Normally when one gets invited to a stranger's home over the internet we pause and reflect, delete, ignore or move on swiftly. When the invitation involves Bordeaux wines from the 60s and 70s and knowing Google could help me figure out if the group was legit, I took a closer look at the invitation. I had never met the wine group that reached out to me but their fearless leader had seen me speak at an event in Boston and asked me to share some thoughts on the wine market to the monthly gathering of Vino Veritas. On a rainy Sunday night, abandoning family and my visting brother-in-law I set out to Lexington to see what this "club" was all about. Walking into the room of wine loving friends, my eyes quickly analyzed the room and my gaze immediately moved to the table of decanters and wine bottles in the middle of the kitchen. What was on the table made it clear we were in for a wine adventure. As I was politely introduced and sparkling wine was offered it became clear this was not a wine coven but a group of fun loving friends who genuinely enjoyed each other's company and the pursuit of learning more about wine and food.
Each couple brought a wine and a food to match. The theme of the night was old Bordeaux versus Bordeaux less than 10 years old (which was stretched to 15). As we were seated at the table, the first of the wines appeared. Old versus new, pairing after pairing, the journey of wine and time could not have been more extraordinary. The food was thoughtfully prepared and lovingly shared and I realized how powerful wine can be. See all the wines here.
One member of each couple was tasked with sharing the details about the wine from various online sources. They shared how they bought them (including being abandoned in the aisles by a retailer) and how they acquired the wines via mail order auction over 45 years ago. We talked about why they chose the wines they did and how excited they were when they arrived by mail and then deciding to cellar them. There was nothing formal about the night other than a beautifully set table and proper care of the wines. There were so many questions and surprises in the bottle and the conversation was enlightening.
As a so called wine "professional" I learned more about education and tasting in that night than I have in many years of formal tasting and education. The '61 Phelan Segur was fresh and sprightly with beautiful tertiary aromas and flavors but still balanced and approachable. The 1967 Lynch Bages versus the 2012 Lynch Bages was an epic experience where you knew both wines were from the same varietals and place on the nose, you could tell they were the same wine, but with over 50 years of age on this wine it was mind blowing in its complexity on the palate.
It was another moment where I realized wow, if we could all just wait, take care of ourselves and our wines, it would be incredible if we could be blessed to live so long as to meet a wine grandmother and her grandchildren.
With so much negative in the world right now and for all the challenges we face each day, Vino Veritas was a true testament to what is right in the world. Dear friends getting together, learning, openly and honestly about a product that has brought them so much joy over time. They have fun together, they are organized and thoughtful and they care deeply about sharing wine, their homes and their experiences. I can't thank Vino Veritas enough for including me in their night.
As we kick off summer and we begin to form memorable memories of sunny days and cool nights, enjoy yourself, take note of what is in your glass and who is at your table. May Memorial Day, Bank Holiday or every other holiday this summer cause us to reflect on those we have met, those we will meet and all that can go right in the world, particularly over a glass of wine.