Preparing holiday dinners is a challenging task not only for the chef but the wine guy as well. Days before the holiday I start pairing wines from my cellar with the menu. The cellar has grown quickly in my 6 year wine career and it now has wines coming of age (translation DRINK NOW).

I use Cellartracker.com app that shows drink windows which simplifies my wine selection.

The menu was a pasta course of homemade manicotti (red tomato sauce) followed by filet mignon entre. The cellar has many Italian reds (i.e. Chianti, Barolo, Super Tuscan, Amarone) but I chose Brunello di Montalcino for pasta, and a California Cab for filet pairing – a nice balance of Old World and New World.

Magnum of 2007 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and 2 bottles of 2008 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino were opened 2 hours before dinner. When guests arrived, the Jordan Cab was singing but the Brunello was still tight. Jordan mag was quickly consumed so more Calif Cab was opened (another Jordan 2007 and 2012 Peju Cab Reserve).  Everyone was enjoying the fruit-forward Cabs but I wasn’t prepared to give up on the Brunello. Finally after 4 hours, it blossomed into a beautiful pairing with the filet.  

I was disappointed that everyone did not enjoy the Old World-New World pairing. I was deceived by CellarTracker users who said Lisini Brunello 2008 should be drank now.  My bad – if wine needs 4 hours to open, it has plenty of life and I had ignored CT’s ending drink window 2028!

So the moral of this story – don’t drink wine before its time! But if you drink a wine before it’s time (like most of us), open for several hours and decanting is helpful //BobtheWineGuy.net/decanting


Cheers, Bob the WineGuy
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