QUICK REMINDER: Pick up your bottle of Redheads "Yard Dog" Red from Australia and join me Thursday evening at Whining & Dining, the food blog of Memphis' newspaper The Commercial Appeal. Things kick off at 7:00 Central Time--if you're outside of the US and want to join in, keep in mind we just switched to Daylight Saving Time, an event that occurs on different dates around the world (or doesn't happen at all). Use the Time Zone Converter if necessary.
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Sometimes I'll grab a bottle of wine at random. I won't even read the back label. In this case, I hadn't had a Sauvignon Blanc in a while and was craving one, so when I saw one that was unfamiliar and reasonably priced, I just carried it up to the counter. The craving passed and the bottle rattled around in the refrigerator for weeks, finally getting pulled out when a friend was over.
At some point I'd figured out that the wine was much older and much darker than expected; you can see the amber color in parts of the photo. (I thought the glass was just dark when I purchased it.) And a $15 Sauvignon Blanc that's six years old? It could have been a disaster. But something magic had happened in that half dozen years.
The 2003 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc is from Napa Valley, California. It has an opening aroma of old magazines. I'm talking about a stack of National Geographics up in the attic, or the periodicals section of a library that's been around for decades. From there things just got more and more fascinating, with various aromas and flavors bouncing around: lemon, honeysuckle, green apples, cotton candy, buttered toffee, marshmallows... It was slightly sweet but unbelievably complex. Over the course of an hour it unfolded like a glossary of wine terms.
Printed on the cork was a tiny bit of Hebrew: לחיים or l'chaim, "To life!" And upon further inspection, the wine is kosher. It's always good to keep track of a few excellent kosher wines. I'm looking forward to trying some recent vintages, and perhaps socking away a couple of bottles in hopes of a future miracle.