Wine. I love it. Red. White. Rose. Sparkling. All are in my good books.
France is number 1 at making it.
No, I am not saying they are the best (but they do a very good job) but they do make the most of it.
Since my love affair with it began, I am more in love with it today than when we met.
I cannot say that about many things.
At first, I was introduced to it do the “vendanges” which is the grape harvest in Switzerland.
Yes, Switzerland makes wine.
The year was 1996 and I needed to make some extra cash while traveling. It was such a memorable experience. Waking up at 7, hitting the vineyards, having a glass by 9:30am—I love it when drinking on the job is encouraged!
Since then and especially in the last 7 years or so I have developed a great appreciation and tolerance for this fermented grape liquid.
I must confess I have acted snobby and silly towards it and am slightly embarrassed of my behavior. It is like wine is the cool kid in school and you have to say the right thing and wear the right clothes in order to be their friend.
I think the more wine knowledge you get the less snobby and pretentious you become. Like confident yet humble people, I think if you know you don’t need to boast.
I recently just took the level 2 Wine and Spirit Education Trust course. This certifies me to be really annoying to people who are not into wine at all.
But I digress.
My point is that I had the most fantastic instructor. This guy knows alot about wine.
He was so un-judgmental and open with his views on it I was almost taken aback.
I approached him with like an eager 5 year old on the first day of Kindergarten
“You know everything! Now give me your opinion!”
But he didn’t.
He just let you decide.
If he didn’t share your opinion, stated why, the reasons and in the most non-condescending way.
What it taught me most of all was two things:
1. Wine is Objective2. Wine is Subjective
Yup. Some people only drink red. A red over $75 dollars in a restaurant.
Some people only drink red. A red under $ 15 dollars in the liquor store.
Some people love white. Some love white with bubbles but ONLY if the bubbles were carbonated from a specific area in France.
Some people don’t give a shit and will drink whatever is put in front of them.
And the right answer to how to drink wine is all of the above.
Because really, if it makes you happy, you are having a good time and the wine is enhancing whatever experience you are in, then that is what it is all about.
I have been pretty damn blessed to get to drink some lovely wines while here. The other night we did a blind tasting of some Bordeaux's.
I was able to identify each (cough cough--boast-ing) but really what that means is that the wine course taught me to dissect wine and identify its particular traits, characteristics and flavours.
So, while the most expensive bottle definitely was the most complex and had a lot going on, it was not the most desirable on the palate.
Which brings me to the moral of this story.
Since, I have been here, I have drunk a considerable amount of wine.
What kind you ask?This kind
A rose from Provence in a box. That retails for around 10 Euros. For 5 litres!
Oh and this is the latest aperitif to hit France.
Grapefruit juice/syrup and Rose.
Don’t judge me.
BUT, taste it and then tell me it isn't like a boozey non-carbonated pink Fresca dream.
Seriously. It is delicious. If the word wine wasn't on the box it wouldn't be under such harsh criticism.
Hot days demand a cool refreshing drink and in the wise words of my wine instructor “When I am at the beach in July I don’t want a Chateau Margeaux, I want a cool $10 dollar bottle of Pinot Grigio or a light Rose”
Amen. And cheers.