Want wine that’s 32,978 times more fun, more yummy? Samuel L Jackson & John Travolta have the answer …

22 Jun

Just like Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction you must complete a Filthy Good Vino challenge to get the answer.

Samuel L Jackson & John Travolta showing the way on a Filthy Good Vino Challenge

You’re Filthy Good Vino challenge, should you choose to accept it:

STEP 1:  Grab at least one 6 pack of vino, 3 x 6 packs of different wines if you really want to go hardcore. Make sure they’re half decent and mix it up with at least 1 white wine.

STEP 2:  Now, drink one bottle of each and chuck the rest in the cupboard. Not so challenging so far, actually kinda like being a kid in a candy store.

STEP 3: The kicker, you have to keep your thirsty little mits of the rest of them until further instructed. You can cheat by going straight to the end of the post or be true to the challenge and read on.  If you look carefully you might just find a Secret Filthy Good Vino Challenge Step hidden somewhere.

Here’s why.  I had a wine last night that had my heart racing from its Sweet, Sweet, Kiss, a 64 year old beauty that induced an adrenalin hit from its Pure, Concentrated, Unctuousness. This gear was (..past tense, it’s all gone) Filthy Good Vino without a doubt. Just writing about it is enough to bring the incredibly intensity of flavour back to the memory of my completely overwhelmed taste buds.

Co-incidentally, at the time, I was reading some statistics on wine consumption that made me giggle. In Australia the overwhelming majority of wine is consumed within 17 hours of purchase .. that’s right not even a day old. I had just drunk a wine that was a mere 32,978 times older.

All Saints 1948 Muscat Gordo Blanco 'Essence'

The wine a 1948 Muscat Gordo Blanco “Essence” from All Saints winery in Rutherglen, bottled in 1991 at 43 years of age! All Saints was in a bit of financial strife back then and barrels of some of the most precious liquid gold were sold off at auction and some, bottled straight. Typically this wine would have formed a minor percentage of a blend, providing complexity and intrigue to, an on average, much younger wine. To see it in it’s pure form is a rare gift usually reserved for winemakers or special visitors to the winery. Almost black in colour. If it was any more viscous, you’d needs a honey twirler to extract it from the bottle. A sweetness balanced by searing acid, concentrated by decades of slow evaporation as the wine rested in barrel. So many layers of yumminess, an astounding fragrance and flavour profile that simply couldn’t be pulled apart. It was just so together, integrated and seamless, like an old school plum pudding that’s been hanging in a cellar for a couple of years and gone to a whole new level of pleasure. Aside from once again highlighting how lucky we are to have Rutherglen in Australia.  It made me think of just a couple of the ways wine can give incredible pleasure.

The first was in “The Hunt”. The joy of foraging through a cellar, built up over decades, and the delight of stumbling across something I’d forgotten was lying in wait for me to devour.

Bourgonge Cellar c 1928

 “Bourgogne”. Collection A – Maison Paul Court – Dijon. Un des Caveaux à Bouteilles (c.1928)

The second, and the primary topic of this challenge, is in the pleasure of having enough bottles of one particular wine to allow you to drink it over time, watch it evolve, find the perfect time to drink it. The All Saints wine is perhaps not the best example, as once bottled a fortified wine of this concentration, that has already spent near half a century in barrel, will change very little in bottle (provided the cork holds up).

But, take any table wine, even your daily $10 drink, chuck it in the cupboard for just one year and it’ll evolve and change, usually for the better.  Winemakers have a massive challenge balancing finance and consumer preference, often forcing their hand into making wines more approachable to drink when they’re younger.  Contradicting this is the need to get wine to market potentially resulting in a wine being bottled one day and on the shelf for purchase the next. The issue being, that wine goes into it’s shell immediately after bottling. It is less expressive, the aromas and flavours less intense, the feeling of the wine in your mouth can be disjointed and angular.  To show its true potential again can often take 3, 6 even 12 months.

In an ideal world, as a wine ages, it will shift away from basic primary fruity character, become more complex, perhaps start to develop a bit of funk. The aromas and flavours will integrate and become seamless, making it harder to pick any of these individually. And, the texture of the wine will often soften. The very nature of wine, particularly Filthy Good Vino, will see it benefit from time in bottle if you want to drink it at its peak. I’m not saying they’re not yummy when they are first released, just that they can often be better with a little patience. Like anything if you start with S*#T you’ll still have S*#T a couple of years later.

Just like kids, you can watch wines grow, develop complexity and generosity, at one tasting. Years later refuse to come out to play, not giving you anything. And, when they eventually reach the point where they have finally got their S*#T together and are ready to meet the world for public consumption, you can have incredible, engaging experiences like the one I had last night. I’ve been lucky enough to watch this evolution occur for countless wines and share the pleasure of drinking fully mature wine with many peeps, over a shared plate of decent tucker.

OK .. 32,978 times more fun may be a bit of a stretch. Guaranteed you’ll get a whole lot more from your vino if you finish the Challenge.

Now, to the instructions for the rest of your Filthy Good Vino challenge.  If you didn’t get thirsty and break into the emergency supplies, you should have 5 bottles of at least one wine stashed somewhere safe.

STEP 4-9:  You must now wait until it is 500 times older than the average age of a bottle of wine consumed in Aus before you drink the second bottle then 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, and, finally 5,000 times older. In Vino years that’s 1 year, 2, 4, 6 and 10 years old!  Now flick over to your calendar, add your next 5 drinking dates in, make sure you invite a few scaly mates around to share the glass, and add a note to get in touch with me, I’d love to now how you went on the challenge.

MR WOLF’s SECRET FILTHY GOOD VINO STEP 10: If you want to go for instant gratification and accelerate the process, see if you can get a couple of vintages of the same wine from a decent Independent Wine Merchant.  The further apart they are the better. Back vintages are often available at Winery Cellar Door, so keep your eye out on your next trip to the vineyards.  Sure there will be some natural variation from the differing vintages and changes in winemaking, but, you’ll get the drift of things.

DISCLAIMER:  There is a whole lot more to aging vino.  Variables like, variety, vineyard, winery, the sealing method of the bottle (Cork v Screwcap v Glass Stopper) can have a massive impact.  So muck around, hopefully you’ll have a heap of fun, tasting amazing different wines.  Dr Bailey Carrodus of Yarra Yering once stated that a pear is only perfectly ripe for 4 hours.  Fortunately we have a greater window to find the perfect age to drink a wine.

Special thanks to Michael Gow (He likes Filthy Good Vino too) of Raw Wine and Beer who put me onto this beauty many moons ago. You can follow him on Twitter @RawWineandBeer

As always for the latest on Filthy Good Vino or if you want to know more follow me on Twitter @PaulKaan or subscribe to this blog.

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