It was love at first sight, although I cannot recall exactly when it was. I’m thinking its been at least nine or ten years now. I had played around with the idea but never became serious about it. I didn’t know exactly what I would be getting myself into. I questioned if it would reciprocate the same love back to me? At the time I thought I only liked a certain type or would only be drawn to a certain type. So I was unsure of it all.
Upon our initial introduction I was intimidated, as one could imagine. I kept hearing the stories of lush but tried to push it away. My girlfriend would say, “you have to give it a chance!” After months of pleading I figured why not. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it, I probably just needed to get my feet wet.
So we made preparations to attend an expo, a meet and greet if you will, to see what this was all about. I was still thinking this is too far out of my lane. But at the same time it was exciting to embrace its richness, its history, its process, as well as its growth. The more I was around it, the more it grew on me. It was getting easier.
Ah, I think I’m in love!
It gave me a very warm feeling inside. I was captivated by its sweetness and how suddenly I felt like it was a Spring day; admiring the outdoors, when really it was mid Winter. That’s when I KNEW I was in love. I really didn’t want this feeling to ever go away.
*(The pictures are coming, bare with me)*
I was eager to learn; to taste the culture and its ripeness. It made me jump up and down. It was beautiful and bold. It was savory and romantic. It was chill. It was warm. It paired well. It brought out different flavors and attitudes within me that I didn’t even know existed. It complimented me. I was giddy and glee and perhaps now I was a part of the club?
Until, things changed. I craved for something bolder. Something a little more mellow and crisp. I wanted something to hold me down. I needed base and I wanted “it” to be in control. Man, this was confusing. I started to question my love. But I still kept at it. Because we all know that love is a choice. It is something we have to wake up and choose each and every day. Finally, I realized that my love hadn’t changed but how I wanted it had changed. I was growing. I was sprouting. My buds had been cultivating and my palate was changing. All because………………………..
…………………………………………….I fell in love with…………………………WINE!
So the story is true. I’ve been a huge wine fan for a while now. When I first started I loved the sweet stuff. The Moscatos and fruity wines. Today, my favorites consist of a good Chardonnay or a Semi Dry Riesling. I like that crispness that goes on a journey within your mouth on every sip. The saying is true, the more you drink wine the stronger your palate becomes and the more you can tolerate the Reds and the bolder wines.
Growing consisted of the 4 S’s for me. Swirl. Smell. Sip. Savor. This was my growth. It took time. Years even. But it happened. Am I where I want to be? No way! I believe in being totally honest, and with that said, I am not the biggest Red Wine fan or the really dark wines likes Merlot and such. But I have ran across a few that I could tolerate. I grow more and more each year. This is what is most important.
My favorite thing to do is to visit wineries, or wine festivals, and expos. It is really the best way to figure out what type of wine you like. Literally, you can taste hundreds of wines and just buy your favorites. At these wine expos and festivals they will have about 35 different wineries across the state represented. Each winery will offer about 8 or more wines for tasting. You pay a flat rate to enter, usually in advance, and while there you can taste an unlimited number of wines. Now, you may think that a little tasting will not add up to much. But if you visit at least 20 of the different wineries represented by the end of the night you will walk out of there feeling really great. Of course you can purchase wine by the glass to drink or by the bottle to drink either there or to take home. I’ve left an expo or festival with as many as 6 bottles before.
An expo will run you about $45 dollars but it’s and all day affair with unlimited wine tasting. Just be willing to stand in some lines. Festivals tend to be a little cheaper, anywhere between $25-35, typically outdoors, but still a great way to learn about some of your favorite wines and to buy locally from wineries in your State.
While I love going to expo’s and festivals, my personal favorite thing to do is going to wineries. You can make it an all day thing. Gas up the car and try to squeeze in as many wineries as possible. There are apps out there that will show you were wineries are located within your state. Plus, wineries are cheaper, they are less crowded, therefore they (the workers) are able to be more personable with you. A tasting can run you between $0-12 per person. You will perhaps taste about 8 of their different wines. It just depends on the winery. Sometimes they will even include a free wine glass with the tasting. If I like a particular wine, I’ll ask for another taste, do not be ashamed. At least you will know if it is something you want to buy. Allow yourself time to take in the scenery. To sip and savor every moment. Enjoy some of their á la carte items and if you’re lucky enough you may be able to go on a tour.
About 98% of the wine in my collection comes from an expo, festival, or winery that I’ve been to. So I know I’ll like it once I open it. I like to consider myself a wine collector (I also collect corks, glasses, stoppers, and just about anything wine related). Yes, I’ll drink it eventually but I am a social drinker. I don’t just sit at home and just drink wine by the glass. It’s funny that many people think that I do! When I feel like doing that I’ll run to the nearest grocery or local wine store and get a bottle. I like saving my good stuff for when I am creating memories.
If you live on the East Coast, Virginia is considered to be the Napa Valley of the East. You can find some really good wines in Virginia. So this Spring…….be sure to get out there and to find your love!
I’d love to hear about your wine story and how you have grown on your wine journey. Or perhaps it’s something you want to get into? Feel free to ask me any questions.
To hear more about my wine collection and the journey I take with wine in 2018 be sure to hit the follow button so that you don’t miss out!