Wines savored within the sanctity of home and ranked according to a super-subjective scale of seven:

******* = A true elixir! I’d buy up an entire crate if I were you.
****** = Fabulous wine — art in edible form.
***** = Happy wine — sure to brighen up your world.
**** = Good, but could be better.
*** = What went wrong? Bad cork? Daring adventures at sea?
** = Not worth the investment.
* = Steer clear of this bottle if you ever do find one.

Herencia Antica Reserva 1998

Product of: Utiel-Requena (Spain)
Type of grape(s): Tempranillo
Price: 1380 yen
Bought at: Mine Market Meguro
Rating: *******

Bliss in a bottle. Antique-red, a faded deep ruby. Decanting for 30 minutes produces a delicious cherry-vanilla bouquet — round and pleasing taste, finishes with a lingering touch of custard in your mouth. Gets sweeter by the minute! Extremely addictive.

Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2004

Product of: Les Caves de la Colombe (France)
Type of Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Price: 1950 yen
Bought at: Precce Meguro
Rating: **************

When was the last time I treated myself to French wine? I usually head straight for the Spanish or Chilean aisles and purchase spicy dark reds at half the price. An ad in the Nikkei this morning about French champagnes probably made me crave French things (yes, I also bought Camembert cheese). Or could it have been the hefty dose of James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime — “an opaline vision of Americans in France,” according to The New York Times Book Review?

Anyway, long story short, please buy this wine if you ever encounter one. It’s absolutely delightful. I never knew Pinot Noirs could be so delicate and agile — and it’s a 2004! Owing to its subtle effervescence, this wine tickled my heart and made me giddy despite myself. The very first kiss was divine, and it only got better. I kept craving for more and never tired of its floral bouquet, its silky texture, its tea rose color. Recommended to drink entire bottle in one sitting — it turns quite ordinary (but still decent) the next day. Like Cinderella. Yes, a bonafide faerie princess wine!!

Chateau Des Illarets Rouge 2004

Product of: Bergerac (France)
Type of Grape(s): Sauvignon
Price: 1000 yen
Bought at: Odagiri Shoten, Meguro Fudo Shotengai
Rating: ****

Not a bad wine. In fact, Spicy, zesty — voluptuous, even. It’s full of life; it’s the work horse wine. But I’m still entranced by yesterday’s faerie princess wine, and cannot taste fairly.

(15 hours later)

It’s Sunday, I’m a closet alcoholic, and I’m enjoying a little mid-afternoon Bacchanalia for myself. And what a difference the overnight stay in the fridge has made! The instant I detected a whiff of orange, my hopes soared. And it tastes marvelous too. Nothing of the heaviness from last night — more mellow, summery, with a smooth aftertaste like peaches and plum. Good thing I left almost the entire bottle to stay the night in the fridge. Too bad about work tomorrow.


2 Responses to “Wines!”

  1. Brigitte Says:

    Chika–Great reviews! I’m going to try some of these in I can find them. Love the way in which you describe them and your conversational, humorous tone!

  2. Hina Says:

    Thanks, Brigitte. I wrote these eons ago when I was still single and blissfully inebriated :)! Can’t wait for the day I can drink liberally again (still breastfeeding, thus the guilt factor).

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