I made it home last night by 8:30, the first time I’d been back to Chateau Wallace before 10:00 pm since the previous Friday. So to say I was ready to keel over would be an understatement.
Upon landing on the couch with a surprisingly convincing thud. I announced to my fearless bride that she should be ready to go in ten minutes.
I had plans for us, and there was no way I’d let mere exhaustion ruin them. In fact, the plans themselves were predicated on my tiredness: Monday morning, knowing that the following week would be rather on the brutal side, I vowed to go to one of my favorite byo restaurants Thursday night, have an actual conversation with the one who inexplicably said yes and open up a bottle of wine that’s been tempting me from its perch in the living-room wine cellar sine February.
Half an hour later, settled into our seats at Mercato, we took our first sips of Peter Michael ‘L’Apres-Midi’ Sauvignon Blanc, Knights Valley, an expensive bottle, and an undeniable extravagance on a run-of-the-mill Thursday evening. But that, of course, was the whole point of opening it.
Most of the time, like every other non-millionaire, I drink good, inexpensive wine. Lately, I’ve had a lot of rose (I recently purchased a mixed case of the stuff, and only one of the bottles cost more than $18) and way too many bottles of Vinho Verde. Sicilian whites, reds from Languedoc-Roussillon, Prosecco: I drink well, to be sure, but inexpensively. If you read our wine newsletter or a Wine 101 class, you know we focus on excellent but affordable wines
Last night, however, I wanted to treat myself. And in doing so, I discovered, as I always do when popping the cork on a pricey bottle, that the old cliche is true: You don’t need a special occasion to open a great bottle of wine; the special occasion manifests itself as if materializing, ex nihilo, out of the ether whenever you open a great bottle.
The Wine Review
And it was a beautiful wine lush, almost honeyed on the palate, and rich with an array of exotic fruits the likes of which I’ve never tasted in a Sauvignon Blanc before. (As for varietal accuracy well, that’s another story; it tasted more like the offspring of a Sav Blanc and a California Chardonnay than the varietal noted on the label, but it won me over nonetheless with its sheer sense of exuberance. From a purely hedonistic point of view, this was a truly decadent wine.)
It was just what I needed and brought me back to earth after such a crazy week. Was it relatively expensive in the context of what I normally drink? Absolutely. But it was undoubtedly worth it. Sometimes, we all need to remind ourselves why we work so hard in the first place and that, once in a while, we’re justified in a little reward.
Amazing how wine does that.