I survived almost 5 months without drinking any wine towards the later half of 2018. I let all good wine selections pass by, and kept to my self-imposed vow not to waver even under duress or serious temptations (which occurred quite often! and will continue to occur!!).
Then as December approached, I decided to temporarily drop my vow, and enjoy some good wines for 3 months before I reimpose the ban. This is due to the fact that it was year-end with all family members congregating in Singapore, and in recognition of another good year. And, of course, welcome 2019 not just in Gregorian Calendar, but also to kick off the Chinese Calendar welcoming the Year of the Pig.
Now, I am reimposing the ban. No more wines. How long? I do not know. It is a serious test of will power (as far as I am concerned, given my longstanding affinity towards good wines, about which I have extensively blogged). It is going to be a big challenge, but then we are all made of tough stuff, right?
In conclusion of this 3-month sojourn with some good wines, I selected three of the most renowned (and somewhat expensive) wines that were offered to me as part of a dinner celebration. I have to point out that none of these wines were chosen by me. So, mention of these wines in this blog post does not mean that I did my research on the selection and then bought these wines for relishing during a quiet evening. Not at all. These were selected by more discerning wine aficionados (who are unable to understand why I would go off wines at all). People who have followed my choice of “value-based wines” would know that I hardly suggest any wine above SGD 50 (which translates to USD 37 or INR 2,600).
So, here comes the list:
- Chateau Leoville Barton Saint-Julien (Grand Cru Classe) 2010, France of course!
- Gauchezco Reserva Malbec 2016, Mendoza Argentina
- Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Italy
Of course, I had personally tried Chilean and Australian wines during the above period of wine-no-ban, but I am not writing about those wines here.
The first one from France is simply outstanding (to be honest, I am not a fan of French wines, and I might get ambushed and beaten up for stating that here publicly, but that is the honest truth). The Wine Spectator has given a rating of 96/100, the Wine Enthusiast has given 100/100 (!!!), and Vivino has given a 4.6/5.0. This is indeed a great wine (of all times and of all wines), and I would easily rate this as one of the top 5 wines that I have ever drunk. I am not going to describe the wine but this is simply an excellent fruity red wine which you will never regret. However the price might put off any casual wine drinker, so try this when someone is sponsoring a dinner for a celebration (of course, this means that the sponsor knows this wine and feels the occasion demands something of this quality!). I know you are biting your nails to find out what could be the price, but I leave that exercise to you.
The second wine is from the famous Mendoza wine-growing region of Argentina. I have increasingly grown fond of Malbec. I believe it is better than the other reds for its depth of dark fruits on the palate which I relish. Of course, everything boils down to trial and experimentation, so after many Malbecs, my choice for anything from Argentina would be focused on the mountains of Mendoza and Malbec. Also, there is some attraction to the purplish inky-blue colour of the wine! This particular wine is easy to drink, lovely on the nose and fantastic on the palate, so I would strongly recommend this one if you are looking for a Malbec.
The third wine – ah! from the Italian Tuscany region of Brunello – again, I am not a natural chooser of Italian wines (except when I am forced to do so in an Italian restaurant where there is no other choice!). But then, one always learns, right? This is an amazing Brunello wine – full-bodied, rich and complex, and strong fruitiness on the palate. This wine has gotten a rating of 96/100 from Wine Spectator, 94/100 from Wine Enthusiast, and 4.2/5.0 from Vivino which is a crowd-sourced platform. Excellent choice again, and I am not revealing the price again. For you to discover, should you at all be interested!
Well, well………that summarized what I have enjoyed greatly, and it is always a pleasure when a “ban” is lifted and you permit yourself to try wines again – but this field is not like chocolates or sweets, wherein you could feel the adrenalin rush in your head when a similar ban is lifted – you are literally rushing to the fridge. In the case of wine, it is always a measured careful approach. Bad wines could strangle people – yes, believe me, it will be real bad. So, one needs to know his/her wines and then select a specific one which could break the “ban” or the “wine-fasting”, and that will, indeed, be most pleasurable.
However, please do not offer me any wine of any kind, “value-based” or connoisseur-driven expensive ones. I have stopped drinking wines from last week……….let me see how I can persist with this self-imposed ban.
Have a great week ahead, folks.
10th February 2019