Every bottle can't be a winner - even if it's wine you like

It’s always interesting to try a favorite wine a second time. Last weekend, Sally and I shared a bottle of 2008 Halter Ranch Cotes de Paso. The last time we drank this wine, we gave it rave reviews (“If you taste something good, don’t let it get away”) and I lamented not buying a second bottle after we enjoyed it at a restaurant. Sally later surprised me with another bottle as a present, but it was a bit of a mixed bag the second time around.

We drank the wine with a wonderful feast Sally made comprised of some of my favorites: French onion soup for starters, veal brisket with root vegetables for the main course, and tiramisu for dessert. The meal was incredible. The wine was very good, but it wasn’t on par with the first time bottle.

The first time, we gave the wine our coveted “ingredients to dessert” nod, meaning it was good enough to open while you were cooking and would still taste delicious by the time you got to dessert. Assuming you had some left, of course! The second time around, we felt it definitely wasn’t in this class. Even the tasting notes were a little different, with the flavor profile being pleasant, but a little less robust and refined than the first time.

It's even interesting to compare our flavor notes:

Bottle #1: cocoa, earthiness, and blackberry

Bottle #2: strawberry, apple, and raisin

I may now have to revise my earlier statement that if you discover an outstanding wine, you’ll need to buy two bottles. I now think you need three, just in case bottle #2 is a dud!


Posted on February 24, 2012 and filed under Wine Discoveries.