Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Can One Learn To Love Wine?

Poured wine There's so much romance connected to wine.  It's been celebrated in story and song for thousands of years.  And I just don't like it all that much.

My sister-in-law hit it on the head with her description of most wines:  "Tastes like shoe polish remover."

The problem is, I don't have an educated palate--and neither does my husband.  (Who, by the way, taught me to like whiskey and gin.  I like them both waaaaaay too much, too.)  My parents did occasionally drink wine when I was a kid.  Pink Catawba.  Not exactly high brow, eh?  But they liked it and offered us kids a sip now and then.  (Maybe that's why I don't like wine.) 

When we were courting, then-date (now husband) and I went to several wine tastings thanks to free tickets from our workplace.  Our reaction to most of the wines?  Tasted like shoe polish remover.

Taylor Wine Company used to have marvelous wine tastings, where they even served hot hors d'ouevers.  That's where I learned about cream sherry.  (Don't drink it very often anymore.  Drank too much of it once and then combined with pizza ... well, we won't go there.)

Red wine?  I have tried it on many occasions, but I remember the first time.  I'd been feverishly working on a novella the entire day and kind of forgot to have breakfast and lunch.  Had three HUGE glasses of wine with dinner and ... see paragraph above.  (God, nothing worse than a red wine hangover.)
That's not to say I dislike all wine, but I admit it, I like the sweeter ones, like asti spumante.  Champagne?  Never did much for me.  Too dry.  My current favorite wine is canei, which I first had at my aunt and uncle's home.  They always have wine for guests when they entertain, and it's not often I turn down a glass of canei.  (In fact, I think I've done most of my wine drinking at their house.  See paragraph above for red wine hangover.) 

Despite his uneducated palate, hubby is a faithful follower of the wine column in our local paper (mostly because it's written by the daughter of an ex-work buddy.)  In November, hubby read all about beaujolais nouveau and how marvelous it's supposed to be, and how it cannot be sold until a certain day in November.  Hyped up over the marvelous description, he bought a bottle and took it to my aunt and uncle's for Thanksgiving.  We cracked it and sipped.

It tasted like shoe polish remover.

We'd both like to learn more about wine.  Got any ideas on how to do it?