Friday, May 15, 2009

Weaning myself away from cheap beer, enjoying a blind tasting or two and the search for the next great Chateauneuf

My intense love affair with wine began shortly after college, when I was desperate to escape the doldrums of a lonely, beer-addled lifestyle. I thought to myself, there has to be a more suitable drink for a woman about to embark on a life of luxury and excess (those were my thoughts BEFORE the first paycheck from my small town TV gig). Alas, I began a new beverage relationship, and unlike the steaminess of a summertime tryst that ends before it begins, my interest has never waned. I have an admitted weakness for Tempranillos, Amarones and jammy California Zins, but my undying love is reserved for the gorgeous and velvety reds of the Rhone, particularly the divinely-inspired Chateauneuf du Pape. This wondrous blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre will always have my heart. What I really enjoy is gathering a group of fellow oenophiles at my place, each armed with an eager smile and a special bottle. Sometimes the tasting is blind, other times we know exactly what each of the others have brought to the table. Every one of these occasions turns into a special evening to remember. I don't know of any other beverage on earth that evokes such energy and that intense feeling of community that arises from the sharing of good wine. With that being said, I would love to hear your thoughts on wine: what types you like to drink, maybe about the time you marked a special occasion by opening a terrific bottle; perhaps you can tell me about an incredible producer you've just been turned onto that you'd like the rest of us to discover. Either way, talking about wine is fun and can take your mind off of more pressing issues: like scraping together enough cash to pay for that next great Chateauneuf that might be waiting for me at the next tasting.

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