Sunday, July 15, 2012

What's In Your Cellar, Michèle?

Photo by Paul A. Bosc
Michèle Bosc
Château des Charmes
Director of Marketing

Prior to marrying into the Bosc family, for whom a tradition of winemaking extends seven generations, Michèle had already decided on a career in wine and considered the Sommelier field prior to joining the family business where a background in both Science and Marketing has served her well.

Her basement-housed cellar favours red Burgundy and both Left and Right Bank Bordeaux which make special appearances alongside selections of Château des Charmes wines at family gatherings.

Q - What inspired you to hold onto that first bottle or case beyond when it was ready to drink?
Curiosity of how wine evolves over time…each bottle being a unique individual. So there is the emotional connection side of it but my background is science so cellaring is a bit of a live experiment that you have to wait to see the results. Did you wait long enough—or too long? That’s part of the fun.

Q - What is the purpose of your wine cellar/collection?
Family celebrations. When we have an extended family meal or special friends visiting we bring up a bottle from the cellar. Once it is finished we sign and date the bottle (family) or have our guests sign and date the bottle. Wine is best enjoyed when sharing the experience with friends and family. This tradition helps to bring back the memories of a special meal.

Q - What causes you to actually pull the trigger on a special bottle from your cellar?
Mood, family celebration or a very special cut of meat.

Q - What have you learned about wine from starting your collection?
Wine is alive. It lives and breathes every day. No bottle will be the same as in the moment when you open it. There is much romantic about that. And, that you can wait too long. And, if the wine was out of balance in the beginning cellaring won’t change that.

Q - Would perusing your wine cellar offer any insight into you as a person?
Maybe. Remember, cellars are both collections of things you have purchased as well as things you have been given.

Q - Any general comments about building a cellar/collection?
Buy what you love. Be patient. Sometimes the best reason to go to the cellar to pick “a bottle” is simply because. Most importantly, not all wine is meant to be aged.

Q - What advice would you share to anyone wanting to start a collection of wine?
Wine doesn’t necessarily get “better” with age. It simply changes, evolves, matures. Not everyone likes an aged Chardonnay or Icewine. But if you are curious about wine, cellaring is an amazing way of learning about well-made vs. not well-made wines. If you are serious about wine make sure you take notes. They can be published in a shared tool like Cellar Tracker or WineBizerkers. Or you can simply set up your own Excel spreadsheet to keep track of what you have an when you think you should open a bottle. Buy at least 3 bottles so you can open them at different times. This is where the notes come in….check what you thought last time…how has the wine evolved? Do you like it better now or then? Etc. You may find you like some producers and varieties aged longer than others. Please…if you are using a community tool and you don’t like a wine there is no need to publicly slag the bottle. It may be very well made and you may not like it. That's OK. But the general rule of thumb is if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Remember, wines are like our children.

 -  Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

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