Of Time Capsules, Memories and Old Friendships

Old friends

© Shutterstock

Old friends

Old friends

© Shutterstock

Is there anything quite so lovely in life as catching up with an old friend? Years may have passed, lives entirely changed and points of view altered. Yet those old connections ignite something within us; something gentle and compassionate. Perhaps it is the unspoken bond of shared moments in life, an internal celebration of achieving what is so often impossible: putting aside the present troubles of the world and taking some time to connect.

All shapes and sizes

But old friends come in many shapes and sizes. I am sure we all think of music that transports us to a different place. Chris de Burgh’s A Spaceman Came Travelling instantly transports me to a dark car as a child, my brothers and sister squeezed in next to me on the backseat, winding our way down from the north of England to visit grandparents in the warmer south, slowly falling asleep to the view of distant, twinkling lights.

Dire Straits’ melodic Walk of Life is intrinsically linked to memories of my dad as a much younger man, bopping around the kitchen while cooking some very questionable takes on classic dishes. Daniel Powter´s Bad Day is the bitter-sweet memory of my first love.

First encounters

Explore wine for long enough and you find yourself building the same, unspoken friendships. Whether it is a producer you have come to love, or a bottle that takes you back to a particular point in your life, wine can become a time capsule. For many of us, it is that first bottle that made us sit up and pay attention.

For me that was a bottle of Tomas Postigo Crianza 2010; a glossy, powerful wine from Ribera del Duero. These days I find it a little too heavy and polished for my tastes, yet whenever I see it on a shelf, I cannot help but smile as I think back to a stormy night in Barcelona, truly connecting with wine for the first time.

Indelible memories

Better yet, wine is linked to the people we share them with. Often when I pull a bottle from the fridge, the smile on my face is less about the wine itself and more the memory of those I hold dear. Nyetimber is one of the England’s leading producers of sparkling wines, yet for me it is celebrating with friends after difficult wine exams in London, packed around the tables in Noble Rot Wine Bar in simpler times. 

see the tasting note

The crisp, saline character of Do Ferreiro´s Cepas Vellas will forever remind me of my first ever wine trip with my wife, marvelling at the archaic pergola system of vines in Rias Baixas as the cold November winds stung our faces. I don´t think I´ll ever be able to drink a bottle of La Rioja Alta´s incredible, layered 890 Gran Reserva without thinking of my son; it was the bottle I opened to celebrate his first days in this world.

Revelling

Taking time to catch up with old friends is invaluable and deeply rewarding. Fill your cellars with the bottles that mean the most to you and don´t be surprised if your first thoughts when you dig them out are not about the wine, but about the people you have shared so many things with: wine, understanding, journeys…

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