The effect of time on wine is one of the culinary world’s great magic tricks. Timing and conditions are crucial, and with patience and cellar space in short supply, well-aged wines are increasingly rare. Older French wines in the US have often been stored poorly, or have changed hands so many times they include layers upon layers of markups.
Wine classification can be confusing -- categorization and branding changes dramatically from one region to another. For example, the Old World tends to identify wines by place, while the New World tends to use grape varietal. It seems a minor shift, but it has enormous implications for the way people perceive wines.
We crossed the Alps from Italy to Switzerland yesterday via the Simplon Pass. The crossing is dotted with ancient stone houses that call to mind the Europe of thousands of years ago. It was yet another reminder from this trip of just how old these regions are.