Cellaring Inexpensive Bottles

How does one know when to cellar a wine versus drinking it right away? What are the factors that determine what makes a wine cellar-worthy? Is it the price? Is it the grape? Is it the region?

These are the many questions that come when people start to experiment with holding bottles versus buying them to drink.

What it all comes down to is personal taste. What do YOU like about wine? Do you like lots of fruit? Do you like earthy, barnyardy flavors? Do you like sweet vanilla? Do you like minerals? Do you like green grass and grapefruit? Do you like it all?

My husband and I have a very different approach to wine. Anytime we are contemplating what to raid from our cellar, one of us will always say, “What if we die tomorrow?” With that statement spoken aloud, we always open the bottle regardless of price, regardless of quantity and regardless if it’s ready to drink.

It’s not always the smartest or the most positive choice, but it gives us instant gratification every time.

Tonight, we decided to open the Las Rocas Vinas Viejas Garnacha 2001, a wine rated 93 points by Parker with a glowing review released at $10/bottle.

We bought one bottle and have kept it in our cellar until tonight. The price obviously didn’t dictate our decision to cellar nor did the obscure region Calatayud nor did the grape. What made us decide to cellar this random wine was mere curiosity. What did we have to lose?

Nothing, nothing but the fact we could have died before now.

So, we opened this bottle, and I have to say, it is drinking like one of the best red wines I have drunk in 3 months. It’s subtle yet full of peppery personality. It’s got aromas of rawhide and blackberries with a soft, supple finish. This wine is absolutely delicious.

Cellar whatever you want. The only harm done is when you don’t open the bottle you are curious about drinking.

Let’s say we opened the Las Rocas and it wasn’t great. Was it because we didn’t let it go long enough? Maybe, but maybe it’s because we let it go too long.

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