With the situation as it is, I have been trying to keep busy and away from the essential worker in the house. Writing a blog, is still fun, and it probably is a God-send, because I have been so used to working for all of these years, that I have to give myself goals, so that I don’t get lazy. We get up and walk about two miles in the morning, and we water the lawn while we are walking, and it may be the first time that we are actually growing more than dirt, but there are a couple of patches that just seem to defy our attention. We try to have our three meals each day together, which is almost a new experience for us. After breakfast she begins work, and I have created blocks of time to get certain jobs done. The most interesting thing is that I have actually now gone through the entire main wall of the cellar, and am moving the white wines to the wine vault in the family room, and I have been slowly boxing and re-boxing cartons to make the wines ready to be re-inventoried, and it has allowed me to see what has been totally forgotten about. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. For years, we ate out so much, that I rarely drank wine in the house, now that has all changed, so it has been fun chronicling the older wines that we have been enjoying.
There are plenty of wines from the cellar that are on the critical watch list and I have been stocking extra white wines in the one refrigerator, just in case one wine is bad, we have a backup ready to go. Unfortunately, this was the case and I am sure there will be other such incidents, as we slowly go through the cellar and update what we have. We had a wonderful experience years ago when we were in Niagara-on-the-Lake to attend a wedding, we took an afternoon off to go visit some wineries and one of the wineries was Hillebrand, which is part of the much larger Andrew Peller Limited. In fact, at that time we went first to Hillebrand to do some tastings and then we went to Peller Estate for some more tastings. It appears that Hillebrand and Trius have been merged together, as the two are usually mentioned at the same time on a search that I just did for some updated information for this article. At the tasting we were really impressed with the Hillebrand Artist Series Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc Niagara Peninsula VQA 2010. Alas, this wine did not age gracefully, and I am afraid that we may still see more examples in the future, as we drink more wine at home.
The second and back-up wine that I had chilled was a Darioush Chardonnay Napa Valley 2000, and I was praying that this wine would be fine, as just a few weeks earlier, we opened up a bottle of Darioush Viognier Napa Valley 2001 and it was a delight. History repeated itself and shows the dedication that this winery has, for a relatively newcomer to the wine scene. This wine was pure Chardonnay that had a late harvest, and underwent whole cluster pressing to small barrels for primary fermentation and then inoculated for malolactic fermentation. The juice was then aged Sur-Lies for eleven months in French Oak barrels from the Burgundy region of France, and then the wine was bottled without fining or filtration. A beautiful bottle of wine was enjoyed by my Bride and I with a dish of Chicken breasts with Capers and Artichoke Hearts. The wine was totally mellow and reminded me of some excellent aged white Grand Crus I had a chance to try as a kid back in the early Seventies. So wine, like life is a bit of a “crap-shoot” and I am going to the give the benefit of the doubt to each and every bottle that has been resting, and for those that don’t make it, there are always the memories.