Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aging Isn't All That Bad

Man, I just can’t seem to catch my breath. First writing, then the defense, and finally the graduation ceremony. Now my new job is starting to kick my butt. More on that later. First, guess who our commencement speaker was. Just guess.

You will never guess because it’s too awesome and amazing.

Give up?

It was J.K. Rowling! I have never been so happy. So happy, in fact, that my parents, my man-friend and I had a bottle of vodka after the ceremony, a bottle of wine with our ultra-authentic French dinner, and for dessert… for dessert we had a bottle of 1955 Vintage port.

My parents have been saving this bottle for my defense. It was supposed to be something really special, something to mark the occasion and to accompany dessert. It was such a great plan. There was only one hitch - they should have kept me sober.

Opening the bottle while most of the way to drunk was a challenge in itself. The bottle neck was sealed in a weird glass-like substance, which shattered when hit by a knife. Showering the floor with the black glass-like shards revealed a cork sunken deep in the neck of the bottle. I was shocked how far in the cork had slipped in the port's 50 years. The cork was so old that it crumbled with every touch. Slowly, piece by piece, I extracted the cork from the bottle. I smelled the cork, which normally does nothing for me except making me look unnecessarily snooty. Not this cork though – it was potently piney. Really piney and musty and not at all fruity or sweet.

Next drunken step before consumption? Explaining to my Father why in the world I don’t own a ceramic bottle top vintage port filter. Five guesses again on why I don’t own a ceramic 50-year old port filter. Is that because port that needs to be filtered is typically half my rent? A coffee filter had to step in and save the day… as did a flower vase that stood in for a decanter. Yes, I am a frat boy.

Luckily, my poorly appointed kitchen did not seriously affect the taste of the port (I hope). The wine was woody and leathery, smooth and rich but not heavy. It was so much more complex than any other port I had had before. I am certain I would have enjoyed the port much more had I not passed out cold on the couch after just a few sips. Can you really blame me? All that excitement and all that alcohol in one day? Not surprisingly, when I woke up the port was all gone. I have a pretty good idea what happened to it. The guilty/no-longer-drunk parties know exactly who I am talking about. My parents have another bottle of the 1955. If I need another PhD to get at it… well, there is no more port in my future.


One Food Guy said...

Wow that bottle label is in surprisingly great condition for being 50+ years old. I'm jealous...I've got a few bottles of port in my basement that I'm hoping I can hold on to for a long time but every time I go to pull a bottle off the rack, the ports tempt me a little more!

Congrats again!

Kalyn said...

Congratulations! I read the JK Rowling speech online and it was truly inspiring. She's obviously brilliant.

Anna said...

One Food Guy - Yea, that's a good point. I have a feeling this port was very well taken care of. I think I would have a difficult time collecting wine. I would just keep drinking it all!

Kalyn - Thank you! I am so grateful that I got to hear her speak. At the risk of sounding trite, I found her to be really inspirational and insightful.

leena! said...

Wow, JK Rowling and bottle of vintage port all in one post. My nerdy heart is so happy right now! If there was a pickle involved, I might just die of pleasure and jealousy.

One Food Guy said...

My wife and I have the opposite problem with all the wines we bought in Napa a couple years ago! We remember how great they were when we bought them, and we just keep hanging on to them. Fortunately our basement is the perfect temp for storing wine, but we're going to have to drink them eventually!

JC said...

I love port. I have a bottle stashed somewhere, but I'm sure I've been storing it at temperatures that are too warm.

zavorka said...

your blog is great!
no way I could imagine how beatiful are islands near Boston: landing at Logan I saw only the underground highway and traffic jam!
Lecce seafood - at least- make me feel as having the same dinner AS your!
Congratulation for your ceremony!

zavorka said...

I'd like to read your furhter blog
if I can get access...