Well folks, the weekend is well underway and I’m already nursing a bit of a hangover. It’s an itty bitty one so, I don’t mind. And the wine that gave it to me was worth the risk. A night spent with friends and good wine is my favorite kind of night.
I am a wine snob. Not like a rich white guy kind of snob but a, “only half of the country drinks wine and mostly just Franzia, why people why” kind of snob. It started meagerly enough, playing drinking games with Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon in my formative years. Then once my love of food and dining and living began, thats when my teeth turned REALLY purple.
Over time I’ve learned to enjoy the lushness of a Pinot Noir, the fruit-heaviness of a Bordeaux, even the most “boring” of the bunch, the Merlot. (That was sarcasm I want to point out, Merlot is one of the best grapes there is.) I worked in a French restaurant so most of my knowledge is based around Old World wines (meaning wines that have had grape vines in the ground for a very, very long time. Europe has most of these.) I don’t drink much American wines, though proud I am of our viticultural takeover of the wine world. Being that as it may, I’m of the mindset that I should constantly be learning. And when you’re learning about wine, the best way to take it all in, is to try every one you can find.
Here is a short wine lesson for those who would like to experiment with me:
Wine – Fermented grape juice
Fermentation – The process of sugar turning into alcohol (naturally done in the old days, now a modern process)
Grape – There are many names for what grapes are in a wine (they vary from region to region in the world, not confusing in the least)
Vintage – The year the grapes were grown. The same wine from the same winemaker from two different years could taste completely different. This is due to the region in which the grapes grow’s terroir.
Terroir – Everything natural where the grape is grown. Temperature, soil, water, etc.
Reading a bottle – Pinot Noir is a French grape. If you buy an American Pinot Noir, it will say simply “Pinot Noir” on the label. Easy peasy. However, Pinot Noir in France is grown in a region called Burgundy. There are sub regions also so it can get pretty specific. A French label will say Burgundy (although, it will say Burgundy in French. Bear with me.)
Those are the basics. Like I said before, however, you won’t really know anything about wine until you drink it! Over the course of the evening, H, some friends, and I enjoyed an Australian red called 19 Crimes. Juicy and velvety, it was a good bottle for under 10 bucks.
Frankly, we were having too good of a time to discuss the notes of the wine in depth. I’ll make sure to at least write a few things down in the future. But for now, at least with this bottle, Australian wines are ok by me.
Tell me friends, what is your favorite bottle under 10 bucks?