Sunday, April 1, 2012

How much wine do you taste before it counts as binge drinking

Neither me nor The Awesome wife are dedicated wine drinkers. She can't hold her alcohol much and I prefer beer most of the time. I like myself a good crafted ale or an amber. Of course, if I let myself develop a habit of drinking good beer every night I will stop fitting through doors pretty fast. That is why me and The Awesome wife decided, that it wouldn't hurt us if we could enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. For health purposes of course. As I said before we are not into wine too much. I drink wine when the occasion calls for it, a dinner with friends who are more or less educated, or a good Italian place. I would always drink something dry, and my wife prefers a lighter and sweeter fare of white wines. But we are always at the mercy of strangers when it comes to wines.

Several months ago we purchased a GroupOn that allowed us to go and enjoy one hour of wine tasting at WineStyles. We actually have two or three in our suburb and the suburbs nearby. After careful planning and several unsuccessful attempts and reschedules we finally went to taste some wine.

Now, I am a cynic. Big one. When people talk about big bold tastes, and fruity essences, and oaken finishes, and floral aromas I believe they are talking bunch of non-sense and usually are full of crap. A normal attitude of one uneducated in finer points of wine enjoyment. However, I wanted to learn, I wanted to know what others know about wine. So we went with open minds to try some wines.

We were met by a pleasant individual, a cross between Trader Joe's aficionado and a coffee house barrista. He was not snobby, nor was he snooty. He was fairly down to earth, and tried his best to explain to us the differences between different types of ones, and how the characterisations actually taste. We've tasted quite a bit along the way. Started with a chardonnay and happily moved along to a blend of two whites, I can't remember what they were, possibly Sauvignon and Chablis. After that we've tried a pretty good rose wine from somewhere in Napa. Finally, as if the alcohol plank wasn't high enough yet, we went to reds, trying a blend of something something red and heavy, and finishing off with a nice dose of Malbec.

Since our plans for the evening involved a Comedy Club I couldn't stop there and still drank a healthy pint of Blue Moon. Oh! Happy days.

I can't claim to understand the wines better now, after the tastings, but I am pretty certain that if I go to a wine or spirits store I can describe exactly what I feel like drinking. I won't pretend to tell a good wine from a cheap imitation (I learned rule number one, don't look at the price tag, read the label). I will be able to discern the difference between the types of wines and the probable taste of an unknown bottle.

We brought back two bottles home with us. A bottle of that Malbec for me, which I really liked. My wife brought back a bottle of a very crisp and fresh Spatlese wine with a German name that I can't even pronounce. Both bottles have been making us very happy these last couple of evenings.

Thank you Joe from WineStyles!


Ilya said...

Er, don't kid yourself, bro. You won't be able to tell the difference between the wines even after a dozen of such tastings. I do approve the Malbec, though. And Gewurtztraminer, which is probably what the unpronouneable wine is, is always fun.

Konstantin Burlak said...

Indeed. But, I did learn couple of general things about wine, tasted couple of excellent one, and if I try I can pretty much figure out if it's something I am going to enjoy.

What else is needed. Oh, yeah. A bottle opener.