In every wine lover's life, there is a moment when they taste a wine, and it all clicks. You take a drink of a particular glass, and you just go "Ah Ha. That's what all the hype is about!" This is the moment where you realize that Yellow Tail out of a plastic cup just isn't going to cut it anymore. You have been spoiled, ruined, tarnished. You have tasted the good life. It's like flying in first class for the first time....coach just will never be the same. Be warned, what you consider to be "acceptable" just took a jump in price point. Once it happens, you will be a snob (especially about that particular wine).
For me, it happened at a table at the Wildwood Inn in Denton, Texas. I was working there as a waiter on the weekends. The owner of the Inn was a guy named Rick Moore, and he was truly a great guy to work for. Rick wanted his small waitstaff to really be fans of wine- his list only had about 65 selections, and it was truly world class. After each shift, he would let us buy any wine off the list at wholesale cost, as long as we drank it there and put our notes/impressions in a notebook for all the staff to read. Since I had another full time job and I was just doing this one for fun, it was nothing for each of us to throw $20 in, and buy some cool stuff.
The wine on this particular night was the 1998 Wolf Blass Black Label. This is a blend of mostly Cabernet, with a touch each of Shiraz and Merlot. It was also the winner of the prestigous Jimmy Watson Trophy, which is awarded to the single best one-year-old red wine in Australia. When we would taste wines, we would often compare them to celebrities. A smooth wine that is just a bit sappy would be a "Harry Connick". A wine that is a bit old and rustic, but you still like it even though you don't know why would be a "Willie Nelson". You get the idea. At any rate, this particular wine was the only wine that I EVER labeled as "Frank Sinatra". It was smooth, cool, full of power, and everything I wanted in a wine on that particular moment. It might have even had blue eyes, I'm not sure. My friend Ronnie Bass (whom was in my wedding, and I will talk about sometime else) just wrote "Damn" in his tasting notes.
The epiphany wine is a blessing and a curse. Once it blindsides you, things will never be the same. I would love to hear from some of the followers of this blog as to what yours was.
My wine suggestion for this weekend isn't likely to cause you to rethink the world, but it is really tasty. It's the 2007 Hey Mambo White, a blend from California of Viognier, Muscat Canelli, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc. The label is cheap looking, and cheesy, but the wine has really nice honeysuckle, lavender, and green apple notes that will go perfectly on your back deck. Enjoy!
Until next time, Cheers, and GO SOX.