Friday, 15 April 2011

'Red, red wine. Goes to my head...'

     After the episode with the out of date bean sprouts (see Hubby’s Hotties) I decided I ought to have a clear out of the kitchen cupboards. Heaven knows what’s lurking in the back of those. I tackled my task with gusto and my spectacles so I could see the dates on the tins and packets.
      Removing all the jars of jam that Hubby had purchased in case the world ever runs out of jam I discovered a bottle of red wine hiding in the back of one of the cupboards. It was one of which had been given to Hubby for his fortieth (cough, cough – a very long time ago).  It would obviously seem sensible to dispose of the said red wine as it had probably gone off by now.
     Out of the two of us I am more the wine connoisseur. I say that glibly because I actually know very little about wine but I seem to enjoy and appreciate a good red wine more than poor old Hubby who can’t drink the stuff as it gives him a headache. He usually sticks to the tried and tested Pinot Grigio or a nice little Petit Chablis.
     I love red wine. I can sit for ages savouring the flavours of red fruits or oaky notes. (See I sound like I know what I’m on about don’t I?) I became interested in it when we lived in France and I started my own cellar. I chose a few very nice wines to lay down and read up about them. I had a thermometer to keep them at the ambient temperatures and of course a proper wine rack where I would turn my bottles regularly. Hubby didn’t share my enthusiasm and when we came back to the UK rather than let the bottles travel in the back of the hire van on a freezing cold, snow covered February day and go off I quaffed them all.
     My discovery of this particular bottle of red wine was a bit of a coup because I’d just finished my last bottle of Chianti and Hubby won’t let me share his nice bottles of white which he makes last. I sought him out and found him in front of the computer growling about some fund he had bought into that was floundering. All our shares seem to flounder and lose money.
‘Uhm, there’s a bottle of red wine in the cupboard. It’s technically yours but as you don’t like red wine can I have it tonight to go with the pasta?’
‘Erg, grump, hurrumph!’ came the reply which I took to mean ‘Yes, have it with my pleasure. I hope you enjoy it.’
     I cleaned it off and put it on the kitchen top for later and finished throwing away out of date tins before Hubby worked out how much stuff was actually well past its sell-by date. He emerged later grumpily and stomped into the kitchen where he stood and stared at the bottle.’
‘Where did that come from?’
‘It’s yours. It was a birthday present from your friends for your fortieth birthday.’
He looked horrified.
‘Gosh, that long ago. It’s a 1983. Shouldn’t this have been drunk years ago. Crumbs, I hope it’s alright. It’ll be like vinegar by now. Oh well, you could always put it in your cooking if it isn’t right. What a shame.’
I opened it to let it breathe. The cork came out with a pleasant ‘plop’ sound.
‘No, I think it’ll be okay,’ I announced savouring the rich aroma that emerged from the bottle.
Hubby looked at the label
‘Chateau Margaux 1983’. Isn’t that supposed to be a good vineyard?’
‘Yes, Chateau Margaux is one of the well known Chateaux in Bordeaux.’
Hubby, however, lost interest in the wine and went off outside to check the air pressure in the car tyres.
Later that evening I poured a large glass of the wine and settled down with it. It was lovely and fruity.
‘You should try some of this. It’s very nice. Not at all heavy or oaky.’
He reluctantly let me pour him a small glass.
‘Mmm, quite nice for a red wine. You should check up on the internet about it. Maybe we could get another bottle. It’s quite nice.’
I glugged another glass and then another. It really was rather smooth and beautifully fruity. Soon I felt pleasantly relaxed. Even Hubby had a glow to his face after his thimbleful.
The following morning I discovered I had no hangover. What a great wine. Pity we hadn’t got a couple of bottles of it. I logged on and ‘googled’ it.
The winemaker notes said
"The 1983 Margaux is a breathtaking wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes achieved perfect maturity in 1983, and the result is an astonishingly rich, concentrated, atypically powerful and tannic Margaux. The color is dark ruby, the aromas exude ripe cassis fruit, violets, and vanillin oakiness, and the flavors are extremely deep and long on the palate with a clean, incredibly long finish... Anticipated maturity: 2000-2030."
96/100 pts. (Robert Parker)

Read more:
Aghast I read all the reviews. Apparently it is ‘the Bordeaux of the vintage’. I sat mouth open and checked out the price. It retails for approximately £521.65p ($649.99).
I think maybe we should have kept this bottle as an investment. It would certainly have been a better bet than some of Hubby’s funds. Now how to tell him?

I've kept the bottle as a souvenir. Maybe I could fill it up with Chianti and resell it.


  1. Pretty sure you don't have to tell EVERYthing that you know, right? LOL

  2. So this is what you've been up to the past few days. Congrats on the new blog!

    Such a shame you drank all the wine and then found out it was worth a lot of money. I remember dad getting a couple of bottles of very old wine, but it tasted so much like barrel, it wasn't really worth its price.

    Hey, who knows, maybe even the bottle will be worth anything after a long enough time.

  3. Holy Shit! Beg pardon, but WHO pays that much for a bottle of wine????? My husband limits me to bottles that cost less than $10 (that's about 4pounds) DON'T TELL H!! The less he knows... the better x

  4. Your new blog looks very pretty I must say, and I have put your button on the sidebar of my Blog. For goodness sake don't tell Hubby how much that wine was worth!! Some things one just has to keep to oneself!!

  5. Oh wow! How often do you get to drink a $600 bottle of wine....I definitely wouldn't tell him ! lol

  6. Cripes! (that's the least offensive reaction I can put down). No wonder you enjoyed it!
    i think, in the interests of not spoiling his life, you should just "forget" what you read about it.

  7. Emptynester - I know but he's definitely going to ask me at some stage and I'm not too good at lying. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he forgets about it. I've still got the bottle...maybe that's worth something. (gulp!)
    Lavi thank you. I wish our wine had tatsed dreadful then I wouldn't have felt so bad. I had no idea it was worth that much. It's like finding a rare piece of pottery at a car boot sale and then breaking it on the trip home only to discover iot was worth a fortune.
    JanetNZ - I know! My average spend on wine is £5.00. This bottle can't possibly have cost that when it was bought for Hubby...his friends don't love him that much. I'm guessing it was got a the right price but just went up in value over the years. Wish I'd checked first but it never crossed my mind.
    Thisisme - I don't know. Part of me has the urge to confess and get it over with. Thank you for the compliment about the blog...I really have Katherine to thank for that though...I don't do pretty very well. Thank you for grabbing the sweet button. It l;ooks more refined than my bottle button from the other blog :)
    Eva - I wonder if I would have appreciated it more if I'd known it's worth. I guess not. Still one more thing to add to the bucket list of things I have now done!
    Mimi - cripes is a great reaction and certainly less offensive than the one Hubby will emit if/when he discovers the truth.
    General consensus seems to be - KEEP QUIET! Thanks friends I'll see if I can.

  8. Pricless! I may be giggling a little here!

  9. $649.00.....OMG.......I can't believe it.....The most expensive wine I ever had was $12.00. (Maybe that's why I don't like wine, never had aany of the good stuff!)

    And, does your hubby know you gave away his age in that story??????

    One more were WAY too kind with your comment. You have been such a wonderful blogging friend. And I see you did LG's too.....No, sweetie, you are the 8th wonder of the world to me!

  10. "Now how to tell him?"

    Easy - DON'T!!!

    Am getting flashbacks of a certain Black Books episode....

  11. Hi, I'm visiting from Follow Friday 40+. I love this post about the wine. It sounds like something that would happen in my house, if a bottle of wine survived that long! I'm Just One Donna from Nice to meet you.

  12. Craziness Abounds - I don't think I'll be giggling when Hubby finds out. (Sound of nervous laughter).
    Out of my mind - I know. Wicked to have chugged it but well it's too late now! You really must stop saying such wonderful things about me.Nice people deserve nice buttons!
    Cate - I just have a feeling that at some point I'll come out with it unintentionally like in my sleep. I think I'll have to YouTube that clip and check it out.
    Donna U - welcome! I am off to visit straight away...sadly i haven't got an expensive bottle of wine to bring with me though;)

  13. The important fact here is that you enjoyed it without having read any of the reviews! You had no preconceived idea of it's purported value. You drank it, savouring every sip, nosed it and allowed each mouthful to roll off your tongue came to the same conclusion that all the wine boffs came to...all on your own! That speaks volumes, surely! You don't need the bottle of wine anymore. You can now fob yourself as a true connoisseur and write reviews for some of the world's most esteemed wine journals :) Soon, you'll have editors clamouring for your thoughts and willing to outbid others for the privilege. That bottle of wine was your genie, Carol!

  14. You could always refill it with some cheap wine, recork it, then open it at a lavish dinner party and see whether your snobby guests who profess to be wine fundis can tell the difference :)

  15. I just saw something on TV about China Walmarts selling wine like that.
    Stopping by from over 40 to say hello.
    Have a great weekend!

  16. Desiree - that is actually a top idea!

    Posh on a budget - hello. Maybe I should check the internet for a chinese Walmart. Maybe they have the wine cut price :)

  17. Drink it, you deserve it. We all do, invite me over and we can share.

    Stopping over from BPOW

  18. hello...that was very funnt,loved it :)

    shhhh don't tell....

  19. I agree, don't tell! Would it have tasted any better if you had known beforehand? How fun to have found it unexpectantly. Hmmm, maybe I should clean out my cupboards!!