Pair vintage with vintage
2006 Prius with a 2006 pinot grigio?
By Tim Protzman firstname.lastname@example.org
I was in my 40s when I first heard “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit.
Now some my age would find it shocking, irreverent. But I found it refreshing and clear. A true expression of the ennui and frustration we all go through in American Life. Not that there’s anything wrong with stress and the fast-paced life, as long as you’re happy. But the day-in, day-out routine sometimes wears a person down. That’s why there’s cable TV, evening strolls, picnics at the lake and wine.
Today one of the wine columns I regularly read was all about root beer. This says to me that even the best sometimes run out of things to say about wine.
I’ve been really wrapped up in wine. I’m working with a company that puts on car shows to have a wine and car fundraising. The idea is to pair a car, let’s say a 1957 Thunderbird, with a wine of that vintage, let’s say a 1957 Chateau Rauzan-Gassies. Then people would bid on the package and have the opportunity to win a chauffeured wine ride to a special event — the Opera, the Jackson covered bridge dance, a Limp Bizkit concert.
Personally, I’d like to take the 1932 Duesenberg Legrande Torpedo Phaeton to the grocery store. I’d pair it with a 1932 Chateau Latour. It would take me an hour just to get ready. The driving gloves and goggles. The leather cap. The Spiegelau Vino Grande wine glass, and maybe a scarf.
And the best part would be that it’s a two-seater, just me and the driver, so I’d have to drink the wine myself. The wine would be, well, less expensive than the 1927 or 1933 because the weather didn’t cooperate, but I bet anything that at 75 and a half it would be wonderful. And they say the 1924 Bordeaux vintages are still drinking great.
So the real work in this car show/charity fundraiser isn’t pairing the wines, it’s finding the wine to pair. So we’re going through a wine broker, which is just a fancy word for wine pimp. You tell him what you want and he finds the buyer, seller or both. Wine brokers have hundreds of contacts. They make their money much as a stockbroker would, on the commissions generated by the sale. They can work for the buyer (who pays the commission) or the seller (who pays the commission). The funky part is sometimes they work for both. They’ll represent a seller who wants a certain price for the wine and a buyer who wants a certain wine. Usually money isn’t relevant until the sale closes. Then the broker will collect a commission from both parties. And usually they are continents apart so they’ll never meet and say things like, “That rum-running broker collected a commission from her and me!”
As we get closer to the show date I’ll have more details, but getting people to donate wine is tough. But not impossible. Last night we arranged a harmonious marriage between a 1976 Gremlin and 1981 Seppelt Shiraz from Australia’s Barossa region that the owner shipped over himself.
Here are this week’s wines:
• GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Bru ($35.99) from Champagne. This wine was disappointing. It had that leaden finish of manufactured, not crafted, bubbly. The chardonnay was unruly, the Pinot Meunier mean and nasty like a spoiled cheerleader. And the Pinot Noir? Pinot…where did you go? Couldn’t taste ya. The wine opened up a little when the bubbles slowed down, but I would not buy this wine again.
• Carpene Malvolti Rose Prosecco ($12.99) I liked this one because of its simplicity. Two dimensions, nice finish, good fruit, great price. This Italian wine comes from Valdobbiadene, in Veneto, Italy, in the foothills of the Dolomite Alps. You can taste the limestone in the grapes.
• George Gardet Cuvee St Flavy from Chigny-les-Roses in Champagne ($39.99) A small house that doesn’t have a full Web site and is probably family-owned with a slew of cousins fighting for control. The juice is really good with a touch of residual sugar and a very crisp almost ethereal finish.
• 2001 Elvio Cogno Barolo ($35.44) Another little domain producer in Piemonte, Italy. This was a very sleek, elegant wine that came in a plain brown wrapper. Like a supermodel at a funeral, the wine wore a simple, unadorned black dress. No spice, no frills and a deep brandied fruit with chocolate taste.
• 2003 Chateau St Jean Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.99) It was nice to revisit this old friend. I had not tasted this wine in five years, but the 2003 was priced to move. No jam, no chemical fruit notes, no alcoholic after burn. Was it equal to a $50 Aussie shiraz? No, but it had all the characteristics of a higher-quality Californian table wine.