Am I a Master Sommelier? Yes.
No I’m not. But I probably know more about wine than most. I am an Oenophile. I enjoy wine as much as I enjoy my meal.
My wine curiosity started about 25 years ago. I had no idea how or where to go to learn about wine. One day, while working in Philadelphia, I attended my first wine dinner, held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was hooked. I learned so much. I did not know that wine was a living organism…that it tastes different from day to day. I did not know that wine tours almost surpass visits to Disneyland. I did not know that global warming may have an impact on wine production. (Oops, that statement was political. My bad!!!) I did not know that all 50 states produced wine. Alabama appellation??? Anyway, that evening showed me that I had a lot to learn if I was to become even remotely familiar with wine.
I started my wine education in my backyard, Long Island. Long Island is becoming more and more respected for producing serious vintners. Many 90 point wines (Wine Spectator’s flagship wine rating) are produced 90 minutes outside New York City. Regardless of what you’re told, tasting is the best way to become knowledgeable about wine. In my case, many Long Island wineries still offer free tastings, in spite of the incidents chronicled in the New York Times some years ago. Appreciating the complexities of wine takes time. It takes lots of practice. I’ve been at this for 25 years and I’m still learning.
There are long-held steadfast laws regarding when to drink what with what, like white with poultry and red with beef, however, many restaurant sommeliers are loosening those rules, allowing the palette to dictate what to drink with what. I think a nice French rosé, such as the Mas Fleurey Côtes de Provence would go nicely with lemon-herbed roasted chicken. Ultimately, you will decide what you will drink with what.
Seek out your local wineries. Wherever you live, there is wine produced there. Support those wineries. Their wines will probably surprise you.
Periodically, I will add posts, introducing to some and presenting to others, wines that I find noteworthy. I am not partial to region and I am not a snob. I have no problem recommending $7 dollar wines. If it’s good, it’s good. Bottom’s up!