The inevitable reality of time crystalizes as we age. Bodies become fallible, we contemplate the roads taken during our lives, and some dear to us pass through the curtain of death. Time carries weight.
The reality of time adds profoundly to our experience with wine. In the winery itself, time helps mature or “raise” the wine into something more attractive, more harmonious, more whole. In infancy, vivacious fruit flavors and aromas often pair with bony-elbowed tannins in an energetic, but unrefined blend. The aging of wine in the winery, often in oak in our case, adds wisps of oxygen that assist time in its transformation of the resting wine. It’s not unlike an adolescent child. The interaction with oak and lees can serve as teachers and mentors, but the experience of time itself brings maturity as well.
Then there is the gamble. Drink or hold. Pull the cork on treasured wines while young, and we receive certain pleasure. But gamble with time, attempt to drink at the pinnacle, and we dance with chance. Perfectly aged wine can elevate the experience to heights sought by many wine lovers. However, we can lose the bet, and find the wine frail, a shell of its once full-potential.
Wine helps us wonder and ponder the mystery of time. When we swirl our glass, smell, sip, and savor, we consider, perhaps, the substance of time in our own lives. We’ll raise a glass to that.