Three wines all scoring 19 points on the Dionysian scale of a possible 20. The 1995 Chapoutier Cote-Rotie Brune et Blonde, red Rhone, with 12.8% alcohol was beautiful at 23 years old. Pepper and complex spices intermingled with the deep red fruit of Syrah. Used for the second course, which was roasted venison.

The 1969 Tosetti Barolo was 13,5% alcohol, was school brick with an orange edge, and soft as silk. It still had road tar, and rose pedal aromas.  Used as the opening wine with a butternut squash soup. It was still holding well at 49 years old. Cold dark cellars really help.

The 1977 Nieport Oporto, actually scored 19+ points, is still young, was full of fruit, and after decanting  loads of sediment out, it was silky.  The wine is beautiful now at 41 years old, and will hold another two decades at least.  This was the steal of the 1977’s, a year expected to develop like the 1929’s did. All the 1977 Ports were exceptional. This was bottled in 1979 and had 20% alcohol.



A soup, salad and meat dinner, on a frozen evening, with three such wines, make the meal into a winter holiday event. We should all make mid-week dinners special. For five people, the amount was perfect.

The three wines made a cold winter meal a very special and unique family event. Age some wines, at least a few bottle from the years your kids or grandchildren were born or from the year you got married. They age quickly as life flies by. In Vino Veritas.