The love and gamble of fine wine

The love and gamble of fine wine

Being a fine wine lover is like being a gambling addict. You’re always wanting to buy more to add to the collection, place bets on that the wine will mature into a top bottle that you’ll enjoy in 5, 10, sometimes 20+ years. Patients is required, but like all great things, that patients is what begrudges but also makes the experience so much fun. Like gambling, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose however.


All fine wine lovers will know that moment when you’ve been waiting to open a special bottle that you’ve had in your collection. Whether it has been maturing for 15+ years in your cellar, or you’ve just received it, that sense of excitement can only be compared to the feeling that you have on Christmas morning as a child. You carefully remove the capsule and screw the opener in, softly pulling until the cork comes out. You smell the cork and go ‘oooooh’ as your nostrils are filled with a tease of the aromas. After a glass is poured, you stick your nose to receive an explosion of flavors, dark fruit, oak, vanilla, leather and spice. Wow, today the gamble of waiting 10 years paid off. You remember exactly why you originally bought and drunk 5 bottles but decided to wait on the last bottle. You regret not having more bottles left, but today you feel like a million dollars. Today is a winning wine day.


Not all occasions might be such a win however. You’ve spent all morning going to the market to pick up fresh produce and arrive home to unpack. You’ve placed a couple of bottles in the fridge to start, champagne and a Chablis 1er Cru, but the bottle of Barolo 1985 on the table is the main event that you’re most excited for. After a couple of hours of cooking and preparing the house, your best friend and their partner arrive for dinner. You pop the champagne, followed by the Chablis and the evening is going swimmingly. You’ve hyped up the Barolo all evening and the time comes to open it for decanting. You slowly pull the cork and start pouring it into the decanter. You decide to have a ‘tester’ glass and then your heart sinks. “Damn, the wine is corked” you say aloud. The evening is ruined you think, 20 years of waiting for what? You decide to open a Pontet-Canet from 2005 instead to save the evening. It’s been a while since you last tried a bottle, unable to recall if it was one year or more than five since you did. But wow it rocks your world! Your disappointment in the failed Barolo gamble is quickly forgotten as you move on to win the next hand.


The love and gamble of fine wine is what makes it so exciting! Sometimes you win, other times you lose. But the joy and pleasure that you feel when you hit the jackpot is the reason that we love, collect and drink fine wine.


10 September 2021