Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Some Really Old Stuff

Favilla Malvazia Madeira 1920 ($285) -- I became fascinated recently about Madeira's when I was doing some research for old vintage Ports for an upcoming dinner. I don't remember tasting Madeira before, certainly not this old stuff, but now I am hooked. Of course, the aromas and flavors and complexities are unbelievable, but you will need to taste these for yourself as my writing is not up to fully describing them (others are much more eloquent), but the whole point here is to not read about tasting 85 year-old wine, but to taste it yourself.

Now about the age. Prohibition had just started when these grapes were picked. I am unsure of the history of this bottle as to when it was bottled and where it has been for 85 years. The idea of getting this wine came up after I invited my father-in-law over for dinner this week. He was born in 1920! What fun it will be to share this with him and my mother-in-law and their daughter and his grandkids (they may even get a taste!). "Kids, this wine is as old as your grandfather!"

I like the story of when Winston Churchill was given a grand dinner on the island of Madeira in 1950, they broke out the good stuff, the 1792 Vintage Madeira bottled in 1840. I have read that Sir Winston insisted on personally serving each guest the prized wine, while declaring to each, "Do you realize that when this wine was vintaged Marie Antoinette was alive?"


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