On the other hand, there was some interesting content [even though most of the book was painful]. Given that the last third of the book concerned his travels in Italy [yes, Gaja is pricey; yes, some super Tuscan wines are made with non-traditional grape varities], and given that I finished up around 9, I figured I might as well have some wine, and it might as well be Italian.
Sadly, unlike bikerbearmark, I know bupkus when it comes to Italian wines. Just like most other European countries, their wines are typically labeled according to the place they came from [and not by what grape varieties were used to make them]. As a result, when confronted with labels that [again, typically] are devoid of information save for the US government health warning, a place name, and some Italian's family name, I panic and go back to the stuff I feel I can understand.
So, I rummaged through the cellar and wrote down the label info for the Italian stuff that's in there. Perhaps not surprisingly, almost all of it - well, nearly half - were gifts or the rare wine club shipment. As a result, it's terra incognita; I never see it, never drink it.
Now I know that six bottles of it are in fact fantastically good, and that I should just let them lie for at least a few more years before busting them open, preferably with Mark and John.
In the meantime, I'm trying to drink a 2000 Chianti, figuring it had better be drunk now before it falls apart into vinegar. And how is it? Well, it probably cost about $7, and it's fairly pleasing. Unlike a lot of wine, it's got fairly high acidity, which I'm all a fan of; my only complaint is that it could be a bit more sour [and hence more interesting to me]. Still, I'm impressed; at this price I would have expected something awful, instead of a fairly lovely glass of wine.
In other recent wine news, we've been tearing through the rest of a case of 2002 Bonny Doon malvasia bianca; if you have any of this around, you need to, like, drink it right now 'cuz it's starting to go downhill. Oh, and we had a bottle of 2002 Villa Maria sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, which was far more wonderful than its geographical origin and price ($10) would have led me to expect. Highly recommended - it's no Sancerre, but at least it kinda points in that general direction. Less cat piss, more mineral. Good stuff!