In this day and age, I'm conscious that I am showing my age by the fact that I still use a wrist watch as my main means of telling the time. Younger generations are choosing iphones and such like to keep a track on the hours of the day and I'm sure that when my young children learn to tell the time there may well be a new bit of technology that will help them out. My 5-year-old daughter recently laughed out loud when I showed her a photograph of a record player but  she'll never know the excitement of buying a 45rpm single, or remember the Jam getting five successive vinyl 45s straight to the converted number one slot.  I digress...

Now, working in the wine trade, I've come to realise that I'm marking the passing of time in a different way. Last summer, I'd take a favourite wine almost for granted - my first Yapp favourite being the Lirac 2005: La  Famille Maby. A modest collection at home was soon dispatched and replacements sought - easy. Then, just before Christmas, I went to replenish my supplies only to hear the shocking words from our shop manager "we've moved on to the 2007 vintage now".  Don't get me wrong, the Lirac 2007 is still a great vintage (as it was for the Rhône generally) but it wasn't my beloved 2005.

I moved house last week and in all the boxing and packing that goes on I could hear bottles being clinked and wrapped back in the old kitchen and, as well as worrying about my guitars being damaged, I was equally concerned about my last bottles of Lirac 2005, Châteauneuf du Pape: Père Caboche 2004 and Saint Joseph 2007: Domaine Georges Vernay.

So, if there is a moral here, it must be to make sure you appreciate your favourite vintages while you can and have a few put aside for another and not necessarily rainy day - you may want to mark the passing of time with an old friend!