are your wines better off today than they were four years ago?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Since we are all, for better or worse, mired in the muck of the sprint up to the November elections, I will take a cue from the political mavens and ask one of the pressing questions of the day.

Are your wines better off today than they were four years ago?

Here’s my story. When Obama took office, my wines were in total disarray. Though I had once built and maintained a well-organized wine cellar in my Seattle home, time and circumstance had conspired to bring it to the point of ruin.

My problems were three-fold. First, there was the ongoing stream of wines coming to my door for review. On a daily basis, anywhere from 2 to 10 boxes would arrive. These required an adult signature (fortunately, I made the cut). Then they had to be opened, sorted, and stored for future consideration. The packing materials had to be broken down and recycled. Somehow all this had to be tracked and organized around my regular travels between Seattle and my home in Waitsburg.

Problem number two was that my own personal cellar was falling into disrepair. Due to the constant travel and the demands of book and magazine research, I had fewer and fewer opportunities to open an older bottle from my private stash. Worse yet, those wines weren’t getting any younger! And for at least half the time, they were on one side of the state, while I was on the other side.

Problem number three was that, in an attempt to “solve” problems number one and two, I had scattered the collection into several large piles. One pile remained in my Seattle home. A second pile was accumulating at Seattle Wine Storage, where there was always someone to sign for the packages. This pile had to be visited, opened, and sorted on a regular basis. The third pile was out in Waitsburg, where I had no wine cellar at all. On every cross-state ride, I would bring over 10+ cases of wine for review, and a few bottles scrounged from my cellar for personal consumption. The cottage in Waitsburg was crammed with wine. It spilled out from the office into the kitchen, dining room, living room and entry way. Periodically boxes would be trucked down the rickety stairs to the basement, where they vanished into complete abandonment.

Thanks to Obama, my wines today are in far better shape! All my wine, every bottle, is in a shiny new wine cellar here in Waitsburg. All shipments arrive here, and are promptly signed for (often by our 84-year-old neighbor, Dorothy, who kindly stows them in her kitchen if I am away). My personal wines are re-organized and I have been able once again to share older bottles with friends while keeping the cellar trim and on track. The goal, of course, being to avoid any wine going over the hill before being consumed.

Is there still work to do? You bet there is! Recycling is a challenge. It’s a 25 mile drive each way to the cardboard recycling facility, which I must do at least twice a week. And Walla Walla/Waitsburg has no bottle recycling at all. Keeping the flow of review wines organized and out from underfoot is a daily task. My new cellar is already full and will not be expanded, so I must keep a grip on what goes in and what comes out.

But are my wines better off today than they were four years ago? Absolutely yes! Thank you Obama. How about you? How are your wines doing today compared with four years ago?


Anonymous said...

Much better, but thanks to Eric LeVine, not Obama.

Jo Diaz said...

Very funny title!

Anonymous said...

My wine would be in fine shape, if only 2-10 boxes arrived daily. Alas, they do not...

Memphishusky said...

I am right there with you. 4 years ago I had wine in Portland, two different colleagues houses, a Eurocav, under the bed and in a closet.
Now thanks to Cellar Tracker (2nd shout out to Eric Levine) and a new wine room, I am golden!
Sorry, but the current President did nothing to help me get to my current state of bliss

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