I haven’t always had a passion for wine. Years ago, I used to own a cheese company. While at the Farmer’s Market one Wednesday afternoon, one of our clients invited me to attend a wine education course at a local winery and asked that I bring some cheese to share with everyone. I thought it might be fun to do, so I went. I was intimidated to say the least. I mean, yes, I grew up with wine at our table – my Mom is from Italy, my Dad from Argentina – so it wasn’t like I didn’t know that wine came from grapes or anything like that. But there were these people, sitting in chairs, all sipping wines and talking about them in a language I didn’t quite understand and the only thing I could think of was how good a cold beer would taste right about now.
Since that day, I’ve immersed myself in the world of wines – tasting every single one I can get my hands on. I’ve researched wines and winemakers and learned why they are so passionate about their crafts – and I want to be a part of that world. Every wine has a story as to how it came about, whether it be the Catholic Priest in China making wine for Mass or the dreamer from Davis, California who interned at a winery in Napa – every wine has a history that adds to its mystique, to its character, to its being. This is what intrigues me, not the nose, not its taste, but its Story.
It’s the Story of the wine that makes me linger on the aroma just a little longer to see if it can transport me their origin. The tranquility of the vineyard, the smell of the grapes, the dirt, the fruit, the weather of where the grapes were grown. To see if the aroma has a calming affect on me, makes me anxious, or makes me cringe.
It’s the Story of the wine that makes me appreciate the color of the wine. The care that was taken to obtain just the right hues of red and white and the science, or accidents, utilized to get the color just right. It is that story that makes me want to wash my comforter in it so that my bedroom can pay homage to its shade – something that my good friends laugh at because every time I taste a red wine that holds that deep, rich shade, I express my desire to own a comforter in that color – maybe one day.
It’s the Story that influences the taste of the wine. A wine that was just “ok” takes on a new life when you learn that the winemaker named it after his Nanny because while growing up, she was the one that taught him about wine and to this day he wants to pay her homage for teaching him the love of wine, or the wine that was named after the Grandfather who instilled values of hard work and appreciation for the land into the Grandchildren.
Wine may be perishable, but their stories are not. Their stories live on as long as they have a voice and a platform. Every one of us has a story, and thus has found a passion. Wine is my passion. Maybe it’s because I grew up loving to read, that I can relate to wine. It is my new book of choice, something I can’t download on my iPad, but rather a vessel that I can touch, feel, taste, and see. Something that I can experience with its Author who may be sharing a glass with me. It is a glimpse in the life of this fairy tale I can be a part of and where we all live happily ever after…