alison griffiths articles
Alison's Money Rule
Drink no wine before it’s time
Posted November 28, 2011
Originally Published August 18, 2009
Drink no wine before it’s time – especially when you make it yourself. But when it’s time to quaff, savour the savings.
Here’s my end-of-summer garden party nightmare; a brimming glass of the host’s homemade wine and me attempting to keep the wince out of every sip.
One thing about a recession though, it opens your mind to what you didn’t think you would ever want to do or drink.
Early summer found me in the fruit scented quarters of the Just Wine in Milton, Ontario. I had driven by the place for 10 years and never once been tempted.
But I love my wine and despite a reported glut of the good grape plus a global economic meltdown wine prices haven’t declined perceptibly. So, I bravely ordered two kits, 30 bottles of the best Australian Chardonnay and 30 more of the Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot, part of the Selection Estate series distributed by Wine Expert of B.C.
Both claimed gold medals in some tasting or other and both were the most expensive of their kind available in the store. If you are going to do it yourself buy the best available. Even so, the cost per bottle was under $5 for the white and under $7 for the red (that doesn’t include optional labels, 10 cents each, or bottles, $1.10. You can also supply your own.)
Six weeks later I spent a happy hour bottling the chardonnay and two weeks after that, the merlot. Tasting both during bottling surprised me. Drinkable!
However, getting the most out of your vintner experience demands the patience to wait a minimum of three months for the white and six for the merlot. So far I’ve uncorked the chardonnay at two, four and six weeks after bottling – just for research purposes, you understand. Drinkable has progressed to tasty.
At two months the merlot is still too raw for my palate, but improving.
If all works out I estimate savings of at least $2,500 a year – enough to take hubby and me on a very nice wine tasting holiday.
Stay tuned for full tasting results in a couple of months.
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