Sunday, August 10, 2008
My wine is fine
Friends recently introduced me to a wonderful zinfandel. I marveled at its complexity, noting pepper and berry overtones—a perfect compliment to the marinated tri-tip.
These friends began teaching me about wine years ago, guiding me toward the pinnacle of red-wine connoisseur. Sommelier is not in my future though… I dutifully progressed from white zin to Riesling, to Sauvignon Blanc (a very short stop) to Pinot Gris to chardonnay…and there I’ve stayed…buttery, toasty chardonnays are my wine of choice.
I’ve been apologetic regarding my wine immaturity, waiting patiently for my taste buds to develop. My friends understand, making sure a wonderful bottle of chardonnay is chilled when I visit. My attempts at providing suitable reds for their visits have been less successful, something I plan to remedy. Oregon is known for its Pinot Noirs—I just need to find out why…
As these thoughts ran through my mind yesterday, I had a revelation. In the shower of all places—the only time I have complete privacy and uninterrupted thoughts.
Pondering my wine plateau, wondering why it felt so comfortable, the answer arrived, clearly and cleanly (shower humor). My favorite flavors are vanilla, butter, apple—all found within the flavor spectrum of chardonnay wine. Toasty oak is in the spectrum too, although that’s an acquired wine taste—I avoid gnawing on oak trees, despite growing up during the Euell Gibbons era. I also love chicken, pasta and cream sauces—I rarely crave red meat and am not too fond of berries.
So, there you have it—I enjoy chardonnay because it compliments my food choices. Chances are, I’ll never ascend the red-wine peak, although I enjoy learning about reds and their intriguing layers of complexity.
We’re surrounded by vineyards—if I visit one per month, tapping their extensive knowledge, I’ll hold my own at local gatherings. Slipping smoothly into red-wine conversations, no longer baffled by strange terminology and unfamiliar palate comparisons, interjecting compelling wine-food parings, I’ll maintain an aura of wine sophistication. Doing so while simultaneously sipping a golden, chilled chardonnay should add confusion and intrigue…of course, blonds have more fun. Cheers!