What is a splurb? I could say it’s a typing error, but a neologism sounds more apt. New words and phrases in new contexts is a writer’s bread and butter.

So consider the splurb.

We post a splurb when we are not in the Wal Mart and sending a text telling your 3 million closest friends that you’re in the Wal Mart sending a text to your 3 million closest friends.

Rather, the splurb might advise that you just purchased a temperature regulated wine cabinet that will hold the 36 bottles of wine you carry around in your car, carefully parking said vehicle in the shade of an oak while you’re doing your wash at a coin-op.

The splurb informs your circle that you pay attention to how wine is stored since as a living thing it has a period of ascent in character for a time, but then slowly starts to lose it. Usually, the white loses some intrinsic aromas as it darkens a bit in your glass. it remains drinking-worthy, but the shimmer of 24 karats starts to look like a mule sample; it yellows, like an old paper. The decline is not automatic drainage, but measure your responses to older wine to get an impression of how it pleases in other ways.

A red wine will lose some of its hue, even appearing brown around the surface edge at the top of the bowl. The big fruit blast of a young wine in time will subside. The tannins, if skillfully modulated take precedence, and with alcohol, actually encourage ageability. Too long at the coin-op will hazard the quality of the wine in the back of your truck.

Still, older wines can charm not by the young vigor that seems to disapear, but the complexity and structure of what to a reasonable length of time can stand before the mirror and not freak out like discovering the Dorian Gray portrait becomes a horror.

I have wines that like Ezra Pound said of European civilization once, is “an old bitch gone in the teeth.” Well, Pound was an irascible dude. But I surely know some politicians of recent time who fit the bill. But more often, the older wines gain a kind of wine cellar wisdom that please even as the bright lights of youth have dimmed.

A splurb will remind us that wine made with some care ought to be comforted, even as its brow wrinkles a bit. The triumph of time is not an admittance ticket to Forest Lawn. At least not yet.

Ken Friedenreich
Author, Oregon Wine Country Stories: Decoding the Grape