Was it better before? I don’t know. Completely different, no doubt. Unless you’ve got the cork out of it, how can you know, say, whether that Montrache 1889 tasted at the end of the last millennium in the company of Pierre-Henri Jagé from the house of Louis Gadot was part of the memory of his time when it was foreign to us? At most we can suspect its atmosphere and extrapolate its dimensions.
These space times open doors and close others. Take, for example, the boomers, the author of whose lines is a member in good standing. Then, 1955 allowed parents access to a total of 128 Commission des liqueurs shops. Branches whose wines show the “taste” of their age. That would seem like very little compared to what millennials own, no less than 430 SAQ stores in 2023. Not counting, of course, on private imports and other online purchases for refueling.
It’s true that millennials haven’t seen the Pouilly-Fuissé 1949 shade from Maison Bichot offered at $2, for $32.50 (22871 – (5)êê) today, or the $5.75 Champagne Taittinger Brut, currently selling for $60.25 (10968752 – (10968752 – (10968752 -) 5) êê1 / 2). This generation will also always be able to dream of that other roasted 1950’s rib eye that sold for only $2 15 cents, whereas when you read these lines they’ll have to pay 50x for the 2018 roasted rib from Guigal house.
However, prices aside, I’m still sure X, Y or Z won’t be sad that the good old Québérac has disappeared in the 85’s under the bottle, knowing that they now have access to over 10,000 products of all formats, all origins and colors, including Including those oranges and other “super natural, sulfate-free, organic” wines that are now the new standard. We have been transported in the space of a generation to a new space-time, but this generation has tasted it.
That I tell you of this in 1889 Montrach is neither accidental nor, I hope, pedantic. It shares my own spacetime as a baby boomer whose only privilege is to make wine my profession. A beautiful career, encapsulated over the past 40 years, that today allows us to soar over an era where it might be tempting to say “it was better before,” even if it was very different. A time when any historian had access to the world’s greatest wines in a collection of wines, either tasted on the spot or bought for pittance compared to the insane sums demanded today for these icons destined for the rich. From this point of view, it would seem impossible for budding journalists and other wine lovers to take advantage of this now-defunct space-time.
It was the late 1970s that really set the tone. The wine tradition, with the exception of a few elite clubs, has yet to reach what will happen at the dawn of the year 2000, in its wake a wind of speculation often exacerbated by a wine press that will do well in spite of itself. Raise the auction. If the great bottles always carry the wind in their sails, the fact remains that they are followed by other grape varieties that are certainly less well-known, but which have “found” their ground while benefiting in the field as well as in the cellar from an inspiring and inspiring qualitative approach. A little half a century to this day which shows that he may indeed have been more like before.
Halfway through, we’ll notice Quebec’s sommelier frenzy, even democratization. So much so that every respectable establishment now has a sommelier or sommelier, with or without apron, at work on the floor and already serving the best wines of today and tomorrow. Why should they care about the wines of yesterday when they can now access all of the margaux, barn, rayas, jayer, vega sicilia, petrus, richebourg, masseto, lafite and other conternos just by browsing the books they fill their memory? Experiencing them entirely because they are “good in the eyes,” as Christian Begin puts it, allows us to crystallize the era, but also to build a bridge of a width that is now exponential. Let’s leave the verbatim text of the story to GPT-4, hoping it won’t erase some passages. Meanwhile, the nostalgia suffices, and other times they pay off. Shall we bite them together?
Let’s see in the video
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