Friday, December 13, 2013

I pulled the cork, and there was THE BLOB ...

Any old Port in a storm?

So you want to enjoy a mature, well-aged wine without spending a bundle, but you can't afford a temperature-controlled wine cellar?  Go with Madeira, most any savvy wine geek will advise. As far back as the 15th century, the sturdy wines of this Portuguese-ruled Atlantic island were being built to survive ocean voyages and last for the long haul.

This good advice still holds. But the savvy wine geek's usual second suggestion, Vintage Port, takes a bit more analysis.  Vintage Port, or "VP" to those who know it well enough to use nicknames, can last for generations indeed. But to find a keeper requires a little knowledge and a lot of good advice. The producer's record and, perhaps even more important, the vintage, matter.

I wrapped up a 12-year experiment the other day, pulling cork from the second bottle of a Duff Gordon 1994 Port that I had originally purchased and first sampled in 2001, then kept on a wine rack in a cool but not cellar-quality home location since.

Cutting to the chase, when I pulled the cork, the wine was still drinkable, if a bit light and thin.

And then I noticed The Blob!

What is this gross thing?

Find out in this week's 30 Second Wine Advisor, now online and en route to subscribers' Email boxes.