I have had I think a great track record from about 1969 to date, going out for dinners and of course ordering wine, which is how this Blog and The Wine Raconteur got started. Through the years, I have often wondered how I would react, on a purely theoretical concept.
We were out for dinner with friends, which is not a rare occurrence and we ordered a bottle of wine with dinner. This particular restaurant that we have been to, over the years, has consistently offered a fine meal and a decent carte for their wine list. I had ordered a bottle of Rene Lequin-Colin Bourgogne Rouge 2012; a wine made from Pinot Noir and can be made from any of the three hundred communes that are located in the Burgundy region of France. The bottle of wine was decanted, as which is the norm for all red wines at this restaurant, even though I did not think that all of this was necessary for a red wine of such recent vintage. Our very bubbly waitress as she poured the wine into my glass for the initial tasting, remarked “I am sure that you will find this wine crisp,” which is not a word I think of when having a Pinot Noir wine. Not only was the wine not crisp, it was flat, totally devoid of flavor and exhibited the qualities of a wine that was over the hill, “baked” from improper storage or from poor transportation of the wine somewhere from France to the Detroit area. I can only surmise that something had gone wrong, because it was too youthful to be over the hill, and since it had a screw-cap closure, the cork was not bad. I was dumb-founded when I explained that the wine was no-where near what this wine should taste like. I also allowed my Bride to try the wine, just to make sure that it was just not me, having a bad day and she concurred. The restaurant I must say cleared away the glasses and the decanter of wine, and wondered what I would prefer to do. I did not wish to try another bottle of the same wine, just in case, the entire case of wine had been “baked” as I would allow them to find out at their leisure. I was very pleased that I did not have to defend myself and my anticipations of what the wine should have tasted like, and I was very glad that I would have not to sound pompous; as there is always the chance of ending up appearing that way. I decided to select another bottle of wine further up from the mid-range of wines.
I have written about discovering a bottle of wine from my own cellar that was over the hill and was a disappointment for the evening. While I feel that my cellar is more than adequate for storing wines, I am sure that I may encounter some wines that I may overlook and they are beyond their shelf life, because there may, in reality, be too many bottles of wine being stored. I mean it was very embarrassing to chill, pop and serve a bottle of Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon 1983 that had no life left, but that is the gamble one has with any older vintage bottle of wine. The most I can say is that I hope that it is at least another forty-six years, before I have to encounter another bad bottle of wine during a night out on the town.
Happens to us all. You had a great run! Bound to happen sooner or later. Cheers
That is quite surprising that you were lucky for so long 🙂 Not that is happens all that often, but I had my share of spoiled wines at the restaurants – however, I was lucky as those were all just corked – flat/cooked etc would be a tough problem to handle…
What was the second wine you had? Hopefully it made you forget the first bottle. Though it doesn’t sound like it did 🙂
It’s difficult to keep bottles of Champagne in the cellar for a long time. Always a risk once the wine is off its lees…
Julien, the second wine that we had was fine and stored properly and that will be for another time. – John
Been there. A tougher (and more delicate) situation to handle at restaurants, too!! I’m sure there was some furious behind-the-scenes tasting going on with the rest of that Bourgogne!
I watched them pour a separate glass of wine from the decanter and it was taken somewhere, I was trying to watch to see, if I could see the poor “soul” that had to confirm my call, but alas I did not.