The Fancy Wine Monthly: Chianti Classico Castello Di Brolio 2001

Achievement: #95. One Fancy Bottle of Wine a Month

Michael came up with this Achievement, because he is all about fancy wines. Once, we got this free 6-month subscription to Wine Spectactor, and while we couldn’t really afford anything in there (particularly Tom Brady’s brand of personal jet – yes, there are real advertisements for this in Wine Spectator), Michael loved reading the articles and learning all about the different wines. We also love visiting wineries and learning about wines, and we try our very hardest to pick out things like the different flavors, or shades of color. Michael especially is quite good at this, so he wanted us to sample a nice wine each month and act as if we were reviewing it for an article in Wine Spectator.

The best news? He has offered to help guest-write some of these entries!! And that means, starting tonight!!

Without further ado, my husband’s big blog debut:

As anyone who read a significant portion of our 2010 achievements might know, we’re really into wine. We’re not so snobby that we’re above drinking box-wine at parties and free art gallery shows…but we love learning about wine, trying obscure wineries, and refining our palates. Hence this achievement!

For our January fancy wine, we decided to crack a bottle that I had picked up last year. We had been holding onto it because the bottle was a 2001, and I, nerd that I am, wanted to wait until 2011, so that I can say that I’ve had a ten year old wine.

So, with much glee, we popped the cork on our bottle of Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio 2001. Normally, we’re not very big fans of chianti, but this one was quite worth the wait. Besides, the crest on the bottle read, “rien sans peine,” which is French for “nothing without sorrow”–I thought my wife would especially like that.

Anyhow, we wanted to properly document the occasion, so before we did any drinking, we futzed about with our camera, trying to take a perfect picture of the bottle for y’all that was free of background desk clutter (read: out-of-focus lamps, compressed air cans, and plush Punxsutawney Phils from 2007). This took appromixately eleven attempts. Here’s the result:

Fancy Wine

Lovely! After the picture was taken, we opened the bottle. Our first impression of the wine was that it had a pleasing, spicy, sort of peppercorn-y scent to it. Enticed, we poured our first sips. (We tried to document this, but since we could only do the pour once each, the photos did not turn out to our liking. Maybe we’ll get it next month!) After the pour, we did that fancy-schmancy thing where you swirl the wine in your glass and inspect it. The only way we could have been fancier is if I had been wearing a monocle or twirling my mustache at the same time. (Again, maybe next month! I grow a luxurious mustache, and I have the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff pictures to prove it.)

Upon inspection, we found that the wine had a good clarity, was a rich, deep red, and it really “had legs,” which is the wine-nerd way of saying, “it clung to the side of the glass.” As for the flavor…it oddly enough did not much taste like pepper, despite the initial aroma–or “bouquet,” if you are as fancy as we are. It was full-bodied–almost “chewy,” if you will (I certainly will)–with a dark berry or currant flavor, with a smoky overtone.

Now that the hard part was through, it was onto enjoying a proper glass. Which we did–multiple times. Two days into 2011, this is an early front-runner for “Michael’s favorite achievement of the year.” Though I suspect “Hulk Hogan movie marathon/drinking game” might prove a strong rival.

Final wine score: 91.

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