Drink..Or Hold? Drink..Or Hold? I SAY DRINK!!

Wine Collectors Will The Wine Outlive Them?

Over my career in Wine as a Sommelier I have met so many Wine Collectors on a large or small level and they are on mailing lists and belong to wine clubs and they buy Futures and Auction Wines. In every review of a wine in any of the big magazines they will recommend whether you should “HOLD” The wine or as we say in the biz “Lay Them Down” or are they ready to drink now? I get the whole idea of collecting any item whether it be wine or stamps or coins or barbie dolls. Collecting soon becomes an addiction that people become very emotionally attached to. I have literally witnessed wine collections of over 10,000 bottles some of them being from Burgundy or Bordeaux , France dating back to a 1961 vintage and the collector might have 50-60 bottles of the same wine from the same year. The collectors on mailing lists will receive their yearly allocation of 4 cases of whatever high end and highly allocated wine is and add them to the stockpile. They might for example have one of my favorites, Leonetti Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Dating back to 1991 and again 20-30-60 bottles of the same vintage and the same wine. I witness this daily. I always ask these collectors how those wines taste and they ALL answer with the same response.. “I don’t know. I haven’t opened ONE up yet” Then without naming names, you will see these people regularly over the years aging as we all do, becoming 65, 75, 80 years old and still keep adding to the collection but not opening any of the bottles or like several of my current friends on this blog writing me and telling me that years ago they bought all these wines that they don’t even know if they are still good and if I knew anyone who they could sell them to because they have accumulated $20 million dollars of wine and got carried away. They ask me what I can do to help them. I answer as I advise all of you… DRINK THEM. The ONLY people that should be investing in futures or aging wines are Restaurant Buyers or Sommeliers so that they will have Old Vintages to offer in 10-20 years. As a consumer of everyday wine or special occasion wine…..DRINK THEM NOW because the Wines might outlive you!!

One Of My Special Wines

It is NO SECRET to anyone who has worked with me in this Industry that I am a huge supporter and ambassador of wines from Washington State (Even though I have never been there or near there) At a previous job I was doing great with one of my favorites from Walla Walla from Amavi Cellars and winemaker Jean Francois Pellet. The 2011 was one of the best vintages ever and happened to rank #35 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines Of The Year. I was one of if not the biggest supporter of their wines so at Holiday Time I received this in the mail calling me a “Rockstar”Larry 3 Liter Amavi

This is a 3 liter (One Gallon or 4 Regular 750ML sized bottles) of the 2011 Cabernet. I had this on display in my Apartment for about almost 3 years. For many serious Collectors they have 3 liters of much more expensive wines in this size or larger and probably 30 years from now still will be just displaying it. Here’s the Wine Spectator Review of this wine and it’s ranking at #35 out of 100. 

Amavi Cab Review

Ok besides the #35 Ranking I have to go off on a slight tangent to say that the retail price listed is under $30 per bottle for this amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. Remember Napa fans when you shell out those $55-$100 for equal or less quality for your Cabernets but I Digress #CaptainWashington LOL… The drinking window was till 2021 or probably longer but what is my LIFE window?? Maybe till 2021 or 2071 or maybe only till tomorrow if I am lucky and that goes for every living creature on this earth. So DRINK OR HOLD???? Are they kidding me…. ?? Let’s Make Some Friends And DRINK!!!

Be the Life Of The BBQ With Friends Or Family

My friend Gerry and his wife were kind enough to put together a little BBQ get together for some friends and colleagues. Gerry has been touting his Pichana (Brazlian Cut of Top Sirloin) and his cooking skills for almost a year now to me but I thought …Does he remember I worked for 3 years at a Brazilian Steakhouse?? And he is from Belize and showed me Pictures of his Ceviche and Lamb and Lobsters. I was looking forward to the food but MORE IMPORTANTLY, I was looking forward to the getting together with friends and co workers to share the food, conversation and the best part that is the GLUE that brings people together is THE WINE!!. You can’t share this experience if you leave these bottles sitting at home or in your cellar collecting dust. They will MAKE MORE WINE but you have ONE opportunity to Drink the Wine and MAKE a Memory. 

The Food From Chef Gerry Highlights


Ceviche Gerry

Fresh Shrimp Ceviche from scratch (No Wine here I had a Beer) I had 4 bowls with Tortilla Chips. Ok…Gerry Can Cook lol 

Pichana Raw

The Pichana getting ready for the open flames and seasoned with Fresh Ground Pink Himalayan Salt and Fresh Ground Peppercorns. 

Pichana Cooked

The Fat melts in. Gerry sliced it like a Gaucho and then slathered it with probably the best homemade Chimichurri Sauce I have ever had. (This is when the Wine came out) We also had as a little snack after the Ceviche, Smoked Sausages that were sliced and brushed with Gerry’s recipe for an IPA Beer BBQ Sauce (I could bathe in that stuff)

Wine Review and Summary

Until I found a way to get a slight chill down on that giant Jeroboam of Cabernet I didn’t get the true flavor profile. Once I did, first it was a perfect pairing for the smoked sausage and of course the Pichana. Beautiful purple hues on the edges of the wine (Means their is certain some Petit Verdot in it. Aromas of black currants and cherry with hints of vanilla. A medium to full body style on the palate, plums and blackberry fruit mingling all the way through to the finish of cloves and black pepper spices. Bravo Jean Francois. You knocked that one out of the park. It was a harmonious wine but again the best part was SHARING this wine with people who appreciated it.

ABC Crew

How do I feel emotionally today? Am I kicking myself in the butt for opening my special gift from Amavi Cellars of my #35 Wine of the Year? Heck No. If I had 10 more bottles I would gladly do it again. So as this holiday season comes along come talk to me or your ABC Fine Wine Specialist and in any price range, don’t buy wines to hold on to for the next anniversary or your 60th birthday or a bridal shower. Buy wines today and drink them today for whatever the occasion Wine is meant to be shared with friends and loved ones especially this holiday season. ABC Always Be Celebrating.

Grape-fully yours, Larry


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