A slightly lighter concierge workload has allowed me to catch up a bit on my reading.
One of the tomes I started tackling this week is Brunello di Montalcino 'Understanding and Appreciating One of Italy's Greatest Wines' (University of California Press, Spring 2012) by Kerin O'Keefe, well researched yet accessible to any reader interested in wine, terroir and history.
In her closing notes, she ponders the Shakespearan dilemna, 'Great bottles at home: to decant or not decant?' and notes that 'most winemakers who produce wines destined for long cellaring prefer that the bottle be opened hours beforehand as opposed to decanting, which many winemakers feel can cause schock.'
She then quotes the words of Maria Teresa Mascarello, daughter of Barolo producer Bartolo Mascarello:
"Decanting an older or old vintage is traumatic for the wine. It's like going up to an eighty-five year old person and shaking him or her violently, It is harmful, if not to say life-threatening."
Have you shaken an old vintage lately?