Friday, April 27

Blessings of the Grapes

On Saturday I'll be travelling up to one of my favorite places - Autumn Hill Winery. For one thing - it is a beautiful drive and tomorrow should be a nice day for that. And the other thing...the wine!

I admit that I like drinking wine. I have admitted that before in this forum... But I equally enjoy helping other people learn more about wine. Working as a volunteer wine educator for Autumn Hill gives me the chance to talk almost non-stop about one of my favorite topics!

Too often I think that wine aficionados want to keep their knowledge to themselves. To preserve either an air of mystery about the art of wine tasting - or just be elitist snobs. You know the type... they sniff and swirl and talk about things tasting like black currants (when is the last time you ate a black currant?) or cigar boxes. They discuss the relative merits of various chateaus or how much they spent on some really incredible Bordeaux. But they always discuss it with an attitude.

I'm not like that. Sure - I'll tell you everything that you want to know about the process, the grape varietal or why some wines are dry (vs. sweet). I'll explain what is meant by body and/or mouth feel. But I will never tell you what you are going to taste (those are not my taste buds in your how would I know?) and I will rarely dismiss someone else's opinion on a particular wine (family members excluded...).

Wine appreciation is very much a matter of perspective. My tastes are constantly evolving - and largely dependent upon mood or accompanying food. I have even been known to drink from a bottle of Boone's Farm. So relax - enjoy!

If you want to learn and experience wine in a non-judgmental atmosphere - I hope that you will make up to visit Autumn Hill (or many of the Virginia wineries). Just know that AH is only open for 3 events per year and I usually only pour on one of those days. The admission is $7 but includes a nifty glass (I have about a dozen in my collection) and for the event this weekend there is also a tasty selection of cheeses to nibble.

Come drink with me! My sponsor tells me not to drink alone!!

I'm sure that is what he meant.

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