by Cathy Boyd
The mandated restrictions imposed upon us in March curtailed everyone’s work and/or social calendar. With plenty of free time on my hands, I headed to the basement to organize and inventory our wine cellar. It was a pleasure to review previous purchases and discover lost treasures. I discovered too many bottles had been put away awaiting ‘that day’ when the company would be just right, paired with the right food and the wine would be in its prime drinking window. The quarantine made my husband and I think, “What are we waiting for?”
We began to open bottles that just two months ago we would not have touched. There was a reason we had a wine cellar and finding buried gems was one of them. My guidelines for choosing a wine did have a caveat – there had to be at least one other in reserve. That way the wine wasn’t truly gone. Meals were collaborative. My husband planned the menu and I chose the wine. The wine was delicious, the food complementary and our dinner partner was that special someone we married 34 years ago. But one Friday night there was NO collaboration. Work felt particularly grueling and five o’clock couldn’t arrive soon enough that day. My husband arrived home before I did, and, instead of opening the refrigerator first to determine what we would have for dinner, he went to the wine cellar. I walked in the door to find two partially filled wine glasses on the counter and the 2013 Wine Spectator #1 wine of the year open – CVNE Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva 2004.
I stopped in my tracks when I saw the wine on the counter. I took several deep breaths before I could even approach the wine. The CVNE certainly would not have been my choice because there was no back up bottle. Wine Spectator #1 bottles are a fortunate purchase once announced and almost impossible to obtain afterward. Actually anything is available in the wine world, but now there would be a premium attached to the new retail price. I would never have this wine again. And there was no particular concern about what we would eat. What could I do? I couldn’t put the wine back in the bottle and recork it (I thought about it). The wine was poured and if I didn’t drink my share, my husband would. Then I approached the wine – it was a deep rich color – I don’t remember much more – I had been thrown for a loop. I would have cellared this wine for another several years. But there it was, on the kitchen counter, waiting for me to drink. After my first sip all my negative thoughts disappeared. The wine was certainly worthy of the Wine Spectator #1 designation, and I was having it with the person whom I would most want to share it with. It made the tacos taste great.