While staying at the R house this weekend, Dave found a rare treasure hidden in the back of a liquor cabinet: the 1993 Sutter Home White Zinfandel. At its birth this was a sweet pink wine meant for quick consumption and no aging. So what happens when it's held at a stable temperature for 14 years and uncorked amongst a group of curious wine lovers?
As can be seen in the photo, the wine turned a shade of amber over time. (I made a zoomed inset for ease of reading the date.) I typically avoid White Zin these days, not out of elitism or snobbery but just because I don't care for the heavy sweetness. But this oddity passed the sniff test. It didn't smell like vinegar, it wasn't oxidized, and it wasn't corked. In short, it wasn't flawed and probably wasn't dangerous. The only thing left to do was try it out.
Over the lips and past the gums,
Look out stomach, here it comes.
The bouquet was somewhat like Madeira with a certain "cooked" profile. Surprisingly the sweetness had largely disappeared over the years and had been replaced with an interesting acidity. I'm not going to say that it was good, but it certainly wasn't terrible. I had about half a glass before pouring it out. Dave suggested that it would be great in a salad dressing, so when I got the opportunity, I slipped some into the vinagrette for the frisée aux lardons.
The best part about this particular tasting is the bragging rights. For the rest of the weekend there were many jokes along the lines of, "That was a great Bordeaux, but it's no '93 Sutter Home..."