I know they don’t look like much. Two naked bottles. Label-less. Foil-less. Cheap glass. No carefully crafted story on their backsides.
One white French Colombard. One red Grenache Noir. At least I think it’s Grenache Noir. It pains me that I am not sure. I know I have it written down somewhere…
Yes, I’ll admit it. I am someone who indulges in excessive sentimentality. And even though the act of sentimentalization can be thought of as a burden to some…I see it as a tool for capturing and preserving things in my past.
Now for me, there is certainly something to be said about the experience of a wine and the sentimentality I attach to it. Often it is the circumstance under which the wine was enjoyed that causes it to embrace my memory. I am often left wondering if it was the wine that was good or was it the time, the place and the people that made it so special.
Well, for these naked, label-less wines, they are my first. The first wines made by me (and many of my dear classmates) that were preserved under bottling conditions.
These wines are my reminder of why I chose to go back to school to study Viticulture and Enology.
They are a reminder of time spent at the educational institution I have great respect for.
They are the symbol of a push toward the future of my own vineyard. My own winery. My own bliss in a bottle.
Sadly, I will never taste these wines. Well, let me clarify that. I will never taste these wines again.
I have experienced these wines during their fermentation phase and again under sensory analysis conditions. Never with a meal. Never socially. Only educationally.
These wines were bottled to be used only for educational purposes in enology study and given to the students who took part in making them; UC Davis is not a bonded winery and cannot sell their wines for profit.
These wines were given to us before a Thanksgiving holiday along with instruction to come back with a sensory review.
I could not get myself to open them. They were too sentimental to me. How silly I know but if I opened them, I would no longer have the first wine I took part in making. People save their first dollar, why not their first bottles of wine.
For me it’s not just about what’s in the bottle. It does not matter if the wine is good or bad. What matters to me is who was next to me when we crushed these grapes, pumped the juice into the tanks, washed out the bins and cleaned the hoses.
Yes, it was a small moment in time, in comparison to the scheme of my life. But looking back it was a very poignant moment. Mostly for what it took for me to get there.
So these bottles will forever remain shut. Cork in. One day I will build a shelf in my winery and place them there for everyone to see.
There is no price tag on these wines; they are priceless.
And every night when I put them to bed…
I reminisce about the times that were as hard as they were enjoyable, but always fun.
Are there any wines that make you sentimental?