Monday, June 20, 2011

Bordeaux is all about anticipation

Ripe grapes from a great vintage
Bordeaux is all about anticipation. A little while after writing this post, I will open a wine to have with dinner. I don't know what it will be, but it won't be a Bordeaux: I haven't anticipated it enough.

When you have a great bottle of Bordeaux from a great vintage -- or better yet, a case of such bottles -- you put them in a special spot in your cellar. You don't want to move them too much, but you find yourself running your fingers along the box when you're nearby. Once in a while you lift a bottle, cradling it like a baby.

Unlike most wines, you're not thinking about what it might taste like now. You're thinking about the event that might spur you to open it -- a special birthday, a wedding anniversary. And you might even salivate thinking about how delicious it will be.

This post is an advertorial
In this way, it's possible to enjoy a bottle of great Bordeaux many, many times before you ever even open it, but of course your Bordeaux daydreams are never as rich and rewarding as the actual evening that you choose to experience it.

People buy Bordeaux futures for several reasons. There's tradition, because Bordeaux has been sold this way for generations. There are practical considerations, because if you don't buy Bordeaux pre-release, you'll pay a lot more when the bottle finally appears in stores -- if it appears at all. That's the primary reason to buy Bordeaux futures, especially from a highly touted vintage like 2010: To ensure that you can have your share. There's no other way.

But there's something more to buying Bordeaux futures than just commerce, security and tradition. There is … anticipation.

You don't know the exact day, a year or two from now, when the bottles will arrive. But you know that they will. You will have many knocks on the door between now and then, but in the back of your mind, every time the UPS man pulls up at the door, you will picture your bottles of 2010 Bordeaux. Of course they're not here yet; it's crazy. It's too soon. You haven't gotten the email, and of course you would have known, because the company you ordered them from has been very good about keeping you posted on all developments . In fact, you've even ordered some wine from them since. That delivery driver coming up the street, he can't possibly be carrying my 2010 Bordeaux.

Can he?

No, he's not. Maybe you got another wine shipment, from a different part of the world. Those wines, delicious as they might be, will all be drunk and forgotten before your Bordeaux arrives. They may have slots in your wine refrigerator, but they will never have the space in your mind.

It's true that ordering Bordeaux pre-arrival is the way to get the best prices. But it's an even better bargain when you consider the great bonus: You get as much as two solid years of anticipation.

1 comment:

  1. Gray,
    What's your opinion on the prices controversy of Bordeaux futures? I disagree with the argument that producers should not raise prices counting on the Asian Markets because the bubble will burst. It sucks for me (since I can't buy it) but if I was a Bordeaux producer I would do the same thing. If they are paying, why not?