I talk a lot in this blog about knowing your individual taste in wine as a way help make sure you can find the kinds of wine you like to drink.
But those tastes can change over time — and that can present some interesting challenges!
The first time that happened to me was with red Bordeaux. Like many wine dweebs, I began my wine hobby with Bordeaux, because it was (and probably still is) the most prestigious wine around.
I liked it (I think) and — given its reputation for aging — promptly started filling my cellar up with well-reviewed Bordeaux that I could afford.
Then, while I waited for them to mature, I “discovered” California Cabernet Sauvignons. The ’85 and ’86 vintages were on the shelves which — combined with a trip to Napa and Sonoma — got me hooked on that super ripe, vanilla laced black currant style!
In hindsight, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that when I started to drink the maturing Bordeaux, I was in for a shock.
Cedar, herbs, dried fruit — what was going on here? It took me a couple of years (and about a dozen different bottles) to figure out that my tastes had changed. The Bordeaux wasn’t bad — it was just no longer my style!
The same thing kind of happened with white Hermitage. I say “kind of” because this one actually was my fault for not finding out what the style of the wine was in the first place! My thought process was something like — I like red Rhone wines, so I must like white ones, right? It had worked for Bordeaux (ironically, I like white Bordeaux more now).
The ’89/’90 vintages were available, receiving incredibly high scores, and — relative to those scores — were good values. And they were supposed to age well, a challenge for white wines!!
You can probably guess what happened. Yep — when I started tasting them after 8 years or so, it was — Yuk!! They had a resiny/waxy character which I subsequently found out is supposed to be part of their appeal. Well, not for me!
So what did I do?
Well, first off, I stopped buying both of them for my cellar. That was the easy part (although I sometimes strayed back to Bordeaux when I saw good reviews/reasonable prices!).
The harder part was what to do with the wine I already had there in the cellar! I wasn’t enjoying it…but what to do?
My “Bordeaux” problem was resolved by an idea from a friend who read my blog and liked Bordeaux. John suggested a trade – some of his more fruity BC wines that he had bought (through my wine club) for some of my older Bordeaux. That worked out great for both of us!
But the white Hermitage…well, it’s still there. So if anyone wants to trade for it…