Make the Wine the Occasion

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Wine by its very nature is something often used to celebrate an occasion. A good bottle of wine is the perfect thing to consume when moods are high and a toast is needed. The Champagne industry is pretty much reliant on Champagne being seen as the only suitable drink for any special occasion. I'm as much a follower of this tradition as the next man, so I very quickly reached for a bottle of Dom Perignon 2000 when my wife's 30th birthday arrived and perfect for the occasion it was too.

Around 6 months ago however, I realised that I had a number of excellent bottles of wine upstairs which were awaiting an occasion to be opened. Maybe my life is too boring, but short of birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries, there aren't actually that many celebratory occasions in it. My real fear was that in search of that elusive “perfect occasion” some of my best wines were reaching and indeed passing their peak. It was enough to have me breaking out in a cold sweat...

I therefore began to pioneer a new drinking philosophy; make the wine the occasion in itself. Once I'd decided to follow this philosophy I found myself feeling almost unburdened. My best wines were suddenly "in play" and no longer gathering dust due to my sense of occasion. I remember getting home one random Thursday evening with absolutely nothing to celebrate at all (short of having actually made it home) and opened a Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 1998 which was absolutely brilliant. I remember the wine vividly. When I've consumed great wines on special occasions it is sometimes (and righty so in some cases) the occasion which sticks in your mind more than the wine. What a terrible waste....

So there you have it. Next time you're choosing your wine to drink why not reach for a posh one? Provided the wine isn't too young to drink (and this philosophy can sometimes come undone with classed growth Bordeaux) then why not go for it? You might find you remember it more fondly than you might otherwise do. Tuesday evenings might never be the same again.....

Don't wait for a special occasion to drink a special wine. Open a special wine without a special occasion and let the opening of the wine in itself become the special occasion!