I would change very little with my winnings. I am a woman of simple tastes.
I might change the contour of my face and body with the help of modern medicine. Perhaps buy a modest new automobile and a designer wardrobe.
But, beyond that, nothing else, with the exception of a household staff, maid, butler, chef, gardener and the like.
I would make modest changes to my home wine list, purchasing wines that heretofore I have experienced only by sips at special wine events.
I would concentrate on those wines that have provided transcendent wine moments.
Here are some wines I would purchase for my personal cellar, post-lottery winnings.
For some, I would have to add my name to the winery’s list of clients awaiting an allocation. Others are readily available locally, for those who might be seeking a high-end gift of wine for the serious oenophile.
All of these wines are critically acclaimed. There are no dogs in this line-up.
Some vintages below may be sold out, but other critically acclaimed vintages by these consistently spectacular producers are available.
Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc 2007. Originally $29 per bottle at the winery, this vintage is sold out, having been named to Wine Spectator Magazine’s Top 100 wines for 2009, claiming ninth position. Spectator gave this a ranking of 96, one of the highest ratings ever bestowed on a white wine.
Merry Edwards is one of California’s first critically acclaimed female winemakers, best known for award-winning pinot noirs from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma.
This sauvignon blanc is like no other, intensely perfumed, with floral aromas leading to rich citrus and ripe pear flavors on the palate and a smooth finish. Excellent with the daily lobster prepared by my in-house chef.
Paul Hobbs 2006 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. $47.50 at Tyson Art and Frame in Golden Springs. First tasted when visiting the winery in 2008. Most vintages sell to customers via allocation lists.
I do love this chardonnay. I love the creaminess on the palate imparted by malolactic fermentation and oak aging. A great wine by the glass with a bit of artisanal cheese.
2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia. $220 at the Wine Cellar on Quintard. I have been a fan of Phelps wines since 1985, when I first visited the winery, and a fan of Insignia since I came to love red wines.
The formula for Insignia changes from year to year. This particular vintage is 88 percent cabernet, 8 percent merlot and 4 percent petit verdot. This proprietary blend always wins kudos from critics. Wine critic Robert Parker gives this particular vintage 97 to 100 points.
This spectacular wine never disappoints. The 2002 vintage was Wine Spectator’s wine of the year. On those rare occasions when I have possession of a bottle, there is a tendency to hold onto it, because this wine has great longevity. But when I win the lottery, I will not have to worry about a wine’s longevity. I will order cases and drink nightly.
Silver Oak 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet. $97.50 at Tyson Art and Frame. Location, location, location. This wine is from one of the prime growing areas in the Napa Valley, from a producer who only makes cabernet. Consistency, consistency, consistency. Truly, vintage does not matter. I have tasted through six-year flights of this wine, and quality absolutely does not vary from year to year.
A great, concentrated, dark-fruit-flavored wine. It has you at first sip. Approachable, pleasant. Smooth mid palate with a glorious finish.
Ah, one can dream! And now, back to my Two Buck Chuck.