I’ve been a consumer of wine since my college days, when, after studying abroad in Australia, you could often find me with a bottle of Yellowtail in hand on a Friday night. Those were the days where a $6 bottle was the limit, and I felt like I knew so much about wine! While in Australia, my eyes were opened to the world of wine tastings at vineyards, but I still didn’t have a refined enough palate to truly grasp what was in the glass.
It wasn’t until a few years ago, while living in a central Illinois town with not much going for it, that I had my second – and deeper – introduction to wine. I remember the first day I met Sarah: we arranged to meet for a non-committal cup of coffee at Starbucks and over the course of a couple hours, we found that we had so much more in common. It was at the end of our caffeinating rendezvous that Sarah invited me to go into town to a local wine shop. I had nothing going on, so I said ‘Yes!’ When we walked, there was a wine tasting going on for all guests in the store, so we partook. I don’t remember what we tasted, but I remember that was the day that changed my outlook on wine, and opened up the doorway to new beginnings, and new exploration – both personally, and with wine.
Over the better part of a year, I ventured into some different wines. Maybe they didn’t stray too far from the typical varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec – but I expanded my horizons when selecting a wine, and began to see that the world of wine offered so much more, and I had barely scratched the surface.
When my now-husband and I moved back up to Milwaukee (thankfully, my wine buddy moved up shortly thereafter!), my interest in wine continued to grow. I watched “Somm” and “Somm Into the Bottle” on Netflix, and became so intrigued by the magic that lives within that 750 mL bottle. When you think about what goes into a bottle of wine, it’s almost miraculous. In the latter, one of the Master Sommeliers says, “There are over 100 factors that go into making a bottle of wine.” No kidding! It’s amazing to think how impactful seemingly insignificant factors are in this endeavor, but really, it’s just like life in general: nature and nurture play a huge role, as does the environment.
A few months ago, I bought this great book “Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine”, by Madeline Puckette, a sommelier and hilarious instagrammer and blogger. She has fresh way to talk about things, and truly offers some insightful tidbits, which have helped me understand things a bit. I also bought “Wine. All the Time. The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking” by Marissa A. Ross, who formerly worked with comedienne Mindy Kaling, but even more accurate: a funny as hell writer . She takes the pretentiousness out of a bottle of wine and navigates unique varietals in this book. These two books have made wine more approachable for me, and given me the courage – and challenge – to adventure into the unchartered territory of blogging.
Each week I’ll aim to pop – or crack! – open a bottle of wine from a different varietal. If I’m so lucky as to have a wine tasting, I’ll have an opportunity to try many options of the same varietal. My blog will document my tasting notes, as well as highlight some varietals, wines, and vineyards I’m tasting, and perhaps share some fun anecdotes along the way.
Ready to join me? No better time to start than now!