My interest in wine began about my mid-twenties, but it wasn’t until I began my server career at Sullivan’s Steakhouse that I really began delving into it. It is there that I began to learn the difference between a Chardonnay and a Merlot, a Pinot Noir from a Pinto Grigio, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from a Sauvignon Blanc.
As I tried to grasp the wide world of wine I became rather frustrated. Frustrated at those bloody wine lists. Sullivan’s has a book, a book, filled with wine lists. One after another I would read down that list and be completely LOST. It was beyond frustrating. Wine tastings didn’t mean much either. Just a bunch of names of vineyards, cities, towns, states, or countries with no significance. It made me feel stupid to be honest. Like I missed an important lesson in life. Where was my Wine 101 class in high school or college?
I began my research on wines and it dawned on me what I wanted to accomplish. I want wine to be approachable to ALL people. I feel people avoid wine so much because it has that tendency of making you feel inadequate. There you are ordering some fish for dinner and you have no idea whether to go with the Sauvignon Blanc or the Chardonnay, much less know whether to get the Chardonnay from California or some other US State, and if you do narrow it to California Chardonnay, where in California? Sonoma, Napa, Russian River? What does it matter? Then, you choose a wine and you cross your fingers that you not only pronounce it right, but that your server doesn’t figure out you are completely clueless because goodness forbid you should ask for help. This is where I was at, and to be honest, I am a bit still there.
The thing is, this can all be avoided. Wine is complicated, but with a little bit of knowledge you can feel 100% better about wine and what should food should accompany your wine. Even at this stage, where I am definitely not a wine expert, I can now at least narrow the varietal of wine that would best go with my kobe sliders. And even when I get it wrong, THAT IS OK! Learning about wine is about trial and error.
I decided, that as I learned about wines and explored them, I would take you with me on this journey. Share this learning experience with you and let you explore it too. I have been in the education field for many years and I will bring that knowledge with me to make it as accessible to you as possible. My approach will be a mix of writing blog entries, along with short video segments. I want you to share in my own lack of knowledge and thirst for filling that gap. We will try wines together and learn how to taste them by their look, smell, and taste. We will develop our own tasting muscles and become knowledgeable. We will learn what it means to have a wine from the New World and one from the Old World.
Why? Because wine is the one drink that can take your food to the next level. Wine interacts with your food and creates an experience, but in order to take advantage of those experiences, you first have to take the journey.
Next stop – The Basics: What is Wine
And now this: