So much of the allure of wine is the aspirational component of it. Not in the financial sense, of course: I personally have a problem with anyone who buys wine for the so-called trophy factor, displaying it with care and attention to its angle and lighting and the perfection of its label...and then never drinks it, holding onto juice that was crafted with care and love for the one purpose that these hoarders eschew: Consumption.
No, what I’m talking about is the aspiration that almost all wine lovers share: To experience a great bottle. And just like music lovers covet the chance to see a favorite reclusive performer in concert--ever talk to anyone electrified by the experience of having seen Sly Stone or Glenn Gould live?--so, too, do devotees of the grape live for those all-too-rare days when corks are popped on the bottles they’ve only read about.
With this in mind, check out this link to the Quarterly Review of Wines. In their words, they “turned to some of [their] experts to inquire about their choices for the top ten wines they have tasted from the 20th-century.” Its as aspirational a list as you’ll find, and composed of wines that many of us may never have the chance to experience. But it’s a fascinating listing nonetheless, and implicitly asks this question: Which wines in your personal collection will rank among the greats either of all time or, more importantly, your personal favorites?
It’s all about aspiration, no matter how big or small your personal wine budget may be.