I am a bit of a wine buff (which is a kind way of describing someone who probably should drink a lot less fine red wine than I do). Back in 1999 when I lived in Canberra for most of the year, I started reading about wine appreciation in order to relieve the boredom of dwelling in Australia’s most boring city. I also started paying attention to wine brands and labels, which I had not done before.
By that, I mean that I started to drink a lot of Penfolds wine as my preference, and not Poet’s Corner (thankfully I don’t think they make that anymore).
I also started investing in a rather expensive wine collection. At one point, I had 2 bottles of the 1994 Penfolds Grange, one bottle of the 1995 Grange, one bottle of the 1985 Grange, and one bottle of the 1994 Henschke Hill Of Grace stashed away in an esky in the wardrobe in my spare room.
Anywho, wines are made to be drank, rather than stashed away forever like a pile of gold coins under a dragon, and over the intervening two decades I have gradually gotten rid of my premium wines the sensible way, ie down the hatch.
This past month, I have gotten rid of my last two bottles of the good stuff – the 1994 Grange and Hill Of Grace. I am glad that I did, and the friends I shared them with would definitely agree.
The wines were still very good. I think the Hill Of Grace, which I had yesterday over yum cha with some friends, seemed a little disappointing (the only other time I have had the Hill Of Grace was the 1977 vintage in August 1999 at the Tang Dynasty in Kingston, and it was a mighty fine drop), but still very tasty. The Grange, which I had last month with a wagyu steak, really did live up to its reputation, more so than I remember from the past.
The big problem of course is the sealant. In both cases, the cork turned to powder as we were opening the bottles. This is nothing that could not be solved with a decanter, which we had on standby, but it does serve to illustrate the perils of holding onto quality bottles for too long.
Having said all this, I have one more thing to say to you, dear reader, and I do this as a shareholder of Treasury Wine Estate (the owners of Penfolds). And that is, go out there and buy as many bottles of Grange and other fine Penfolds wines (eg St Henri, RWT, Bin 707, Bin 389 etc) as you can. Do not care about the price, or whether you can afford them. Just buy them. Max out your credit card if you have to. Skip mortgage or rent payments. I say this because I want you to push up the price of Penfolds wine and increase the share price of TWE and its profitability so as to enrich me.