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Bottoms up

By CHRIS SHERMAN
Published March 23, 2005


Leftover wines can accumulate like coat hangers and sometimes get tangled up just the same. You could try this at home; it didn't kill me. These are some around my house, in varying stages of age and ill maintenance. The first three are my own blends.

* Kitchen Counter Red, Cook's Blend (started in January, stored in clear glass, secure stopper): Dark purple, thick and cloudy to the eye; it doesn't have legs, it has dregs that stain the sides of the bottle. Dull but jammy bouquet, heavy taste of plums, beets and vegetables, with a long finish. A smooth talker might convince you this could be a good wine with more time.

* Kitchen Counter White, Cook's Blend (started in January, stored in clear glass, secure stopper): Light gold, surprising aroma of honey, figs and apricot. Somewhat sweet and thickly textured to the tongue, yet tart in the back with a long, oaky finish. Must be Riesling in the parentage, but a very split personality.

* Sparkling Memories, Garage Cuvee (blend, opened December 2004, in half-filled gallon jug, covered with cheesecloth). Remains of a half-dozen sparklers, red and white, saved to make champagne vinegar and left exposed for natural bacteria; no more bubbles and no vinegar yet. Clear crystal pink, strawberries and watermelons in the nose, and a refreshing bit of pink grapefruit to balance the sweetness in the taste. Round with an easy finish. Who needs white zin? I've done it.

* Estancia cabernet sauvignon, Paso Robles, 2002 (1 day old, corked and unrefrigerated). Plummy, rich nose with mouth full of cherries and red fruits, and substantial heft, smooth with a long finish. Yesterday's promise becomes a real beauty.

* Hidalgo Amontillado, Sanlucar (opened November 2004, almost empty, one week in refrigerator). This sherry still has a big butter pecan nose, but with warnings of salt and alcohol on the side. They come true in the taste and a finish you wish would quit.

[Last modified March 22, 2005, 09:38:05]


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