Friday, August 15, 2014

I know nothing about wine

... well, that's what I would have said about two months ago ... though I know a little more now.
For years I said I hate wine and wouldn't try it. My "beer only" rule lasted right up to my 43rd year. But after trying a rather nice Riesling recently, I was a little bit wowed by it and decided to investigate this drink that grown-ups seem to covet so much at meals and the like.
So. What I've learned.
It sounds like a rather basic observation but, get this, you cannot buy a bottle of wine and expect to know what it tastes like - well, not for more than a season anyway. I think.
If you buy a Diet Coke, the taste will be the same the next time you buy a bottle. In fact, that's why you buy it. Wine is different, in fact it seems from what I can gather that a big part of the pleasure of getting a wine is the unpredictability of it all, the surprise and delight that, using your knowledge, you've picked something which tastes nice. And I've found I get delighted too ... but pretty pee'ed off when I choose a wine that isn't to my liking.
So what do I like? What do I ask for?
I've been buying bottles of wine left right and centre to work out what my taste is. What exactly is meant by dry? Off-dry? Medium? Sweet? How sweet is sweet? And when they say "dry", is that a reference to the type of wine that gets you in the back of the throat and tastes like paracetamol? Or is that what they call "poor"?
It's not easy this wine stuff. I want depth of taste. Some taste so light they are the alcoholic equivalent of flavoured water but more expensive with less in the way of flavour and more in the way of, I dunno: burn, beacham powders, liquid headache, unspecified chemical nastiness ...  and not necessarily the advertised peach, grapefruit or poached pear.
More on my amazing findings about wine soon ... when I'll explain Riesling is a type of grape and that you can't necessarily expect to like every Riesling.
Hold onto your hats and follow me on my wine learning journey on this blog.