Lame Adventure 270: That’s the Way the Cork Crumbles

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.

The Dylan vino, horribly photographed.

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.

2009 Wyatt aka backup reserve.

Pictured below are the results of our taste test.

Whenever you chow at Coco's, you chow in style.

Holiday wrapped!

Holy crap, is that cork?

"Yes, it's cork. Nurse, hand me the knife."

"Let's try the old coffee filter trick."

"At this rate we'll have a glass by next Christmas."

"Maybe the flour sifter is a better way to go?"

"Much better way to go!"

First glass about to go down the hatch!

"This tastes like ammonia! Is my tongue stained?"

"Are you sure this is meant for tongue stains and when did you drink ammonia -- high school or NYUseless?"

Wyatt to the rescue!

Obedient Wyatt cork.

Happy Coco guzzling Wyatt!

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.

The cork bits that refuse to leave until they're all completely embedded in Coco's foot.

16 responses to “Lame Adventure 270: That’s the Way the Cork Crumbles

  1. You definitely get the award for most creative use of a flour sifter that I’ve ever seen!

    If you discover a bottle of “Elvis 1962” in your cupboard I would recommend Ebay instead however.


  2. Snoring Dog Studio

    Worth 5 bucks? HAHAHAHAAHHA! I guess some wines don’t age well, eh? Of course, if Zimmerman paid 2 bucks for it, then I’d say you’d have made a profit.

    Man, that’s some feast there. When’s the next wine tasting?


  3. Ahhhhh–so that’s what happened Saturday night. Thanks for filling in the holes in your narrative with another worthy Lame Adventure. Gotta love cork!


  4. Like your link to winebid-thanks-ever get anything from them?


  5. I’m comforted to see that I am not the only one determined to drink an intriguing bottle of wine even when it’s liberally garnished with crumbled cork: About a year ago I bought a bottle of red wine standing on a shelf because 1) I found the label art attractive, 2) it was on close-out sale for about $4.99, and 3) it was from California, my favorite place for wine, among other things. While wishing for cheesecloth, I tried all kinds of strainers and funnels, pouring from one glass to the next to get the cork out. Ultimately, I drank around it, picking it out of my teeth. Thanks for the flour sifter tip — next time, as I’m sure there will be. (I need to lighten up on my next blog post, and you’ve inspired me to write about my crumbled cork adventure and related vineyard-harvest tales.) 🙂 Meanwhile, let’s find a way we can download Coco’s chow trays. Yum.


  6. Pingback: XLVII. For Whom the Bottle Tolls | Salmon Salad and Mozart

  7. Thank you for your delightful comment on my blog — and for the pingback! If I had known you were coming to visit, I would have prepared an Italian meat and artisan cheese tray — possibly. I always answer comments on my blog; I don’t know if commenters go back to read them, though, and I haven’t yet mastered the WordPress or Feedburner mystifying machinations of setting up a way commenters can be informed by email.


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