Sun 16 Mar 2008
We skip more than a year now, to Feb. 12-14, 1983. I had been parsing the pages of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine, the revised and expanded edition of 1981 and Barbara Ensrud’s The Pocket Guide to Wine, which my son had given to me for Father’s Day in 1982. I still have those books, among my treasures of my wine bookshelf, and looking at Barbara’s book at this moment — she won’t mind if I call her Barbara; she used to live in Oxford, Miss., and we’ve known each other for years — I see that at some time in its history, my daughter wrote the words “Louisa Wuz Here,” inside the back cover. (Louisa is now 35.) I was trying to figure things out, to understand the terms, the places, the techniques, and to further that process, I was buying two wines a week, mainly in stores in Memphis, that we would try with lunches and dinners, with the family and with friends. My son, 15 then, was allowed a half-glass of wine with dinner, so he too was participating in the learning experience.
The Parducci Petite Sirah 1977, Mendocino County, was “possibly the best wine I’ve ever drunk” and was “absolutely wonderful” according to the notes on the page partially reproduced here. “Tough, tannic, chewy, with a long finish” and “will probably be better in 3-4 years.” Notice the alcohol content: 12 percent! The wine cost $5.89.
O.K., so the notes are pretty rudimentary. I promise that they’ll get better as we progress through the months and years.
By the way, apropos of nothing except that I’ve been busy this weekend, and, I guess, that I’ve come a long way in 25 years, I posted yesterday on my website a “Featured Article” about 14 white wines from Burgundy, all from the splendid vintage of 2005. Take a look, please.