Second Chances

Last Thursday, we opened a bottle of the 2008 Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah from Walla Walla Valley, to go with some leftover bibimbap. I didn’t like it. The wine tasted green – closed, too full of tannins that coated my mouth and masked any hint of fruit. Abrupt finish. I don’t think Jeff fancied it much either. We shared a measly glass between the two of us, and consigned the rest of the bottle to the fridge.

On Saturday, we opened a bottle of Esporao Reserva 2011 ­($20) at L+M’s. Initial reaction – what was that funky, cheesy nose that reeked of stale pee? I didn’t really want to taste it, but gamely gave it a sip. Urgh. It was awful. I shifted the glass far, far away from my plate of delicious Alaskan halibut that M caught and L seared.

Ten minutes later though, Aaron urged me to give it another go again. Gingerly, I brought it to my lips, preparing to grimace. But it had softened, quite considerably, now reminiscent of a creamy, oaky and lemony Chardonnay. Now, it nicely complemented the fish.

Too often, I’ve judged wines – and people and situations – too quickly, and harshly. Here was the perfect example of giving a second chance, and being pleasantly surprised.

Taking that lesson into account, I took out the leftover Uriah from last Thursday tonight, to go with some homemade baked trout. To be honest, on the way home from work with my fish, I had seriously entertained the idea of using the rest of the wine in stew, but then I determined to give it another try. And was I happily surprised again! The wine had mellowed out quite a bit, and not was beautifully round and fruity in the finish. Jeff and I quite easily polished off the rest of the bottle. 🙂


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