Wine Talk

Snooth User: RexSeven

How did your wine interest start?

Posted by RexSeven, Dec 2, 2014.

Mine started about six years ago when I met my wife.  We played volleyball in an adult league against each other and hit it off at the bar after.  We never drank wine together (only lots of beer) and the subject never came up.  We had been "dating" a few weeks when I invited her over to make us dinner.  She said she would bring a bottle of wine.  I didn't think a thing of it.  We both really liked the wine with the red sauce pasta I had made and we regularly had wine after that when we ate together.

We both took a liking to wine and explored wines together.  Her sister asked us later about our new wine habit and my wife said  that she brought a bottle of wine the first night because I liked wine and I thought she brought it because she liked it.

Strange how our hobby today resulted because the both of us thought the other person already had the bug.

Replies

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Reply by GregT, Dec 3, 2014.

Came randomly but basically because of future in-laws about 25 years ago. I thought they knew all about wine and I didn't know that there was no such thing, but I wanted to learn at least enough so that I didn't seem clueless. Turns out they liked wine but really were as far from being fanatics as you can be. I didn't really figure that out until much later but by that time I was interested enough to keep learning.

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Reply by dvogler, Dec 3, 2014.

I was born and raised Mormon and never tasted alcohol until I was essentially an "ex" Mormon at 20 years old.  It was some really crappy Champagne and I had a horrible hangover.  It was some time later, while living in Redding Ca., that I started drinking the occasional glass of Cab Sav with dinner out.  Then my wife and I moved to Victoria BC (where I'm from) and I would have the odd bottle of Italian because a teammate (competitive cycling) was Italian and liked wine with dinner.  It wasn't really until I ended up living near Seattle (2005) that I started drinking wine regularly.  Nothing much that I'd drink now, but I do remember getting Mirassou and Erath.  Then a girl I did a renovation for shared some Amarone with me and I was HOOKED.  SO, until about 2010, I pretty much only drank big Italians.  I collected Amarone, Barolo and Brunello.  Now I've branched out, but am enjoying good BC wine mostly now, occasionally having a great wine from elsewhere.  Verbose I know...okay. that's it.

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Reply by Melissa08, Dec 3, 2014.

My interest started in the '90's. My brother worked for Jonnie Walker and I started drinking single malts.  Then my brother hosted a dinner tasting event for Moet Chandon; each course was paired with a champagne starting with forgettable White Star and ending with Dom.  That's how I became fascinated with sparkling.  Sometime last year I discovered Winelibrarytv.com.  Gary Vaynerchuk is occasionally annoying, but I find his reviews insightful and educational.  I've expanded my palette enormously by trying a wide range of wines recommended by him.  I've also learned to ignore wine scores since I've been let down by so many.

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Reply by dvogler, Dec 3, 2014.

Melissa, trying a wide range of wines to expand your palate is the best way.  Scores are a sort of guide, but mostly marketing.  A majority of the masses like to be told what to do (or guided, to use a better word).  To me it's like considering someone else's opinion on what colour is best or what underpants to buy.  Buy, try and make notes.  I can't listen to Gary.  WAY too wound up, but he is insightful.

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Reply by RexSeven, Dec 3, 2014.

RE: Scores - I have found that if you can find a particular reviewer that seems to have similar taste as you it helps.

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Reply by EMark, Dec 3, 2014.

College girl friend introduced me to wine.  Many will laugh at the brands that we drank, Almaden, Paul Masson (way before Orson Welles), maybe, if we felt flush, Inglenook, and, yes, of course, Lancers.  She went her way, and I went mine.  My appreciation of wine over the last forty-something years has never seen meteoric growth, but it has always seen growth.

On a related topic, people often like to talk about their "wow" or "epiphany" wines.  The one that I like to mention is one thatI bought in the mid-70s, a David Bruce Zinfandel.  This Zin, which had to have been a '72 or '73 vintage, and, I'm sure, cost me at least $9, came in at over 17% ABV. (There is also a fad these days disfavoring the alcohol content of many modern wines, a view that I do not endorse.)  We had it with a post-dinner fruit and cheese course sometime in the early 80s.  We were beside ourselves with this wine--even Mrs. EMark, who, on her most generous days is pretty neutral about red wines--still remembers it and gushes about it.  Of course I have no idea our opinion might be if we drank that wine, today.  Wine appreciation seems to be a dynamic experience.  Who knows, 10-20 years from now I might be a Pinot Noir bigot.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 4, 2014.

My family moved to California when I was 3 1/2.  The wine industry was nascent, or the fine wine business was.  We drank small glasses of beer with tacos, burgers and pizza on weekends, even as kids.  My mother cannot remember a time when I did not like beer.  On Sundays, we had wine with our dinner (eaten in the traditional afternoon slot, followed by a later supper).  My mother grew up Mormon, and my father didn't eat at table with his parents till he was much older, so I have no idea where they got these Europeanized ideas.  My sisters and I drank from small glasses which had sailing ships etched on them--we called them the schooner glasses, but they weren't like the beer schooners of the NW beer scene; they held maybe a couple ounces and were probably made for cordials.  We always had alcohol in the house--parents also drank cocktails (Dad, scotch, mostly; mom rarely) and had parties where wine and liquor was served.  We entertained my father's co workers and family friends and always had wine at those dinners.  A lot of the day to day wine wasn't very good, quite a bit of it was jug, but if my father came across a really good bottle at a good price, he brought it home.  When I was 11, I got buzzed for the first time on some Korbel sparkling (or maybe it was Andre, depends on how flush the parents were at the time) when I poured a second glass at Xmas Eve dinner.  Or maybe it was a third.  Didn't repeat that mistake until college.  By 15, my parents were willing to let me have a say in ordering wines at restaurants and I tended bar at their parties.  It was right around then I had two wines that made a big impression, both Napa Cabs.  One was Yverdon, a now-defunct winery.  My father bought it at Trader Joe's in Santa Ana when they were more of a rack jobber in the wine business, buying merchandise for cash from stressed companies.  It was good, and I remember the label.  But the wine that made me get serious was 1968 BV Cab (probably G de la T) that we had at a friend's place  right before we moved to Boston in 1978.  Mindblowing. Moving to Boston meant no access to wine like that on any regular basis, so I drank mostly beer in HS and college.  That was probably the era when European wines were resting on their laurels the most and using marketing instead of good winemaking.  "Reunite, tastes so nice."  "Chill a Cella."  Ugh.  While I was in college, my father moved back to the Bay Area and got a little involved in selling equipment to some big wineries, like Delicato.

After college I came back to the Bay Area, drank Cali wines--Zin, PN, Cab, some chard before my taste changed, Sauv Blanc.  Only foreign wine I drank was Champagne, and CdR at this one French place in SF.  Twenty years later I knew a lot about California, but nothing about the rest of the world's wines, pretty much.  Then a friend pushed me to spread my bets around maybe 10 years ago and drink things I couldn't get here.  I had a N. Rhone Syrah in Sonoma and that was all she wrote. My wife loves wine, albeit not as crazily as I do (she'd tell you I never get halfway into something), and she got me drinking Italian wine.    So it's almost like I started a wine interest twice. 

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Reply by Tahutsell, Dec 4, 2014.

I tasted wine first in college, but was always more of a beer or cider person at the time. At 20, I moved to Virginia and I worked night audit at a DoubleTree hotel for over a year on the weekends, Friday and Saturday night, and it seemed like I was always in the dark. I started looking for another job and landed at Grace Estate Winery in Crozet, Virginia, thinking I had stepped into Wonderland from the panoramic 5 mile radius view. Since then, I've been soaking up as much information as possible, only going on 7 and a half months now but it feels like more. I'm hoping to expand my horizons even more, broaden the topics I can discuss with patrons that pass through, and allow my love of wine to grow. I love the industry, and it is so community friendly out here in Virginia!!!
If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I'd love to hear any sort of trails I could wander down to expand my knowledge. I'm currently reading the Essentials of Wine Tastings, a book I borrowed from a potential Somm in training.

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Reply by vin0vin0, Dec 4, 2014.

In high school I started out with the sugary swill of Boonesfarm and Annie Greensprings. In college I found my calling with Canadian beer - Molson (Brador), Cinci, Labatts, ... It really wasn't until about 2006 that "real" wine entered my life.  In 2006 L and I took a trip to Southern Cal (San Diego, La Jolla) and on the recommendation of a friend did the Winter Barrel tasting in Temecula. We stayed at the South Coast Winery and on that Saturday and Sunday, the shuttle came and took us to the 20 wineries (10 each day) where they did the barrel tastings.  We had a blast!  At each winery you sampled the wines in barrel and had an app that was made to pair with the wine. Typically the winery also poured whatever they had open for their normal tasting.  Most of the wines were decent, some bad, some really good. We enjoyed the experience so much that we went back the next year and had an even better time. We discovered the trick, go to the first winery and buy a bottle of the best wine, open it on the shuttle and pass it around. The rest of the folks on the shuttle caught on quick to the idea. Since then, we've done many a wine-centric vacation.

My name is Vin0Vin0 and I am a wino.

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Reply by RexSeven, Dec 5, 2014.

I've never been on a "wine vacation" or to a winery.  We are planning to get on that soon.  We'd like to do a couple weeks to Australia sometime...love me some Aussie fruit.  California is on the near term list.  Jealous of some of the trips I see taken here.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 5, 2014.

R7, trips are nice, but being able to roll out of your bed and into a vineyard a la OT is far better.  No matter where you live, though, you can make wine part of your vacation--there are many great wine areas that are also near major cities or historical sites.  No coincidence, there, since civilization started so that we could drink fermented beverages, and thrived in places that were also hospitable to grapes.  So it doesn't have to be a "wine vacation."  Heck, first time I went to Italy with my family, it was specifically NOT supposed to be a wine vacation and I wound up meeting a great wine shop owner and discovering two new favorites from the area where I was staying.

Tahutsell, welcome aboard.  Good work getting a wine related job early--you can start to build a collection of wines that you might enjoy drinking with a lot of age.  For me, a 51 year old, buying Barolo that I hope to sit on for 20+ years is a testament to my optimism.  Read all you can, but drinking wine and making note of what you drink (even if only mentally) is more important.  Go to other wineries (and also to wineries outside your area) and take the full tour.  Get out in the vineyards and see how the grapes are grown.  Clay Mauritson says 95% of winemaking is not ruining great fruit.

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Reply by madmanny, Dec 5, 2014.

Hey Rex,

We caught the wine bug years ago with a trip to Napa.  My wife and I have always traveled extensively for business and were able to meet up there at the end of a trip.  We visited a few wineries and were hooked. We never really thought about nuances between wines before, other that red or white.  It was a terrific learning experience.  However, it was also a lot of fun.  People who tend to visit wineries are there to enjoy themselves and we found ourselves engaging in many enjoyable conversations, both with the guests and the proprietors.  We followed up with return visits to Napa, then Sonoma.  Since then, we've tried to make wine stops on many vacations in the US, including Santa Barbara, Washington, Oregon, NY (Long Island and the Finger Lakes), even our home state of NJ.  We've made visits in Portugal Australia, the Dalmatian coast (including Grgich in his native Croatia) plus multiple trips to Italy, Spain and France.  As they say in New Orleans (where they don't make wine that I'm aware of but sure know ho to drink it) "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"  

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Reply by Tbandcwfjourney, Dec 5, 2014.

My wine interest has been a progression (journey).  Bartending classes, cooking classes from professional chefs.  When you make food that delicious you have to have wine with it!  Local winery tours got hubby interested.  Having a great time explore pairings of all kinds.  Wine travel is next on the list.

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Reply by SecretSanta, Dec 5, 2014.

Welcome back Journey!

 


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