Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fine, elegant, and old

A few years ago I received as a gift a bottle of Bordeaux with a prestigious label. I do not know a lot about wine, and I waited to drink it with a knowledgeable friend.

The year was not a distinguished vintage and the wine was well past the nominal drink-by date, to the point where we did not even know if it would be drinkable. But we opened it and it was.

It had a thin, balanced quality and was quite good. My friend, a Bordeaux aficionado, pronounced it a fine, elegant old wine and we both enjoyed the bottle.

I was reminded of this today when I ate the last Macoun of the year. Unusual weather led to a small crop and this variety, which last year was available though mid-March in supermarkets, had petered out by the end of December.

The quality of these dregs was not first rate, either, reflecting probably how they had been handled and stored since the harvest in September or early October.

Despite that, I enjoyed these apples and wished I had had more. My last one sat in my refrigerator for nearly the whole month of January. It had no aroma, and time had thinned and watered down its wonderful vinous flavors and rendered its crunch delicate (but not at all mealy).

Still it was a fine, elegant old wine I was pleased to savor while I could.

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