I really just want to learn about wine, but I can’t do that if I’m not drinking it with at least a little bit of frequency. My local bars don’t serve the best cuvees, but I have access to all the restaurants, wine bars, etc a girl could desire. Not to mention, all the wine stores, like Blackwell’s down the street from my home. San Francisco practically spoils me with the plethora of options and I need to take advantage.
It may be time for me to drop whiskey and Magner’s–my favorite cider–in favor of oenology. Drinking the same shit every day, just because it’s deemed “cool” and masculine is pretty lame. But I do it, even though I barely like whiskey. For some reason, people are impressed when a “little” girl like me can knock back a full shot, no chaser. Country songs have popularized the consumption of whiskey and tequila. And hip-hop and rap have popularized Chandon and other fancy drinks.
It’s utterly confusing when you have no idea what is going on with wine. I don’t know anything, except that I don’t like the tannic quality of Cabernet and that I do like Pinot Noir and Rose. I’m getting used to the flavors of a few different white wines as well, but I don’t know which ones I like, yet. Part of my problem is that the minutiae are a little lost on me. I used to think I was pretty good at recognizing different flavors and scents. Apparently, I’ve lost that talent… Or never had it in the first place. I know it’s a build-able aspect in my repertoire. Especially since I’m in love with a bartender and I work with some of the most knowledgeable winos in the business. Oh wait, I also harbor an affection for wine, same as most people who drink.
(I want these socks!)
I was reminiscing today about the first glass of wine I ordered in a restaurant. I remember it had a strawberry scent and tasted so pretty, slightly floral and gently fruity. It was so perfect for a beginner’s first taste of wine that my boyfriend at the time took a sip and ordered a glass for himself. We felt so fancy that we even took pictures! All thanks to Beringer’s White Zinfandel…
I have been reading about wine a lot lately, specifically a book called The Juice: Vinous Veritas by Jay McInerney. It is a collection of his essays on wine and I have to say, it is really one of those collections I would actually read again. Most of the essays are articles he wrote for House & Garden and The Wall Street Journal. If you are a budding, or long-time oenophile, or if you just like to read about wine, this is a great book. I don’t recognize most of the wine varietals or winemakers he talks about, but reading his essays is making me want to learn more about them. I’ve never read a book like this before. I’m into it!
I have always had an affinity for Pinot Noir and Rose, but I find myself intrigued by all the different varietals right now, especially working in restaurants as a member of the front of house team now, being exposed to all the crazy options I never knew were available. Wine is the most, to say the least. I’ve never been a big beer or cocktail enthusiast, although I do love a basic whiskey or tequila at a dive bar. But wine has always had an appeal for me. My next step may be to actually take a wine class this year. I want to learn more and more, make it so that nobody could refuse me in their restaurant. I don’t need to become a sommelier or anything fancy, although it would be cool. Does anyone else have books on wine they would recommend to a budding oenophile?