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Ripe old age

Nobody likes growing old. As my 40th birthday looms, I’m aware that middle age has its compensations – wisdom (of a sort), material comforts, and the knowledge that I’ll never have to set foot in another discotheque – but they are vastly outweighed by the negatives. At 38 related website, my body is beginning to disintegrate: bad back, dodgy knee, fading tooth enamel. I also have to face up to the fact that a place in the England football team is finally beyond me.

Leave out museums, auction rooms and the Antiques Roadshow, and the only time you see the word ‘old’ employed positively is on a wine label. The terms ‘old vines’, ‘vieilles vignes’, ‘viñas viejas’ and so on are growing in popularity with producers. This reflects the belief, enshrined in traditional European thinking but increasingly accepted in the New World too, that old vines make better wines.

Call me cynical, but it’s also a useful marketing tool. Tell someone that your vineyard was planted before the Titanic sank and it sounds impressive. The vineyard may be struggling to survive, but who cares?

The theory is that, as canada goose coat $5000 no credit check signature loans a vine ages, it produces a smaller and more concentrated crop. Red wines made amazon canada goose parka from old vines tend to be darker, richer and more tannic; whites have more mouthfeel and viscosity. The downside (for the producer at least) is that the older it gets, the less economic the vineyard becomes – unless they can recoup some cash by charging more for a super cuvŽe and calling it vieilles vignes.

It’s not buy a canada goose jacket best price for canada goose jacket necessarily true that old can you dry clean a canada goose coat is best, however. I’ve tasted some fantastic wines, especially New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, made from two-year-old vineyards. The received wisdom is that a vine needs to be at least 10 years old to give anything approaching its best, and that it’s worse than useless for the first three years of its life, but I’m buy a canada goose jacket not so sure. A well-maintained vineyard is always better than buy canada goose jacket london a neglected one, whatever its age.

The other problem with wines made from old vines is that there is no legal definition of maturity; it would be so much simpler if they carried free bus passes or went on Saga holidays. At canada goose coat 1000 calorie a day meal plan a recent Justerini & Brooks Burgundy tasting, I asked three different producers to define a vieille vigne. Their responses were 25, 40 and 50 years old, respectively; age, like beauty, is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

Wine labelling is covered by all sorts of tedious regulations. (If you’re an insomniac, get hold of a copy of the EU’s rulings on the subject best price canada goose parka some time.) But this one seems to have escaped the attention of the authorities. The same applies to bush vine, basket pressed, winemaker’s selection, tête de vendange, grand vin, réserve personnelle and récolte privée, among average cost canada goose jacket others.

Most of these are pretty meaningless descriptions, but the term old vines is – or rather could be – a useful indication of wine style. Why not set the barrier at, say, 35 years and force producers to clear it if they want to claim venerable status? As my contemporaries will confirm, that’s more than old enough for most of us.

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