Of all the ridiculous things to be sentimental about . . . I get all slushy and mawkish about my potholders. Yes, potholders. I’ve had (and used!) the same potholders for over two decades.
I received them as a wedding gift (or maybe they were a shower gift?) in 1992. I haven’t the foggiest recollection who gave them to me. But one might say I’m devoted* to them.
Now that you think I’ve got a screw loose (screws fall out all the time, the world’s an imperfect place), let me introduce you to my potholders:
You don’t have to tell me they’re ugly. I know they’re ugly — ugly and awesome! They’re mauve and wedgewood blue — it’s like setting the DeLorean for 1992 every time I take a casserole out of the oven. And they’re still perfectly serviceable. But my daughter says they’re embarrassing. She’s begging me to get rid of them. And she’s not alone — you have no idea how many potholders I’ve received as
hints gifts in the last few years.
And yet . . . I can’t seem to part with them.
Everyone keeps trinkets from the past, I’ve kept potholders. And honestly, I’m not sure why. They remind me of all the kitchens we’ve had (six in all), and all the meals they’ve helped prepare. At a certain point, they became a source of pride — not everyone uses decades-old potholders. And once my daughter was old enough to start being embarrassed by them? Well, then it just became a really fun game of Torture the Tween.
My potholders don’t really have anything to do with wine . . . per se. I mean, I’m sure I’ve spilled wine on them before, but that’s about it. But if I’m going to attempt to get rid of them, they deserve a proper send-off. So I started thinking about the best way to do that, and settled on buying a bottle of wine from the year we got married, 1992. And while I would have loved a California cult Cabernet or a first-growth Bordeaux from 1992, I’m saying goodbye to potholders, for Pete’s sake. Let’s not get crazy.
So I decided to keep the price tag in the realm of reasonable ($45), and settled on a 22 year old German Riesling. BTW, if you’re ever in the market for an older wine, Wine Searcher is a fantastic resource for your search.
Schloss Schönborn Riesling Auslese Hattenheim Nußbrunnen 1992 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/92
Here’s something you don’t see every day — wine crystals on a cork. Quite pretty, really. In the glass, a stunning amber color. The nose is petrol, silly putty and toffee. Flavors are minerals and smoke with a backdraft of citrus and peach. And oddly, I get some diesel notes, too. Does that even make sense? Still bright with acidity, though all the edges have been sanded down. Lovely. I would love to see what this is doing in another decade.
My aged Riesling was an absolutely perfect partner for my take-out, spicy Pad Thai. But the surprise of the night came when I tasted it with my daughter’s mango & coconut sticky rice. There’s a chameleon in my glass! The Riesling took on an unexpected and delightful dry sherry character. Wow.
Interesting sidebar: I mentioned to a blogging friend (and Riesling expert-in-residence), The Winegetter, that I was drinking a 1992 Schloss Schönborn Riesling. And he altered me to the fact that Schloss Schönborn is currently involved in a fraud case in Germany. Schloss Schönborn is accused of blending wines from different vintages, and even different regions — a big no-no in the German VDP (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates). VDP members agree to adhere to certain standards which are slightly more stringent than those set down in “regular” German wine law. There are rules, and then there are rules. Schloss Schönborn has temporarily removed itself from the VDP so as not to tarnish its reputation. But I suspect it will be back.
So how ’bout that? I got to taste a beautiful 22-year old German Riesling, laced with intrigue . . . all because of my potholders. I thought I could get rid of them, but I can’t.
Scratch that requiem and make it a retirement.
New idea: They’re going to live in my hope chest, as heirloom potholders. And one day (far, far from now), I will give them to my daughter (on permanent loan) as a wedding shower gift.
I can see her eye roll right now. And then she will look under the potholders, and she’ll see a “new” bottle of Schloss Schönborn Riesling Auslese Hattenheim Nußbrunnen 1992 (yep, I ordered two bottles — I’m a planner). That bottle is for a little pre-wedding, mother-daughter bonding. Whoever this boy is . . . he’ll have to wait his turn.
Old, new, borrowed and blue. My work here is done.
*This is my entry in the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge, #7. The theme this month is: Devoted!