I’m THRILLED you all were pumped for the idea of a series of wine posts this week. To write about something that I’m so passionate about is simply a pleasure. To kick it all off, I thought I could give you a short post on my own personal background with vino.
Obviously, I love wine but I haven’t always loved, errr, fine wine to say the least. Like most college students I had my fair share of experimenting with less optimal beverages....
And then during my junior year of college I lived in an apartment right above a swanky wine bar, so every Thursday night my girlfriends and I would go “downstairs” (literally) for a glass (or two) of the cheapest chardonnay they had. Good times.
However, I had NEVER had red wine! The horror! I think I was scared of it because it was something my parents drank every night and seemed to be heavier and more “mature” than my cheapo chards and reislings. After I graduated college in May of 2007 I immediately jumped on a plane to Paris and from there my love of wine simply took off.
It was in France were I discovered wine was cheaper than water and there were so many different kinds! I instantly fell in love with having a Kir before dinner (white wine with a splash of cassis) and red with dinner. My rules of ONLY chardonnay with everything went straight out the window, as for the first time I tried pinot noir, merlot, cabernet and shiraz. As my stay in France extended, it became fun for me to play around with food and wine pairings, creating “masterpieces” in my tiny apartment and then rushing across the street to the tiny MonoPrix to buy a bottle (or two) of different wine for only two euros.
Enter six months later, back in the States and in the middle of my crazy curriculum at Le Cordon Bleu. Even through all the craziness, I still tried to maintain the sense of wine elegancy that I learned in Paris, and tried to savor a glass of wine every night at dinner….no matter what dinner was. Sometimes I would just have an omelet or a veggie burger, but that glass of wine made everything seem more classy and the food just taste so much better! And finding good wine didn’t mean to had to break the bank either….you just have to know what you like and what to look for!
My interest in wine grew even more with my long awaited Wine and Beverage class at school. I mean, tasting wine for a grade…..does it even GET better than that?! For three weeks, five hours a day, I studied everything possible on wines around the world. Every Friday we had tastings (could a Friday get any better?) and weekly tests and quizzes. The class was great but I really think I learned most of what I know through the pre-test “wine jeopardy” that my instructor had us play. My competitive spirit totally took hold of me and not to toot my own horn, but I won every time. Put me in a room full of boys who think they know their stuff and it gets me going every time….hahahahaha 😉
Although I love wine I’m definitely not a wine snob. Its actually one of my biggest pet peeves when I hear people say, “oh, I don’t drink merlot”…or “oh, I only drink wine from that vintage.” Gag me. Wine is good if YOU like it. It doesn’t have to be fancy or from a certain vintage or remote vineyard in Italy. And the only way to discover what you like is to taste more! Even if you think you don’t like wine right now, I promise that if you go to some tastings and try different kinds, you will find one that suits your personality and tastes. As for me, I know I like lighter reds. Pinot noirs, merlots, light cabs…..I like wines that you can have with food or without food and that don’t destroy your tongue with tannins.
This week in honor of my upcoming interview with Murphy-Goode I will be giving you all Jenna’s version of Wine 101.
But in all honesty, though I LIKE wine, I really don’t even know anything close
to everything about it. I just know what tastes good to me and a general picture of what its all about, so that’s what I shall share with you!