A word on vintages

It’s a curious thing about buying wine in Singapore that vintages, at least according to some retailers, don’t matter.

That big supermarket chain always comes to mind. Whenever I get their flyer on their wine specials, I chuckle at what they really know (or don’t know) about wine. There’s never any vintage quoted. Oh well, I hear you say, are vintages that important with Australian wine? Too right they are!

Case in point. Jeremy Oliver rates the 2004 Parker Terra Rossa cabernet at 90 points (4.5 star) drinking 2012-2016. He rates the following year at 82 points (3.5 star) drinking 2010-2013. Now, I may not always agree with Jeremy’s ratings but I do like to know what year I’m buying.

My simple solution is not to buy from stores that don’t know, or care about a 2004 versus a 2005 (honest mistakes and omissions aside).

But there’s a worse habit I’ve come across on more than one occasion, and that’s ordering wine of one vintage and being delivered wine of a different vintage. Unacceptable, totally unacceptable. So my advice is to always, always, always check that you got what you ordered. If it’s a different vintage from that which you ordered, and no-one’s asked you to OK that, then send it back. If you feel guilty about that (and you shouldn’t) at the very least ask Bastard Box if there’s a difference in quality between the years (bastardbox35@gmail.com)

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Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907

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