Well it can’t really be palate fatigue, as I have been religiously not drinking Sunday to Thursday since the 28th September. But tonight, a major slap in the face; a massive reality check…an ice bucket challenge.
I received a text from Elodie saying tonight was choucroute night, and choucroute, as any good teutonic knight knows, means Riesling.
I knew what I wanted to drink was a Weinbach Riesling from Alsace, but as the afternoon wore on, and it was wearing, I just could not be bothered to spark up the car and drive into Dijon to pick up a bottle. After all, I had some JJ Prüm in the cellar, and you don’t get much more Riesling than JJ Prüm.
But mine was Spätlese, and the last I had drunk was lowly Kabinett. Could it be so different? Surely it was just going to be off dry.
But Nein! Nein, Spälese is a whole different kettle of fish. Even at eight years old, this wine was so bold, so bruising that it put all my assumptions to bed. I am living an existential crisis.
Not only did I not particularly enjoy my glass of Auslese (and every épicurean worth his Malden salt knows that Riesling is the zenith of wine aesthetism), but I now have absolutely no idea with what I could possibly drink this wine.
Mercifully, I still have five bottles left, but there is no point in even looking at one before another ten years. Gaspard will be eighteen; Célestine 28. I will be 56, almost 57.
It will be fine, very fine, somewhere, someday. But tonight I feel condemned, condemned to the pedestrian parmeters of delineated, dry white wine.
Donner und blitzen!
Addenda: This said, 24 hours later as an apéritif, this was a delight: a slightly rich but not unctuous mouthful of fruit, with a heavenly acidity and amazing length. Existential crisis over.
So, when in Coucroute, drink Alsace.