I’ve been married to a wine buff for almost thirty years now. In a well earned retirement, he organizes special wine lunches with like-minded friends, attends wine interest group lectures and is amassing an ever-increasing library to accompany this passionate hobby.
However, as someone who has suffered incredible migraines and even temporary blindness after a night of even light boozing I have been rather disinterested in all wines, until recently. I am descended from a family of relative non-drinkers, probably due to the adverse reaction caused by drinking even small quantities of the stuff.
It was something of a revelation eighteen months ago when I discovered that drinking Bordeaux wines did not cause the usual headaches, migraines and blindness caused by most other wines that I have suffered from for over forty years. For the first time ever, I can enjoy the pleasure of drinking good wine, sleep like a log afterwards and wake the next day without the slightest headache. I have finally discovered what millions have discovered before me even if it took almost a lifetime to do so.
So there you have it. I am now busy helping hubby with his purchases, writing away enthusiastically in French to commerçants and other merchants when help is needed with translation and eagerly following wine auctions sometimes in the middle of the night on the web.
What has impressed me in all this is the expert professionalism of all the dealers we buy from. After all, these guys managed to hide their best wines from the Nazis during WWII, so why am I surprised I hear you ask. Lovingly despatching a 1952 Petrus (secured by very a lucky bid) to fly from France to Australia barely losing a drop en route was so expertly done, with packaging the likes of which I’ve never seen before. If only I’d taken a photograph! It looked like something designed by NASA for space travel. The handwritten notes sometimes accompanying various purchases about how the wine should best be drunk are a wonderful bonus.
I am also told by others in this business that my allergy is due to sulphites in wine and that I should give the locally produced organic wines a go. However, at my age, I no longer have time on my side to experiment in this way. Perhaps there is a future Michael Broadbent, Robert Parker or James Halliday out there who could bring out a definitive guide to organic wines thereby saving me from the need to experiment myself. Although it would seem from a cursory glance through the literature that the jury is still out on the subject of sulphites and their effects.
In the meantime, life really is too short to drink bad wines…and I’ve become a terrible, unashamed wine snob.