Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wine Sophisticate, I Am Not

Several years ago, when I was dating N8 the Great1, one could not have persuaded me to drink much of anything at all that was not vodka2. And, it is my contention, N8 the Great and I broke up ultimately over my insistence that ginger ale in a champagne flute is just as festive as sparkling wine during a fancy, pantyhose-required, Test Drive supper at the Fourth Story restaurant3.

Now that I'm a few years older and my palate has matured (ahem), I've discovered I love wine. I don't think there is enough emphasis on that. Let me re-iterate. I LOVE wine. I love the flavor, the colors, the pretty glasses, and, most especially, the lovely mellow wine high. Yay! Yay for all those winemakers out there who've been smooshing up grapes for centuries! I'm totally on board. Please carry on.

However, there are a few crucial pieces to my love affair with wine that are missing.

A) I have no idea what makes a great wine great4.
B) I have no idea what all that swishing and spitting and breathing and sipping is all about.
C) I have no idea how to pick out a good wine from the vast expanse of bottles at the liquor store.

So naturally, I fall upon the one skill I do have in order to pick out my wine...

I pick the coolest/funkiest/happiest label in the color of wine I want.

Shut up.

Luckily, I have smart, sophisticated, wonderful friends who occasionally gift me wine because I do them favors5. And these friends know how to pick wine - or else they have an in with a fabulous sommelier.

Anyway! Tonight I just happen to be drinking6 an incredibly tasty red wine given to me by a famous classical music radio host7 because he loves me and I did him a favor. The label says it's from Wildflower Estates and it is a 2007 J. Lohr Monterey Valdiguie. This actually doesn't mean anything to me which is why I had to bring the bottle into my bedroom so that I could read the label while I was typing in order to get it right.


What I know is that it is very very veryveryvery yummy and pretty in the pretty glass despite having a rather boring label.

And because I will promptly forget everything about this wine except for the tasty part as soon as it's finished8 and out in the recycling bin, I now present to you a picture of the bottle so that I have a visual reminder of it when I'm looking to purchase a really great red.

1: N8 the Great, high school crush turned boyfriend turned ex-boyfriend who, among other things, was a wonderful chef and aspiring sommelier. We should have known we were doomed considering I do still think Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is brilliant. However! My pie crusts are WAY better than his. I'm just sayin'.

2: And even the vodka was consumed rarely. Ah my dry days. What was I thinking?

3: The Fourth Story was a fantabulous restaurant above the original Cherry Creek Tattered Cover bookstore. The Test Drive was a special night at which diners picked only the "car" they wished to drive - or price range rather - and then the chef sent out whatever she wanted to serve up. Totally awesome. Kraft Mac & Cheese was never on the menu however.

4: How am I supposed to know when even the so-called experts never agree?

5: I have no idea what I was going to say here.

6: Because it's 5:00 p.m. somewhere.

7: I think he's famous. He thinks he's famous. Therefore, famous. Oh yes, and supposedly a famous news program radio host also chipped in but Charley did the picking.

8: Which will be soon.

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