My first wine epiphany was in 1992. Before that, I never cared about wine, thought about wine, or drank wine. After all, the wine I knew came in a jug, then later a box, that sat on the top shelf in my parent's fridge. As a kid, part of my dad's Saturday errands included a stop at the liquor store, where he picked up a jug of Almaden or Gallo, usually white in the summer and red in the winter. Offered the occasional sip, I obliged, and then scowled from the bad taste.
I went to a beer-swilling college (Georgetown), and then a Diet Coke-swilling graduate school (University of Colorado-Denver). Then one day, invited to a dinner party with some women friends in Denver, I discovered wine. Good wine. Wine that smelled good, and felt and tasted great on my palate. Wine whose flavor lasted even after I swallowed. Snicker if you want, that wine was a 1988 Reserve Columbia Crest Merlot. Yes, Merlot. And it was delicious, full of cherry and berry flavors, with soft tannins and subtle oak and smoke. (The 1982 Mouton Rothschild would come many years later)
That wine started me on the way to exploring wine any way I could find. "Any way" led from tasting hundreds of wines from around the world, to a weekend job at a wine shop in Denver, to a summer working harvest for Clos du Bois, and finally to a 1,300-mile move to the heart of California Wine Country in 2001.
Now I live in Santa Rosa, California. Call me Home Girl, but I love Sonoma County as a wine region. I keep a part-time tasting room job at a Winery To Be Named Later (I’ll divulge if it becomes relevant) to keep my finger in the proverbial pie (plus the discounts are awesome). My wine philosophy is “drink what you like, and don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t like it!”
I’m thrilled to be writing about Sonoma County here on www.intowine.com. I also blog about California Wine Country at www.winerybuzz.com, and have a regular wine column in the bimonthly magazine Jane and Jane. Email me any time, I love to talk wine.