I have had three experiences lately in sharing a 'last' bottle of great wine with others. One was intimate and at home, only sharing with my lovely bride, the last bottle of the 1996 Wolf Blass Grey Label. We were fortunate to purchase three dozen of this magnificent wine a long time ago and very inexpensively, but it proved to be one of those 'regular' wines that was superior far above its branding and price range. My bride considered this her every day drinking wine and we have enjoyed it over the years. About a month ago, we opened and shared our last bottle together, eating at home and greatly enjoying the remembrance of this great wine. The second to last bottle we had was at her 40th birthday party (and made it as part of the Best Wine Meal I have ever had!) a year and a half ago. This was an occasion that was special to us as a couple and needed to be shared as a couple, not with others.
The other recent experience was with my BPAY team and the meal we had at The Cut Bar & Grill. One of the bottles was the 2000 McWilliams Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea Shiraz. It was my last bottle and I wanted to share it with the team as respect to them and what a great team that they made. It was one of many great wines that evening and the meal achieved #4 Best Wine Meal ever. I will be writing in detail about that meal and the wines during this week.
I try to make funerals about the celebration of life well lived, and not about loss and sorrow. It is a time to celebrate the passing into the great beyond, the release from our bodily hurt. We need to celebrate with each other and remember the great times we had with the deceased. The only problem is that the guest of honor no longer with us to celebrate. Well the great thing about that last bottle of a great and special wine is that it is there with us to celebrate! And I keep the bottle to remember the great memories throughout the year that accompanied drinking that wine.
Today we will also bring a great bottle of the 2009 Bouchard Pere & Fils Puligny-Montrachet Chardonnay and a bottle of the 1995 Penfolds Adelaide Hills Semillon Trial Bin (which was one of the trial wines for Penfold's White Grange experiment which resulted in Yatarnna). I have four bottles of this wine, but have never tried one. This will also be a great thing to share with good friends, hopefully because we find out it is a real treasure that has been overlooked. But the featured wine today will be the 'last' bottle of the 1999 Zema Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a great wine with great friends.