Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hello World

Hello Charlotte! Today I begin my foray into the wine blogosphere. To tell you a little bit about myself, my name is Lauren, I am 26 and live in Charlotte. I love wine. I want to know everything there is about wine - to begin a lifelong education that leads me to places all over the country (and hopefully, world) where I taste amazing things, and make wonderful, slightly druken memories.

I started drinking wine - and I'm talking wine besides Franzia and Boones Farm at frat parties - about 6 months after I graduated from college. My roomate Nicole and I took a two night wine class. It was offered by Vino 100, and was hosted at the Omni Hotel restaurant. I was 22. One night we had all whites - all in all about 5 glasses of wine. Each one tasted the same to me, and when I announced this to the class the instructor looked at me in horror. The only one that stood out was a chardonnay, which I thought tasted like "suntan lotion". I also was completely drunk by the end of the class, not knowing the pace at which wine should be sipped. I pounded back each serving as if it were a Natty Light beer.

The following night we covered reds. During this class the instructor began to explain how wine is cultivated - how the type of grape, the thickness of the grape skin, the exact moment of harvesting, the makeup of the soil, the diameter of the vine, the slope of the field, the type of barrel, the precise aging period - I literally had no idea that this is what it took to make wine. That the tiniest variation in the aforementioned items (and many more) can create very important differences in the outcome. The addmittedly cliched juxtaposition of the "art" and the "science" appealed to every part of my personality. I was fascinated.

A couple of weeks later, my roomate and I had a couple of friends over for Poker and Wine night to our apartment in the city. I stuck my nose deep into the glass and took a moment to analyze what I was sensing. I held the wine in my mouth and opened slightly to inhale, as to intensify the flavors on my tongue. I shared my observations, and my friend Peter said "you know - people who know about wine seem so much smarter". As this was in line with my lifelong pursuit to seem smarter, I knew this was a hobby that I would stick with.

Since that time four years ago, I have tasted so many fantastic wines. Not the truly great wines that I hope to some day...but I had a bottle of Jordan Cabernet on my first really fancy date with my husband - we had a bottle again the night we got engaged. I met the winemaker at Rombauer vinyards at a wine tasting in Charlotte. Rombauer is my ABOSLUTE favorite chardonnay. I had a bottle of Caymus cab at Ruth's Chris - an apology from the restaurant for a dinner gone completely wrong. I had a glass of Caymus at Hyde Park Grill in Columbus with my family before that - and was sadly unimpressed (see? Goes to show what kind of taste I have in wine). I didn't know it would be a 30 dollar glass when I took the waiter's recommendation.

Aside from restaurants, I buy all my wine from the grocery store. It's usually 10 bucks a bottle. I am learning, slowly, what I like and what is a good value. I hope in this blog I can share my education, and get feedback on what others like as well. I hope to attend more wine tastings in Charlotte, and meet some wine experts and fellow neophytes. All I hope, is that I have a lot of fun. That's what wine is all about, isn't it? Pure, relaxing, feast of the senses. The best wine is shared with people you adore, and if you're lucky, some fabulous bites to pair it with.

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