Case of a Real Case
I was once
a case. I would buy a couple of bottles of a limited, promising wine with
the intention of trying one out after I had let it "sit down"
for a while and then perhaps saving the other if it seemed to have
promise. The only trouble was, as I got better at predicting this promise,
after tasting that first bottle, I would often say to my favorite wine
drinking partner: "Geez, I wish I had bought more of this stuff!"
I would get on the phone, call around, spend my time in search of a few
more bottles, finally coming to the conclusion, "I shoulda boughta
case." Duh. This is one of the first revelations that signals you
are really getting serious about wine: You start thinking by the case.
It's that ol' word "shoulda." This bit of vocabulary has become
a kind of curse in my reluctant, stoic Scandinavian family. We hesitate
buying stocks, because our post-depression ancestors got burned in the
market; our Lutheran background somehow whispers in our ear that it is
more noble to delay gratification; even though the rewards of this delay
are usually unclear. He who hesitates...and all that. And this year I
did something truly unprecedented: I bought a case of 1995 Bordeaux futures
and got in trouble with my accountant at home. Case closed.
Towards the end of April a Wine Nose reader came in and asked me if I
ever buy wine by the case. I said do you mean me personally or The Store?
She said "The Store." Well, yes. Our best prices are by the
case, but so are yours. While we discount bottles 10%, our discount on
a case can be between 15-20%. Ask us. There are other benefits to buying
by the case, such as consistency. Wine can be different from case to case.
Chances are the wine you like will maintain its consistency throughout
a case (or even improve consistently). More and more, our goal at The
Store is to bring in small lots of many different kinds of wine. Increasingly,
these mid-line wines that taste great but do not cost an arm and a leg
sell out quickly especially if they receive a favorable review from
some highbrow wine critic. If you like something, it is best to go for
it now. Besides, then you won't waste a lot of time on the phone, like
I used to, trying to track such elusive wines down.
Finally, storing a box of wine in your cool basement can give you a warm,
reassuring feeling. You know that you have 9 or 10 bottles of that particular
wine left, and as you continue to enjoy, you can study how the wine may
change. With a mere 6 bottles left, you can ask yourself if the case is
half empty or half full and learn more about your own perspective on life.
Are there only 6 bottles of this limited wine left or do I have a whole
half a case left? And, now, I must rest my case.