Age is not just a number for a good Brunello

Sangiovese grapes in Montalcino.

It’s that time of year again already, seems to come a little faster with each passing year. Spring cleaning, spring forward, March Madness, the drunken revelry of St. Patrick’s Day, and inevitably my birthday. As I anticipate blowing out an extra candle this weekend, I can’t help but think of that tiny little word that apparently means so much: Age.

I find myself reflecting on the past 12 months. What have I achieved? How do I feel? Do I look any different? Is age really just a number or a state of mind? Well if you’re a bottle of wine, age is definitely not just a number.

I’m sure you’ve heard the notion that that wine always gets better with age. Well, that’s not entirely the case. Some wines can actually taste worse if they are aged too long. Take a Beaujolais Nouveau for example. It’s released every November and meant to be drunk immediately to appreciate its fresh fruit quality. On the other hand, a very tannic Cabernet from Bordeaux is probably something you’ll want to store for a while, or maybe at least until the 2nd Avenue subway line is finally completed. So as my birthday creeps up, I ask myself. Which one am I? A Beaujolais nouveau? Or a Bordeaux that’s going to get better with age?

While 2004 doesn’t seem that long ago to many, a lot has changed in the world since then. As I can recall, there were two highlights from that year. Greece won the Euro Cup and shocked the world, and it was a great wine vintage for Tuscany.

This week I am drinking one of Tuscany’s greatest red wines, Brunello Di Montalcino. It is made from the Sangiovese grape, but not blended like its famous Tuscan cousin, Chianti. You will never drink a Brunello that has not been aged because Brunello cannot actually be released before the fifth year after the harvest, with a minimum of two years in oak as well. Brunello will continue to improve for years after its release. My pick was the 2004 La Lecciaia Brunello Di Montalcino, and it did not disappoint.

On the nose, my first note was something semi sweet, like mocha, or chocolate. I then got dark fruit notes as well, like black cherry and a little bit of spice. On the palette, it’s medium to full bodied, but still tastes fresh and fruity. The wine is dry, but I don’t find it overly tannic, as I assume it has softened in the few years since it’s been released. The more I taste the more I enjoy the different layers of flavor. Fruit, smoke, licorice, and prune are all blending together nicely in this Tuscan treat. It has a nice long finish which brings it all together.

Because this is a relatively young Brunello, I’d be curious to try it in another few years, and see how my notes would change with its age. On the other hand, I’ll be older and wiser too, and perhaps have different tastes. Well, the older part is a given, not so sure about the wiser.

My perfect birthday dinner would be a pairing of Brunello and a pasta dish with lamb ragu at Il Buco in NYC- absolute heaven. My perfect year on the other hand would be channeling Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun and moving to Tuscany on a whim, where I could buy and renovate an old villa, fall in love with a tall dark stranger and drink all the Brunello my little heart desires. Hey, it’s my birthday; I am allowed a wild wish or two.

You can pick this Brunello up for roughly $30. For a great selection of wines, check out Crush Wine & Spirits on East 57th Street, where they will gladly deliver to all five boroughs.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.