The Next Stage of My Vinous Adventure: or, How I Will Be Spending All My Money Upon Graduation

2 Mar

I’ve always wanted a wine fridge–you know, something in which I could store 16 or 32 bottles of ageworthy wine.  There are three reasons I never took the plunge and purchased one, however.  First, they obviously cost money.  Second, it seemed sort of pointless to me to collect rare and expensive wines while I was in DC, only to have to move them–at great cost and effort, and taking them from the protective cocoon for which I would have shelled out a few hundred dollars–across the country upon my graduation.  Third, many of the personal wine fridges do not control for humidity: they keep the bottles cool but at the risk of potentially drying out the corks.

Thus, my efforts to become a serious wine collector were put on hold for the past three years.  BUT NO LONGER!  “How?” I hear you, my one reader, asking.

I am back at home now (though I haven’t been able to have much fun… “Spring Break” for law school means “catch up with all the work you haven’t done / do all the work you’ve been assigned over Spring Break,” and I’m also busy with my very late moral character and fitness application for the state bar and with studying for the MPRE) and, as breaks from work, I have been cooking quite often.  For instance, on Monday evening I made choucroute garnie and on Tuesday I made roasted lemon chicken with roasted pine nut and lemon cous cous and sauteed broccolini.  One of the standout wines from this week?  The 2000 R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva, an 11-freaking-year-old rosé!!!

Made from 30% Tempranillo, 60% Garnacho, and 10% Viura, this wine is an absolutely gorgeous copper/salmon color.  I am at a loss to describe this wine–there’s definitely oxidation from the long aging (four and a half years in barrel and five and a half in bottle before release!!!), something approaching savory and tangy, with metallic notes and just the suggestion of cantaloupe.  I don’t think anyone else in my family really liked this wine: this is not a bottle you’d take to a casual barbecue.  However, at $27.99, this is a fantastic wine to bring to a tasting of esoteric wines, and a terrific way to try a Gran Reserva at a very low price.

I of course purchased this and a few other bottles from Mission Wines in South Pasadena.  I had noticed that they were offering 36- and 52-case wine lockers for rent, and while at the store I inquired about renting one.  Luckily, they had a few left, and I just signed a one-year contract for a 36-case wine locker.  It’s temperature- and humidity-controlled and under lock and key.  Many of the regulars at Mission Wines have lockers at the store.  I detected quite a few choice bottles (CdPs, Barolos, Sea Smoke, Caymus, magnums, etc., etc.) which made me quite envious.

I couldn’t very well leave the locker empty, so I bought two bottles to inaugurate it.  The first is an old favorite, the 2007 Bodegas Alejandro Fernández Tinto Pesquera from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain.  The second is a Bordeaux recommended to me by Chris, Mission Wines’s owner: the 2005 Chateau Potensac from the Medoc appellation of Bordeaux, France.  I intend to keep these two bottles in the locker for as long as I have it… if I can control myself.  Chris was nice enough to give me a discount on those wines and a free glass of Craftsman Brewery’s Heavenly Hefe, which had nice lemon notes atop a solid foundation of wheaty goodness.

Now all that’s left is to fill up the locker.  It can store 432 bottles, so I have a ways to go: at least now I have somewhere to keep my wines!

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4 Responses to “The Next Stage of My Vinous Adventure: or, How I Will Be Spending All My Money Upon Graduation”

  1. Shea March 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Yes I am your one reader :). Well let me warn you that having proper wine storage space is a dangerous prelude to excessive wine purchasing. However, it is also the overture to some of the most exciting and satisfying wine moments you will have.

    Amazing that you are now in 3rd year law. Seems so fast. I look forward to future posts!

    • vinicultured March 21, 2011 at 11:23 am #

      Hey Shea–thanks for commenting. Yes, the space is filling up: I have sent about two cases there already and have another one or two in the works. I also have purchased two ’09 CdP magnums that I intend to drink in 2019 or so. (Hopefully I’ll have a job by then!)

      I know! To think I started this blog before I went off to law school…

  2. Cal May 9, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    How many bottles do you have in it now?

    • vinicultured May 9, 2011 at 8:49 am #

      Hey Cal,

      I have 51 bottles in it or that should be shipped to it shortly. My latest acquisition is a bottle of 2004 Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cab that my former roommate got me for my 28th birthday!

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