Dear Aunt Agony Wine...
Dear Aunt Wine Agony,
I have a particular grievance that may be ruining my life. It prevents me from enjoying dinner parties and I am even afraid to invite friends around for drinks anymore. I am a social outcast, desolated by blandness.
In short, the wines I see lately in bottle shops are overpriced, overhyped and just plain boring. The Wine World seems to be turning, but not in a spiritually palatable way.
Is it just me? Please help.
Dear Vinously Abandoned,
You have come to the right place, my oppressed friend, as I have gathered around me scores of similarly oppressed souls and we are shedding tears.
We too are bereft at the change in wine styles over the past decade as the world becomes a more globalised commercial environment. Accordingly we have repaired to our secret underground bunker and await the oenological apocalypse. (Well, ok it’s actually my wine cellar and we’ll probably only stay til bedtime coz it’s a bit cold down here being a constant 15 degrees and all.)
But the tears are real, albeit they are tears of joy because we have engaged in vertical tastings of Huntington Estate Semillon, Cabernet and Shiraz through many decades of wonderful vintages many of which are yet to peak.
These wines come from an excellent vineyard site with lean soils on gentle slopes below a mountain.
The vines are all old and give low yields of intense, high quality fruit. The winemaking is fastidious and very hands-on with a brilliant and, dare I say even genius winemaker. They are made to age and accordingly the reds are released at five years of age. But the best bit, my despairing friend, is the wines are only available directly to like-minded cohorts like you via secret underground mailings - there is no middle man to make the wines expensive and standardise the style.
No don’t feel forsaken, my pitiable friend, as these wines represent the vinous ‘light on the hill’ for which we must all continue our brave crusade during drinks and over dinner at anytime that duty calls us.