Monday, July 25, 2011

Exploring Wine

Bar tender: “What will you be havin’ to drink this evenin’ ma’am?”
My mom: “Could I see a wine list? What type of wine do you have?”
Bar tender: “We have… white or red.”
My mom: “I’ll have a Bud Light.” 


According to the American Wine Institute, Americans consumed 2.54 gallons of wine per person during 2010. That’s up over 200 million total gallons since 2000. It's clear that Americans have a growing love of bar culture and a yearning for a sophisticated palate. 

Specialty wine bars are popping up in almost every city and even some rural towns. In NYC you find bars that serve only Italian, French, Spanish or Californian varietals. Sommeliers are becoming more common at less pricy restaurants which shows that not just fancy people are interested in enjoying a well rounded meal. It seems we have come a long way from “white or red”.

The problem with this new wine culture is that although ones palate recognizes the tastiness of the wine, one might lack the vocabulary, experience, or skill to quantify what is "good" (Do I like Pino Grigio? What brand was it that we had last weekend?). There seems to be a lag between the spreading availability of good wine and the public's ability to distinguish it as such. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say, "I would like the Multipulciano" and know why?

Presenting: a new series about wine! I am by no means a trained sommelier however I am passionate about eating and drinking. I want that glass of nectar to fulfill my sense of entitlement after a long day at the office (“I deserve this wine, pizza, chocolate cake…”) or to compliment my pasta, veggies, hummus, or Oreos. I love what wine tells you about a region's history, priorities, and palate. You can virtually visit France every time you have a sip of Bordeaux. Most importantly, I love getting together with my girlfriends or meeting my husband for a date to catch up while we indulge in something delicious and sexy.

In this series, I hope to describe what to expect from the glass of wine in terms that are relatable and accessible (and entertaining!). I would like to give you the tools to confidently make a selection whether you are going out or staying in. I will journal my consumption and post reviews of the wines I drink. The subjects will be rated by my desire (not actual consumption!) to drink a few sips, a glass, a few glasses, or the bottle. I will do my best to keep the price point around/below $20 when at the store and around/below $40 when dining out. 

More to come, cheers!

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