With the everyday wine rack taking a bit of a beating over the Easter hols, I decided to put my hands on something a bit special from the famous shed/coal bunker at the bottom of the garden. I hadn’t been down there for some time and needless to say, the contents of shed (lawn mower as well as wine rack) were showing tell-tale signs of our oh-so-tedious prolonged winter. But I’m confident of said shed conditions and whilst the bottle labels develop a rather dishevelled tattyness, the wines I choose to store down there have never let me down.
As with my previous blog (see ‘Shed or Knicker Drawer‘), I anticipated my choice of wine to be cloudy (which it was), very cold (which it was) and throwing a sediment, which it did. So I gave the filthy bottle a quick wipe down, before placing it on a warm radiator and gradually brought it up to room temperature. Result? The wine was better than I’d remembered! Amazingly, this 2001 Syrah / Grenache / Carignan / Mourvedre from a fabulous property called Chateau Meunier Saint-Louis in the Languedoc, was as bright as a daisy with fabulously fresh fruit appeal in spite of its mature years.
Aside from the pleasure of slurping away with my home-made burger in my home-made seedy roll (Mr Hollywood is a bit of a star), what was really intriguing about this wine was its presentation – the cloudyness (brought on by the chilly shed temperatures) did not disappear entirely (how I wish my decanter wasn’t in smitherines) and the crystal sediment that had formed in the base of the bottle had taken on the impression of a true Frenchman’s bicycle moustache (it’s true – look at the pic).
If you have had difficulties keeping your wines at safe temperatures this winter, don’t worry. So long as the wine is very gradually brought back to an ambient temperature, the likelihood is that it will not have experienced any lasting damage. Sediment found in wine is completely harmless it’s just bi-products of fermentation. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it though!