There are two empty bottles of wine that sit on the shelf in my living room.
Two impressive bottles of wine, by any measure, certainly. A Domain de la Romanée-Conti La Tache and a Coche-Dury Meursault.
They sit there, this fine pair. A couple of the finest wines ever made. Why do they sit there? Well, I like to keep special bottles of wine I’ve had the privilege to drink.
But it occurred to me that my feelings about the wines were very different.
The one makes me smile, the other makes me nod.
The DRC – very impressive. Legendary. The first time I got to try it was in a blind tasting masterclass. White lab coats, a hundred or so wines, my teeth aching and stained, and still this wine stood up and grabbed me by the throat and demanded recognition. It was that good. I was pleased with myself that I had recognised its splendour, blind.
This bottle I had bought in France and brought back with me, but it wasn’t a beautiful occasion tasting it. There was no love in the tasting. Not in the people, not in the situation, nor even in my motivation. It was obligation. Impressive wine, my head still remembers.
The Coche-Dury – pure joy. A moment overseas in a restaurant where my wife and I had one of the most unforgettable, perfect dining experiences of our lives. Everything about it was special. This bottle I bought back here, and got to share it with someone I loved, someone who also got wine like I did.
Impressive wine, but a joyous memory, my heart remembers.
Two wines – the head and the heart.
I know which one makes me smile.