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Snooth User: Debbie Dobbins

Debbie Siobhan Warner, Sommelier and Wine Writer 'why am I writing about wine?'

Posted by Debbie Dobbins, Jul 26, 2012.


When people find out I am a sommelier they often ask what my favourite wine is and what I like to drink at home. My answer to both is the same; it depends on my mood, the occasion, the company, what I am eating and often the weather.

I live surrounded by the countryside and work with a panoramic view of Watergate Bay, it would be hard not to be inspired by these beautiful ever-changing natural surroundings.

Another source of inspiration for my choice of wine is of course food. Like many I am passionate about eating local and seasonal produce and I find that my choices of wines seem to change seasonally with my veg box; fruity, fragrant Valpolicellas to go with the delicious sweet and slightly aromatic squashes frequenting my veg boxes over the Autumn and Winter, crisp green Semillion-Sauvigon blends for the bounty of peas and asparagus that come with Spring and the mere thought of eating strawberries in the Summer sun has me dreaming of Pink Moscato.

For me it is also important to consider who I will be enjoying the wine with and the occasion. Opening a bottle of wine and appreciating it with people can be a wonderful shared experience. I love drinking Prosecco with my girl friends and choosing big, interesting reds to share with my husband because I know he will like them. On my wedding day I enjoyed a bottle of my favourite Alsace Gewurztraminer with my Dad, to my surprise he loved it as much as I did. Drinking it next to him while we gorged on the wedding breakfast is such a happy memory. Ever since when I visit my parents I take a bottle of Alsace Gewurtztraminer, it’s distinctive, rich, opulent, exotic flavours transport me back to the marquee in the middle of a field, on a beautiful summers day, surrounded by all my favourite people, drinking wine with my Dad and I can’t help but feel deeply happy, I hope it’s the same for my Dad.

I’m hoping to record the wines (and sometimes other drinks) I fall in and sometimes back out of love with…


Reply by Calamus, Jul 26, 2012.


I really like the heart-felt down to earth realness of your post. It comes down to the human experience and pleasure and memory. I just told my mom that right now I am appreciating literature, textiles, wine, and food equally because they are such a part of our culture and of our deeply personal experiences. Yet, they are something we all share. We can all recall the feel of certain fabrics. Maybe it is grandma's sweater. We can all recall flavour. That unforgettable meal combined with the magic of company and wine...

Look forward to reading more about your "fall in and sometimes back out of love with....".




Reply by Mike Madaio, Jul 26, 2012.

Great post!

Reply by Clare Goggin Sivits, Jul 26, 2012.

Welcome, Debbie!

Reply by EMark, Jul 26, 2012.

Great post, Debbie.  I look forward to learning more from you.

I am not a sommelier, and, in fact,  I hardly qualify as an informed enthusiast.  However, I have always struggled with the "What's your favorite (U.S. spelling) wine?" question.  Unfortunately, the questioner is usually looking for a "quick sound bit" easy answer.  So, I will give him one.  I will honestly answer that I favor California red wines--somewhat, but not terribly, specific.  I will then watch the response.  If I see curiosity, I will venture into the more correct answer--that my appreciation of wine is a point in time and space.  Just as in your response the surroundings influence my appreciation and, so, noble red wine may not be as satisifying in one circumstance as, like in your case, a Gewurztraminer from Alsace--or a Gewurztraminer from Anderson Valley.

Here is my least favorite question:  "What is the best wine?"  That one frustrates me to death.

Reply by JonDerry, Jul 26, 2012.

Excellent Debbie, that's what it's all about. Inspiration and life long memories through wine, surrounding vineyards, and the all the people involved in making it.

Siobhan's a great middle name too ; )

Reply by Debbie Dobbins, Jul 26, 2012.

Thanks for all the response- I look forward to discovering, enjoying and sharing delicious wines with you all! 

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