The year ends and it's time to look back and reflect. Sentences like; "did that really happen this year" and "Where does time fly", seems to become returning phenomenons. I did it myself this morning - clicked on the January, February, March.....post and yes time is indeed flying an my memory seems to worsen every year.
It's also the season for statistics; how odd or common the past year has been and when it comes to wine, it's usually top XX on the most memorable (even the most disappointing) wines, which we seek to look back upon.
I am not that good at making these lists, even if I could probably pick a few wines (mostly Champagnes) here and there. Sure, I can tell you if I liked wine A better than wine B (in most cases), but that's not the same as saying wine A is a winner and wine B is a looser. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in a restaurant with some friends, sharing a couple of wines. One of the wines, was the 2003 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvée Reservée. I know "Pegau" pretty well, as it was the first wine I ever bought (the 1985 Vintage) and I have tasted it (I think...remember my bad memory) in all vintages. The 2003 is 99 pts by Robert Parker and for my palate, that's miles away from where I would judge it (even if I don't use points). But again at that night, while making conversation, laughing, having fun and sharing a rustic lamb dish, it did well. Had we had a complex and fragile wine - even some of the Champagnes I usually drink, I am not sure the outcome would have been successful.
Looking back on 2009 I have once again participated in some "serious" tastings (believe me, they are not that serious ;-) ), where we usually meet up in some of the best restaurants we have here in Denmark. This gives food and wine mint conditions to perform and on most cases the line-up will even be coordinated beforehand with the very open minded restaurants we have here. But to me these tastings are also a social forum - even small time oases, where I meet with my best friends and share our passion, and simply just have an unforgettable day, which not only is about the liquid in the glasses. It's also an evening where I use a lot of time with the camera and where your senses are bombarded from start to finish. At such event's I have found it useful just to make a few paper notations, if I in any way should be able to offer you some sort of valid tasting notes.
But, there is no doubt in my mind, that the "best" tasting notes I can write, are those I write when I am home. Even if I can't bring food and wine to the same level as a top class Michelin star restaurant, I can still have more than one glass - and in some cases even a full bottle. During 2009, almost (I haven't calculated it) 90% of all the young Champagnes I drink had enormous bottle evolvement, to a degree where one glass would simply not have been sufficient to make some sort of judgment.
But not only have I been sitting in fancy restaurants in 2009, I have also returned to a event, which I was sure was out for good, namely "The wine shop tasting" - more specifically @ my favorite Champagne pusher, where I have tasted many of the new and interesting Champagne offerings and even had the pleasure of meeting Benoît Tarlant in August. I have missed these tastings, as they are in fact very good training and insightful, but also very informal and relaxed.
2009 was also a year, which make me realize how much I difficulties I have with high extracted and alcoholic wines. They kill my food and they kill the drinking pleasure. Setting up such generalizing barriers can easily result in crusade of dogmatic rules, which I don't want - but it's simply just the way my taste buds seems to react over and over again. Looking back - not only on 2009, but further - it's without a doubt my increasing consumption of Champagne which has started this avalanche and it seems unstoppable.
But let me pick my highlight for 2009. Without a doubt, my visit to Champagne. Meeting the people behind the wines, seeing their humble production facilities and feeling their passion is what it's all about to me.
My favourite funny wine moment of 2009 also comes from my Champagne visit. Sitting in David Léclpart's living room and tasting his magic 2000 Apôtre. My friend, Dan remarks. "Oh this is so good - so buttery and soft". Turning towards David - waiting for him to say some deep insightful winemaker's thoughts about the wine.
David Léclapart: "Well, I didn't put butter in it"
2010 - ...let's see what it brings. I hope very much to add a label called “People” on the site. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while, and basically it’s portraits of all kinds of people, I bump into when it comes to wine. It can be a wine producer, wine merchant or even just a friend of mine, which share the same passion for wine. It’s another step in the direction of personalizing this blog. Of course this label is also a possibility for me to exploit my hobby on Photography. I am setting pretty high standards for this label, but I am still a novice when it comes photography. Like one of my readers said (which is a brilliant professional photographer) – “Don’t quit your day job” ;-). But I will go ahead with the project anyway in order to become better.
2010 will hopefully also bring some nice wine experiences. Already hearing whispers about a Krug tasting (yeah baby!!!) - maybe the postponed Selosse vertical will come back on schedule and just maybe I will do a Champagne tasting myself or travel to Champagne again or even to Stockholm and meet new Champagne friends....who knows....I am already thirsty.
I wish you all a happy new year - see you in 2010.