Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Too Old ? The Wine version

The other day I was in the government store at Arbutus Village, which is a well stocked and well run store it should be noted . While cruising the aisles looking for new plonk I came across a floor stack of a couple of cases of a Portuguese Red, Cortello, which was deeply discounted from $13.99 down to $9.79.

I recalled having drunk the wine a few months back and thinking it was reasonable so I grabbed two bottles for the "discount taste test" and headed to the counter. The "discount taste test" is something I do whenever an unknown wine, or very old vintage, is deeply discounted. I grab two bottles and taste then that night, or the next day, to see if there is a major flaw that has resulted in the discount, and there often is. In this case I couldn't think of what the flaw might be but at checkout I was surprised to hear the clerk say: "Oh I guess it's on sale because it's almost past it's due date".

I quickly checked the bottle, expecting to see something in the 2003 range, but no the wine is a vintage 2007. When I expressed my surprise at that comment the clerk replied, Oh 2007, that's pretty much over the hill.

I did not reply, but it is a sad commentary that someone who sells wine, theoretically, for a living would think that a wine that was still fresh fruit on the vine three and a half years ago would be too old.. There is an old chestnut in the wine world that 90% of the wine made in the world is meant to be drunk within two years of bottling, even if that is true it doesn't mean that iut HAS to be drunk within two years of bottling .

Anyway the Estremedura Cortello is drinking nicely, it's a good value and solid for the, hopefully, upcoming outdoor grilling weather. There is lots available, over 4,000 bottles as of this morning, so grab a bottle or two of this ancient vintage and enjoy .

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