Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wine, glorious wine.

I never intended to be a wineo. I'm just a nice girl from the Midwest! Swear!

I'm proud of my wine knowledge, which I will say is about a 5 on a scale of 1-10. It's pretty amazing considering 12 years ago the only wine that had gone down this gullet was Boone Hill Strawberry Farm (which is, for the record, is NOT wine). My first introduction to wine was through a very classy friend who reminded me of the San Francisco version of Audrey Hepburn: she wore black turtlenecks wool-knee length skirts, had her hair in a bun and caressed her Merlot wine glass lightly as she spoke of books and politics. Drinking wine seemed so much more demure than guzzling a beer, or doing shots. Uh, so unrefined!

Sometime into my 21st year I was introduced to wine tasting. Wine tasting is an excellent excuse to drink because not only are you drinking, you are also learning. My first wine tasting experience was while studying abroad in Germany - Rieslings and the dreaded Gewurztraminer. I wasn't too much a fan (still am not) of the white variety unless very dry. Don't even think about giving me something sweet or, worse yet, buttery. I'm not a fan of malolactic fermentation. I did fall in love with Sauvignon Blanc (Fume Blanc is also a nice name), French and Italian reds while traveling in Europe.

Upon returning to California, I went wine tasting on the Central Coast and expanded my palette a bit more. About this time, Charles Shaw (2 buck Chuck) was introduced at Trader Joe's. Although I knew there were better wines out there, for $2 a bottle - a bunch of college girls might as well keep a case around the house just in case!

One summer out of college, I dated a sommelier who introduced me to some more expensive varietals. I learned there are other whites that I enjoy that are not Chardonnay. I then found myself kicking down 20 bucks for a bottle, although maybe on a special occasion. A few years later, I found my way to Sonoma and the Russian River Valley. Then Napa, and now. . . I'll spend $40 or more on a bottle. No problem.

This past weekend, I discovered Oregon wine tasting. Yet another region to add to the wine list.

Unfortunately wine is incredibly dehydrating, and a 5 ounce pour has between 100-110 calories. But, who pours only 5 ounces at a time? Furthermore, who has just one glass of wine? Not this girl. I enjoy my red in the biggest glass possible, and that glass gets refilled at least once.

An evening with a nice meal followed by wine drinking usually makes for a lazy day following. When I'm training, I really need to follow the equal-parts-wine-to-water rule, or just not drink any wine at all. Dehydration causes a lazy day following, which is unacceptable if I need to go out and do a bike ride; not to mention, uncomfortable.

The other problem with being a wineo: alcohol makes me SO hungry. I can eat dinner, go out for cocktails, and be starving 2 hours later. Oh it gets worse. My favorite late night snack is . . . cheese. Served with . . . crackers (of course). I'll save my Cheese, glorious, cheese post for another time.


  1. You dated a sommelier? I am jealous. Actually, I want to be a sommelier, except I know next to nothing about wine other than I love all of it (except rose and even then at times I will make an exception). I think I need to be a pourer at a winery. BTW have you had pub cheese? We get this horseradish pub cheese from WF ... best drunk food ever.

    1. The sommelier didn't last long. He liked wine more than he liked me. LOL! I think we should open a winery. Do you have any land, knowledge of viticulture, or maybe about a million bucks? Me neither. Damn.

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