I got a notice from Vintages in my inbox today, advertising a rare release of Dominus, the end product of a California-France venture led by master winemaker Christian Moueix, the man behind France’s eminent Chateau Pétrus.
Like most wineaux, my eyebrows shot up at the “P”-word and the wheels started turning to figure how much I’d be willing to invest. I mean, the cheapest one was only $55 a bottle, I could totally afford that, and just imagine how much it’ll be worth in a few decades!
Wait a minute. I’ve never even tried a Chateau Pétrus, and likely never will. So how am I to know if I’d even like Moueix’s style? What if this Californian attempt at Bordeaux turns out to be something I positively abhor? Besides, most French wines leave me with a migraine (an inexplicable and most annoying reaction to whatever it is they do in their vinification processes). Would this be any different, even if it’s from the US?
Am I really going to buy this wine because I want it, or because somebody high up in the echelon of the wino-sphere is telling me I should? Am I going to start buying futures, where I stock up on high-end bottles I’m likely never going to drink because I want to turn a profit down the road? No.
Wine is meant to be *drunk*. Not sitting on a shelf collecting dust for decades until all that’s left is outrageously expensive vinegar or deflated grape juice. Collect art, if you will, or stamps, or Depression-era Coca-Cola signage, if that’s your thing. That stuff will keep.
But hiding wine away for years on end? What’s the point of the winemaker putting all that passion and attention into the process—all the way from vine to bottle—if the wine never takes its first breath of fresh air in a glass? That’s wine neglect, and I won’t be party to it.