If you’re one of the lucky residents surrounded by wineries in the Okanagan Valley, you will understand the very real problem of buying wine faster than you can drink it. This isn’t really a problem as most red wines, and some whites, can be cellared for several years and will actually develop pleasing new aromas and flavours, inspiring new depths and complexities in the wine.
Here at Hester Creek, a frequent discussion with our guests revolves around the topic of when to open the wines we’ve cellared for so long. Should we be waiting for a special occasion? A perfect meal to pair it with? What if we’ve waited too long and it’s now gone bad?
To which the answers are: The wine was made to be drunk. Opening it is a special occasion in and of itself. As the wine will have developed a softer, rounder tannin structure, pair it with a meal that won’t overpower it – like a slow-cooked stew, or simply drink it on its own and discuss the nuances that may not have been there when you tasted the fresh vintage. Yes, there is the possibility that a wine will have gone off if you wait too long, but this can be a subjective experience.
Alternatively, the other answer of when to open the wine is on the unofficial holiday, Open that Bottle Night. This holiday takes place on February 25th, but here at Hester Creek, we’re into day drinking and extending the event over three days, so we will be opening select library vintages on February 24th, 25th and 26th at the Wine Shop.
If you’re in Oliver, visit us in the Wine Shop to learn about libraried wines (yes, in wine, “library” can be a verb) and taste some of our rarely opened old vintages.
If you’d like to purchase our library wines, you’ll have to become a member of our wine club.