Better with Time

Those who know me well know that I’m not a very patient person. Actually, that’s an understatement. I’m one of those people who scowls whenever someone mentions that “patience is a virtue” or suggests that “good things come to those who wait”. I believe that if you want something, you should put effort into getting it; it’s not often that I wait for the tides of life to wash something ashore my proverbial beach. One of the only scenarios that I can think of that challenges my viewpoint on this particular issue is drinking wine. Imagine that you just poured a glass of 2008 Two Hands Angels’ Share Shiraz (which, by the way, is a great full-bodied Shiraz out of Australia with nicely balanced spice and fruit notes for around $30; if it’s too fruity for you, their Gnarly Dudes is a bit spicier for the same price).  Back to the glass you just poured for yourself…smell the wine as soon as you’re done pouring, and note which scents hit your nose. Then, swirl your glass to open up the wine a bit and smell again. You should observe a more pronounced version of the notes you detected before, and some new scents might even come through.  Now-and this is where the patience plays in-let your glass sit for 5 minutes before you smell again. If your wine is cold, warm the glass up in your hands. When wine is too cold, it suppresses the nose, which means that you’re cheating your senses and diminishing your enjoyment of the wine. I personally prefer all of my reds at room temperature, and my whites just slightly chilled-with the exception of Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Champagne and Rose, which are much better when cold. How you drink your wine is completely up to you, though! After five minutes, swirl your glass and smell again. You will notice that the wine has opened up immensely; you may even experience a bouquet completely different from what was present just a few minutes ago. Of course, there are options available to open up wine rather than letting it sit as you pour glass by glass. You can decant the wine, which either aerates an older wine or softens the intense fruits of a younger wine, but technically you should let your wine sit in a decanter for a while before the process is adequately accomplished. For instance, I read a recommendation once to let a certain wine decant for two hours before drinking. For those who are impatient like me, you could take it a step further and use a Vinturi, which is a small, hand-held device that does what a decanter takes an hour to do in the time that it takes to pour one bottle. However, I still believe that even after using a Vinturi, the wine should be allowed to sit in the glass for even further improvement. Regardless of your method of choice, next time you drink be sure to give your wine a little time to breathe. It’ll be worth it, I promise. Now life, on the other hand… 🙂


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