The Wine Wankers” around to compare and discuss vintages… which will of course evolve into talking complete rubbish as we get very pleasantly drunk.
My wife just just read the last few lines over my shoulder and is now laughing hysterically at the word ‘evolve’, apparently we always talk rubbish… FYI – the champagne trick works every time 😉