It happens every now and then that we purchase a wine that seems to be too good to use for ‘everyday’ consumption and so keep it for a ‘special occasion’. The problem may arise that when the ‘special occasion’ presents itself, that particular wine proves to be anything but special! This is was the sad case of a particular bottle of Blaauwklippen Shiraz Vintage 1999 I was given when neighbours left town.

You can see from the photograph below that the cork had dried out so much that it broke into pieces. In fact it was so crumbly that the corkscrew couldn’t grip on what was left of the cork in the bottle and the latter had to be pushed down. Apart from being suffused with tiny bits of cork, the wine had turned into a foul tasting vinegar – what a disappointment!

Let us not blame the Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, which was established in 1682, but rather the length of time and the conditions under which this particular bottle was kept. It was certainly not in a temperature controlled cellar, but in a wine rack above a fridge in a kitchen.  Was it being kept for a ‘special occasion’ or was it passed over more than once in favour of a wine bottled with a screwcap? Do you remember the brouhaha that swirled around wine drinking circles when screwcaps for wine bottles were introduced?

The moral of this tale is that unless we can control the conditions under which our wine is kept, it seems to be best not to keep it for too long. Enjoy your wine – don’t hoard it!

6 thoughts on “TOO LONG IN …

  1. What caught my interest is how long the Blaauwklippen Wine Estate has been in operation. I could be a hit with my poker group if I find a bottle in one our grocers (everyone sells wine here). Lots of interesting history along with good wine, I’ll bet.


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