Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WBW Seeing Red. . .

So this is my first Wine Blogging Wednesday. Hosted by 1wine dude at http://www.1winedude.com/index.php/2010/03/03/seeing-red-for-the-first-time-wine-blogging-wednesday/ t
The challenge this time is to: pick a red wine that you would use to introduce a white wine drinker to red wines for the first time. ANY still red wine is eligible (including Rose wines, provided that they’re made primarily of red varieties

That said, time for a story about my mom and wine. I grew up in a house where my parents did not drink. My Dad might have a beer at a baseball or basketball game and my Mom a glass of wine occasionally when out for dinner. Even later, when my mother remarried, my stepfather's drinking was mainly secretive and alone. Now, my extended family was different, full of uncles who thought nothing of spiking their niece's cider and a grandmother who laughed for years after her granddaughter had too much ice wine in Germany.

Like many kids from non-drinking families, I learned to drink at college. Like many, I started with beer-cheap and readily available and moved on to vodka after a roommate spent a summer working as a bartender. Mid way through my sophomore year I started dating a man who would become my now-ex-husband. One of our early dates involved him coming over to cook salmon and asparagus for me. I was instructed to provide wine. Fake i.d. in hand my roommate set out to buy the wine that has been the bestseller at her bar tending job. The name has been lost to the ages, but it was a white zinfandel.

Luckily, Todd and I stumbled across a friendly wine store, for those who know Baltimore: http://www.wellswine.com/. The sales staff there were charmed, I think, by the idea of Hopkins students wanting wine and not beer. They started us on German and Austrian whites (often Terry Theise imports) before sending us to Bonny Doon for the creative blends and fun label (true story, as I have told Randall). That eventually led to a desire to try what we called "real Rhones" and my lifelong love affair with rhone grapes. Years later, we traveled through Burgundy and the Rhone to taste some of our favorites before ending up, of course, in Provence.

My mother, of course, disapproved of all of this, at least until I turned 21. Even at that point, her enthusiasm for wine was limited to an occasional glass of pinot grigio. Even as time passed, she was not enthusiastic about my wine interest. Until the one summer I decided to try something different with her, one that I had been lucky enough to taste at the winery earlier that year.

The wine? A
rosé from Domaine Tempier: http://domainetempier.com/ These days, this is a wine I buy infrequently due to cost, but once upon a time, it was more affordable. Her first comment was to assume that rosés were white zinfandels and to wonder why I was suggested something even she knew was much lamented. "Aren't pink wines bad?" she asked. I persevered and suggested she taste. She sipped, paused for a minute and asked, "What is this?" This led to an explanation of rosé , pictures from our trip to Bandol, and well, eventually, the bottle was gone. With floral notes and fruit, this was truly a beautiful wine. Before leaving, I purchased a few more bottles for her. I'm guessing that this would have been a '97 or '98.

Since that day, my Mom drinks less pinot grigio. After
rosé, I introduced her to Beaujolais. From there, pinot noir. On my last visit this summer I left her with a case of assorted nero d'avola.


  1. Great first article on WBW. This was also my first time writing for WBW. I am looking forward to reading more of your reviews.

  2. Thanks Wes. I'm curious to see what is next.