Wine column no. 4: Why oh why?
And that's just talking about what the wine goes through before it makes it to the liquor store. Wine also evolves the longer it's been stored, and then once it's opened, it can transform the more it's been exposed to air. Temperature has a hand in wine's flavors and textures, too.
So here are two wines that we felt changed in some way, either through their reactions to food, time, or just our own preferences. The third wine is an example of a bottle that we think may need a bit more time in the cellar.
2008 Steele Shooting Star Blue Franc
This walked the line. It was strong enough to root itself in earth, yet also sensitive enough to absorb the scents of its own blackberry shadows. Meaning, this 2008 Shooting Star Blue Franc recommended by Tim at Winetree may have cloaked itself in dry austerity, but it had an alter ego that alerted us to the disguise. Ever felt the grip of a warm handshake, only to be rebuffed by a cold smile? That's what this fruity Blaufrankisch was like. And there's nothing wrong with that: Some wines, like people, take some time to really get to know.
Luckily, we happened to be the fortunate ones. I had opened this on a Friday, when at first, the nose was aromatic red fruit but the flavor was bland. There was also a lot of sediment. So I corked it, and the next day, we poured another glass with pasta and venison tomato sauce. Unusually for a second-night bottle, this Washingtonian developed a second wind, bringing flavor into the mix. It was as if it had been testing us, so that we were the bottled, and it was the one preparing its review. I'm not sure that we passed. But with its reddish fruits, underlined by a coarse, rugged edge of texture, it certainly did. Which means: If there's another $10-$19.99 wine we'd like to try, it'd be this one. 13.5 percent alcohol.
2008 Kokomo Cuvee