The best thing I had ever tasted

My Wine Epiphany


Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet 1978, bought in 1980.

Mine came in 1980. I was at a party hosted by folks who were entertaining new residents of an apartment complex. At that time I mostly drank beer, vodka and Tequila and occasionally white wine. They broke out a bottle of Mondavi Reserve Cabernet ’78 and I just happened to be in the room at the time. WOW!! It was like a religious experience – absolutely the best thing I had ever tasted. It impressed me so much that for years I bought Mondavi Reserve whenever I could find it. In the early ‘90s I stumbled upon a wine shop in a burned out block in Detroit that had 20 bottles in their cellar, ranging from the late ‘70s to the mid ‘80s – I bought them all!

Over the next few years, most of them sat in a closet waiting to be drunk. They survived a hurricane, two house moves and a divorce. I added to the collection with other favorites (Simi, Silverado, etc.) but those Mondavis always had a special place in my heart. Finally, I cracked them open one by one. Though they were exceptionally good, they never did quite bring back that first taste sensation – kind of like your fist kiss, it can never really be replicated.

Sadly, they are all long gone but I still remember that first one.

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