When Its Time For Wine, It Can Be Spectacular

Opus One 1999

Aging wine can be a tricky thing. You have to be comfortable with spending money on wine, and letting it lie on its side until the right moment arrives. When is that? Not sure, then read up on the wines, and follow a few simple procedures- temperature, keeping it in a dark place, and on its side. A temperature controlled environment is the best, but understandably if one cannot afford to build a cellar, or basement area, then an upright refrigerated unit works.

How do you know a wine is meant to be aged? Here are a few notes-

Knowing how long to age wines can seem difficult. There are many types of grapes, many methods of production, a great variety of storage conditions and an overwhelming number of personal preferences. Each of these factors has an impact on how long a wine should be held before drinking. In general, wines gain complexity and lose fruitiness as they age. Tannic red wines also mellow and become softer as they age. Once a wine reaches maturity, it will usually plateau before slowly going downhill. Different grapes make wines with different aging profiles. As an example, most Cabernet Sauvignon will age for longer periods than most Merlot’s.

Of all the wines produced, more than 90% are designed to be consumed within a couple of years after they are produced. Understand that it is just as possible to age a wine for too long a time as it is to age it for too little a time.

In general, more expensive wines are usually designed to become better with age. Most inexpensive wines do not benefit from aging.

If you are not sure then read, or do your research. The internet is full of wine sites, forums and blogs, so it would be almost impossible not to find out a recommended aging time-line for your bottle of wine.

Hubby and I opened up this Opus One with a meal at Ruth Chris Steak House. Corkage fee of $15 for a 1999 was a bargain. They did offer an 06 for $210, but you can purchase them for around $100, sometimes less if the store wants to unload them. Friends have often purchased wines off of Ebay, but unless you trust how it was stored, and the temperature, be careful.

I was disappointed in the Ribeye I had, over cooked, but hubby’s lamb chops were perfect. Sure I could have sent it back, but by the time we waited and arrived for dinner, I was hungry. They removed some of the bill for the mistake. I however feel a good Ribeye on the home grill is by far the best experience. Eating out is risky, and an expensive lesson.

Bordeaux Blend- Cab and other grapes

Opus One has lost some of its momentum in the wine connoisseur circles, but we felt it had aged perfectly. There are some higher end wines out there, but Opus One is still producing some good grapes, and is perfect for aging. Mellow and meaty- great with grilled meats. The recommendation for this wine was to open no later than 2012, so it just felt right to enjoy the wine. The best part of our meal was the company and the wine by far!

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

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  1. OK, now not only hungry-but jealous! Sorry the steak was overcooked at those prices it needs to be perfect! But Opus, well that’s just damn tasty!

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