I had recently discovered buried deep in my cupboard a bottle of 1996 Celebrity Cellars Bob Dylan Collector’s Edition One Reserve red table wine from Manteca, California. This wine was given to me at holiday-time in 2000 by my former network news armpit division supervisor, the multi-talented Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s multi-talents were two-fold – his head was a vast storehouse of knowledge of all things Bob Dylan and he was also a walking encyclopedia about the TV series, The Odd Couple. He knew every word of every episode by heart and could recite each episode upon request. Zimmerman was truly the Laurence Olivier of the junk food TV of my youth. I will always remember him both fondly and ridiculously.
I held off drinking it for I recalled Zimmerman’s advice:
Zimmerman: Don’t drink it right away.
I am sure that Zimmerman did not intend that I should hold off drinking it for almost twelve years and spend the vast majority of those years completely forgetting about it. He also gifted my former colleague and dear friend, Martini Max, with a bottle. While sharing beverages with Max at the Emerald Inn, our favorite Upper West Side no-nonsense watering hole, I asked Max if he could recall what he did with his bottle.
Me: Max, did you take Zimmerman’s advice and hold off drinking it?
Max: I probably quaffed it in one sitting as soon as I got home.
Me: I researched it online and discovered that it’s now worth $149.56.
Max winced as if he got hit in the head with an oak barrel. Later, I called Coco.
Me: Hey Coke, it seems like I’ve had a $150 bottle of wine sitting in my cupboard for almost a dozen years. Do you think it’s any good?
Coco: There’s only one way to find out!
That weekend we decided to guzzle this possible nectar of the Gods. I hightailed downtown to Coco’s lair. She had a backup bottle of Wyatt Pinot Noir on hand just in case our nectar tasted more akin to swill.
Pictured below are the results of our taste test.
I would like to conclude with two observations. I recently discovered that a bottle of this Bob Dylan wine that was removed “from a temperature and humidity controlled wine cellar” unlike my cupboard that was completely lacking both temperature and humidity control over the past twelve years — sold at auction on January 12th of this year for $5. The second observation is that Coco, even after an hour of floor scrubbing and vacuuming is continuing to step on pieces of cork.