As my wine purchase egged on by this society has expanded my cellar defenders have become a little unstuck. There is a thin line of cellar defenders in the cellar due to space constraints with the main bulk of defenders outflanked in the garage which currently is offering very little defence as I have to go out in the potential rain/dark and find the cellar the easier option.
The more lasting defence tends to be leave them in wooden cases and pile 4 cases on top of them. This way good/expensive wine consumption tends to take more planning. Alas what goes in the box sometimes goes wrong. When my brother in law visited ( one who brings very good wine ) I had not extracted one of the 8 Chateau St. Pierre 2011 which I thought was drinking well and found my only bottle of Calon Segur 2011 and opened it. Nice but would have benefited from a few more years cellaring. It was up against the BiL’s El Desafio de Jonato 2015 (exquisite) and Ch9p Beaucastel 1981 (slightly below par as the cork had not lasted the 41 years well).
I’ve never heard of “Cellar defenders” as a term, but I like me it a lot.
Normally, I buy mine through Naked Wines. Don’t snigger, at the back. But I get a mixed box of fine wine every few months and just let it work its magic at the top of the cellar. Some are great, some are average but ultimately if I’m with friends who don’t drink wine, then it doesn’t matter.
For most occasions when my wife’s family are over, I use a NZ Sauvignon Blanc as that pacifies my Mother-In-Law quite nicely. So that tends to be my go to Cellar Defender.
My Dad does tell a great story about going away for a couple of days and my Mum making a beef casserole for his return - only for him to find a bottle of very decent Bordeaux that was saved for a special day, now drained and simmering in a pan.
The aforementioned Guigal is so ubiquitous that there is no point storing it.
I’ve found that storing it is worthwhile - it may be ubiquitous and easy to acquire, but IMO with a few additional years in bottle it improves noticeably, and becomes more like drinking a £15-£20 wine rather than the tenner (or less, on offer) you paid for it
Our cellar defenders are usually supplied by the friends from whom the cellar needs defending🤣 We drink much less wine now than we used to (alcohol tolerance has reduced as age increases sadly) so we concentrate on the wines we like, some better than others.
One of our friends likes a red wine after the meal and kindly brings the stuff with her. Mostly sub £10 supermarket red that has a certain softness and sweetness to it.
Agreed, and I think you are the first to mention it here.
An interesting thing about drinking many bottles of the same type is seeing the “bottle variation”. I put it in quotes because it is IMO largely taster variation, or due to serving at different temperatures, or with different foods. Some modest wines also improve in the time it takes to work through a case. I don’t pretend to be able to predict all those factors, but it has made me a lot more hesitant about assessing a wine from a single experience with it.
Better wines, under cork, and which have had different storage conditions will additionally have “proper” bottle variation.