Saturday was BeerFest at the store. A massive tasting with 30 different Craft and Belgian beers featuring a number of new releases and seasonal offerings. It's always well-attended and we sell a lot of really good beer. It's a fun day, but it's a lot of work.
So I went home suffused with notions of hops and malt. Susan had been to the store and bought some pork chops for me (the cook) to fix for dinner along with some apples, potatoes and some brussels sprouts. I'm thinking about how to work some beer into the meal. I was wishing I had some of the new Samuel Adams Noble Pils when I saw the bottle of riesling. More to the point, two-thirds of a bottle of riesling, left from a tasting at the office two or three weeks ago. It's just been sitting in the fridge with just a cork, no vacuvin, no wine-saver, nothing. A long time for a half-empty bottle of wine.
Which was a shame, it was a fabulous wine, a 2007 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling from our new supplier 90+ Cellars. (They buy lots of wine that have been rated 90 points and release them under the 90+ label at very competitive prices.) But surely it would taste great in the bottom of a skillet with browned chops and apples, so I grabbed the bottle, pulled the cork, and took a swig right out of the bottle.
Wow! Fabulous! The wine had changed, but the degree of oxidation had just accelerated the aging curve of the wine. Where it had been sleek and crisp, all apples and green pears, it now showed notes of apricot, brown sugar and baked apple pies.
"Susan! Bring wineglasses, NOW!!!"
Well, some of the wine did end up in the pan and the chops and apples in their riesling/butter pan sauce was quite delicious indeed. And I shouldn't have been surprised at how good the wine tasted. Sugar and acid are both preservatives and really good Spatlese's have plenty of both.
I never did get around to drinking that beer!