Sharing a birth year wine, 1983 edition

I always enjoy drinking a birth year wine, particularly if it is a wine from my birth year. But even if it is someone else’s and you are in their company, then the glass is full of not only a mature wine (that’s hopefully still good or great), but also a time capsule, rife with symbolism and memories.

My brother stopped by our house for the first time since winning an around-the-world sailing race earlier this year. I had scored a bottle of 1983 Lynch Bages in anticipation of toasting his tremendous accomplishment at our next get together. So last weekend, I presented him with it, pulled the crumbly cork and decanted it. He was traveling with his girlfriend and we all savored the wine, which had really complex and enticing aromatics of tobacco leaves, a surprisingly spry and delicious midpalate, and a finish that tapered a tad too quickly. On the whole, the wine was in very good condition and, after polishing it off, my brother said he wanted to take the bottle home with him (he lives in France). Maybe he will put it on the shelf next to his race trophy?

Giving birth year wines as gifts for important achievements and milestones goes over really well. I haven’t done it a lot but I am going to try to give them more more since they can make for a really memorable gift. And with a bit of searching, it’s not too hard to find them. I got this one from a friend who had cellared it since release. But a few years ago, I wrote a story for Food & Wine on finding birth year wines and it can definitely be worth the effort–especially if you can pull the (crumbly) cork and share it together.

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5 Responses to “Sharing a birth year wine, 1983 edition”

  1. I was born in 1965 and with the big 50 coming up I am at a loss as what to go for since it was a washed out vintage everywhere!
    I will just pick a solid producer from the 60’s and buy something from one of my customers that has a deep cellar!
    Maybe the results will be counter to prevailing wisdom.

  2. My husband likes Penfolds Grange and there were a couple in the $45,000.00-$65,000.00 range; other than that there weren’t a lot of wines for him in this country.

  3. I was born the year prior to the Judgement of Paris, apparently not a good one for Lynch Bages but I’ve read a very good one for Pomerol in general (and Brunello as well). I’m a big believer in giving myself a birthday gift every year and this strikes me as an excellent idea.

  4. tyler; you & our son colin were both born ’83; we’ve been thru our case of ’83 margaux, was great experience; lotsa ports still around, a graham ’83 lying in wait for b-day #30 in january 2013; joe jensen above: depending (hahaha) try looking for the year in which u were conceived; mayb 1964 counts for you & it wasn’t bad shakes, just difficult to find nowadays

  5. Joe – Sounds like a good way to play your bday. Much better to for wine that has a chance of being good/great rather than sticking to the particular year.

    Robin – Those are for 750ml bottles?! Yikes.

    Ivan – Good for you, Ivan. Where are you going to do your shopping?

    Bill – Please note that 1983 is not my birth year but my brother’s. However, I’m always happy to share a wine from someone else’s birth year with them! Always good times…


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