Monday, August 4, 2014

The journey begins...

Today I begin a journey. One of self-discovery, comings of age, episodes of deep regret and intense sensory overload all served alongside copious amounts of that sweet liquid of the gods... wine. I've always dreamed of living a life where I can take a dive into a pristine pool of Pinot Grigio or lie on a bed while ripe Cabernet grapes fall from the sky like American Beauty (in this fantasy I look a lot like Mira Sorvino and the grapes don't smash and stain my delicate satin sheets). But alas, my childhood fantasies of Willie Wonka-esque oenophilia are left to die with Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, and I'm forced to find a more realistic avenue for centering my life around my most favored beverage. I've decided to embark on a journey towards becoming a member of one of the most elite groups of people in the world... The Court of Master Sommeliers. It’s crazy, I know. But I think one must be at least a little crazy to do such a thing. And have a completely obsessive personality. So I think I’ll be just fine.

My first encounter with this heavenly substance was at the tender age of (don’t tell my Mom) 15 years. I remember watching my Mom drink this beautiful and elegant looking pink wine out of this fancy stemmed glass which at this point in my life I equated with glamorous movie stars. I knew I had to have it. As in most teenage drinking stories, this one begins with my mother stepping out for the evening. My eyes widened when I opened the fridge and saw it sitting there on the shelf… beckoning. With shaky hands and shifty eyes I lifted the enormous bottle out and onto the counter, and grabbed a wine glass out of the cabinet. The familiar sound of glass clinking sent shivers down my spine. This was it. My time had come. I poured a ridiculous amount and sat down at the table. I fluffed my hair and readied myself, pinky out, and closed my eyes while I lifted the glass to my lips. As the cold, delicate wine slithered across my tongue and down my throat I thought to myself, this is absolutely horrible. I won’t name a brand because I realize this particular winemaker does have some quality wines out there but it was the ever so ubiquitous white zinfandel. Yogurty and sweet, it tasted like my strawberry Dannon had been left on the counter a few days too many. I spit it out and returned to the table. Confused and enraged. How could something so beautiful taste this way? Could it be that this whole time I have been completely delusional??  It was at this very moment that I realized that cold, hard truth. I was a wine snob.

Both my Mother and I have come a long way from the days of 1.5L bottles of cheap white zinfandel. The more I tasted, the more I sniffed and appreciated, the more I paired and compared different wines from different regions, the more I understood exactly how much that wine could effect my life. I truly enjoy it. There’s something about a glass of wine that can transport you to another place and time. When I have a long day I like nothing better than to sit at a picnic table in a Napa Valley vineyard, eat fresh cheeses and enjoy a glass of wine straight from the barrel, all from the comfort of my living room in Orlando, Florida. It provides an out of body experience. A lucid dream that I can make whatever I want. I guess you could say, wine is the imaginary friend to my inner child. And what could be more satisfying to a little girl, than that very special kindred spirit materializing and becoming reality. In vino veritas!

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