If one more person says “women, like wine, get better with age,” I will literally lose it.
First of all…I can promise you…women don’t always get better with age. Some do. Some don’t. And the same applies to wine. (No offense to my fellow boomer babes out there…I’m actually grateful to feel like I’ve improved….and I’m guessing you do as well).
So, let’s just go over my personal observation of the transition of wines for my own generational palate, desires and experience (again…I’m clarifying…this is my opinion, memories and thoughts, so please take no offense in my lack of early sophistication…I’m sure everyone has their own fond members of “time in a wine bottle” of the last 40 years).
What a difference a decade makes…
A decade makes a ton of difference when it comes to our taste buds…I should know…I’ve been through all the major stages except the “I can’t taste anything anymore stage”, but that’s yet to come.
But when it comes to wine, it’s real and valid that our tastes change. At 20 (okay…for legal purposes…21…but who are we kidding, my generation drank way before legal age), we thought we were cool tossing back chemical catastrophes known as ‘blue nun’ or ‘boones farm strawberry hill’ in Dixie cups in the back of cars named “Vega” and “Nova” . Better yet…what about our weak attempt at sophistication with sparkling wine known as “cold duck”. Yea…boy…we thought we were so grown up…but really we just wanted a buzz and the sweeter the better. How we didn’t all end up sick each time is beyond me, but the youthful body, just like the youthful palate, can handle a lot.
A decade later, we were hip to start sampling whites… and… well the latest invention of box wines for our desires. There’s a novel idea. Instead of wasting the money on a bottle, let’s just put it in a foil bladder and stuff it in a square box with a spicket at the end. Nothing reeks of lazy drinker like a box of wine. LOL…no cork, no fuss, no breakage…no refrigeration. Whoa….
What seems like a short jaunt in time later (because time moves much faster as you inch up the chain) at 40, all of a sudden, the need to be better at everything creeps in. So, we educate ourselves and find a way to embrace the love of beautiful reds like cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir or…yummmm…Barbera. Maturity isn’t so bad, when it finds its way into a Reidel glass and has rich, bold, flavors that linger on the palate. Drinking a wider variety of wines, inviting in the more expensive brands and varietals to our collection, weekend trips to reach tasting rooms in multiple valleys for the experience and ambiance take place of our once simpler time of just “drinking” wine for the buzz. Ahhhh…the pleasure of our 40’s while we work our way through enhancing our wine tastes…only to come to our…yes….dirty word that it isn’t…our 50’s.
Our 50’s. What one friend recently described to me as the age/era of freedom. Finally, we have stopped trying to be grown up …and become grown up. We no longer need to impress anyone or please people that don’t matter, which allows us to have the best of both worlds in wine. We finally get to drink what we love and we know enough about all of it to know what is good, but we don’t care if anyone else thinks its good. We are finally at a stage to be content in who we are and what we have a hankering for…and for me, specifically at this age…its whites. Crisp, clean, fresh whites that make me feel young and peaceful and happy again. And I could care less about whether it is summer (traditionally, this is considered the time of year to enjoy whites) or whether I’m eating fish with it. I like it alone in the dead of winter or in the Spring with a beautiful cheese and fruit platter. And no longer is Chardonnay the “white of choice”. Oh no…there are so many amazing varietals now: delightful viognier or yummy sauvignon blanc or light and airy pinot gris. There’s even blends in whites…which were considered taboo once upon a time…many of which can be found in El Dorado County. What a great place to experience ALL the various stages and phases you will go through in your love of wine as you grow and age with the vines. Everything you want can be found here.
So, I say, “embrace” the decades and stages of our lives and our palates. Be thrilled with where we are at in each moment and rejoice in the flavors and tastes that are striking our fancy for a time such as this…because a decade does make a big difference when it comes to wines styles and our own personal preferences…and there is nothing wrong with any of them. Isn’t life great?!
Let’s Be Real…