Saturday, June 23, 2012

Celebratory Wine

To celebrate the birth of my son, I recently opened a bottle of wine I'd laid away a dozen years ago, a rare 1999 Bordeaux blend out of Willamette Valley Vineyards called The Griffin. I paid $75 for the bottle in 2000, and if I recall correctly, it was the first year that WVV made a Bordeaux-style blend -- 1999 was the first year the winemaker thought they had the perfect fruit for the attempt.

The wine itself was worth the 12-year wait. It poured from the bottle a deep blood red color -- a color you'd expect from a wine made with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot grapes. The nose was complex, as was the taste. I'm not the type of person who intentionally singles out different scents or flavors from wines -- my feeling is that when you are preoccupied analyzing a wine (or a book, or painting, or anything similarly complex) you lessen the experience of the whole. In this case, the whole was a luscious, smooth red wine with very little astringency -- most of the tannin was aged out of it.

We drank it when we got home from a Moroccan restaurant. The wine was a good finish after a sweet meal (lamb with honey and almonds). The baby fared pretty well through all the music and belly-dancing, and was completely limp when we got home. I limited myself to one glass, to minimize the mount of alcohol that passed through to my breastmilk. It is interesting to note that even though he's no longer in utero, what I do with/to my body is still dictated by his needs -- and will be for another year or two.

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