I received this charming question from an inquisitive reader last week.
Dear Sommelier Ferdinand,
Where does the phrase “aging like fine wine” originate? It’s so fun!
I just love your question! What a lively spirit you have, Imani! I’m more of a wine guy myself, but let me take a shot!
Let’s start with what “aging like fine wine” doesn’t mean. It’s not referring to wine that is just fine, as in “not bad” or “it’s just okay, I suppose”.
No ma’am, we’re talking about fine wine, something different altogether. What is fine wine? Well, there’s no exact definition. While this leads to hyperbolic descriptions from unscrupulous salespeople and a few of my charlatan contemporaries, it’s better if “fine wine” remains an unofficial term. The conversation continues bubbling, and it allows more knowledge to flow. More teaching, from experienced, know-how-immersed intellectuals like myself; towards the less-knowledgeable, but nonetheless motivated amateurs like you, Imani!
I shan’t belabor the point, but let’s just say that fine wine is… really good wine! Sophisticated in its creation, of course! Fine wine isn’t created through a cookbook stencil like a cookie or cracker. Fine wine takes its time! Grapes need to be cultivated, harvested, and allowed to rest. Because fine wine comes from nature, success is not guaranteed, and so Darwin chooses the most blessed grapes to churn into drink.
A fine wine is made unique by its terroir. It has craftsmanship, patience, history and quality imbued into its grapes. Although the prices may convince you otherwise, fine wine is not about presentation. There may be sediment, and maybe it doesn’t have that youthful, light texture that swirls so easily around a glass, but a fine wine requires a bold palate and a wholesome appreciation.
Speaking of appreciation—the best part about fine wines is that they become more valuable over time! And that’s where your turn of phrase originates. To say someone “ages like fine wine” is to say they get better over time. It could be a cursory observation about, say, smooth skin—or it could be a deeper comment about personal growth. As long as they get better over time—like me—they age like fine wine!
Now, what was I saying about appreciation?… that’s right! Fine wine’s value rises as months pass. No shareholder meetings, no stock options, no market caps to consider—only the simple tenet of supply and demand!
So, why not check out AltiWineExchange’s newest Initial Bottle Offerings! If your investments in fine wine age like fine wine, you might stand to collect.
-Sommelier Ferdinand. 09.11.21