Like most people of my generation, exploration with alcohol happened much earlier than is strictly legal. Special occasions, a stronger cup of coffee, older friends who buy you beer, ect. I couldn't wait to turn 21 and delve fast and headlong into the mystic world of liquor. So, not suprisingly, I accumulated several hundred dollars worth of alcohol in the few months after my fewfound legality.
Now I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a girly drinker. I can hold my liquor like a damn bear, but mostly I like my drinks sweet, colorful, and with an umbrella, thank you very much. Since the entire liquor market is chock full of both new and new-to-me ideas, I'm still on a roll with experimentation. I have a feeling either brandy or gin is next on the list to explore in depth.
But that's not what I wanted to talk about. I always had an idea of how deep the culture of beer and wine afficiados was, yet really had no idea until I was able to join in. It's still almost shocking to me just how much there is to know and explore in these areas. It is not only the deep history and mystery that drags people into this kind of experimentation; it's also the fact that it is limitless. Right up my ally.
Now truthfully, I prefer a good beer anyday, but my love for ye olde wine is growing at a rapid pace. I've realized recently that my run with wine hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought it had at one point. I took some advice and have started on distinguishing the French grape varietals first so as to form a base I can use against wines that name by place of origin rather than type of wine. As with my first attempt at a beer review, it was rather uninteresting and I don't have the handle of vocabulary that people who really understand what they're drinking do. So, I don't think I'll really even go there. Yet.
I started off with the poor man's staple: Sutter Home. Their 2004 Merlot to be exact. It's not surprising why I hesitated then. Though I suppose I should explain that my type of hesitation usually lasts all of two minutes before I'm at it again. I decided to be smart and find some recommendations. These were much better. I moved on to a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and a Pinot Grigio before I started to aquire my first inklings of nose and taste. Out of about 13 things listed on the label, I could pick out and taste about 3. This was really the first time ever I felt like maybe I was getting somewhere. I mean, test me on book knowledge and I'm all over it, but developing a completely new skill where no one is really able to help you and you're going to feel like a genius on your first step.
This is an incredibly long way of staying that I found a wine that I want to share with everyone. I had been sifting through liquor reviews on the slashfood site, when I came across this article: (http://www.slashfood.com/2007/01/02/update-what-did-you-drink-on-new-years-eve/)
I never expected to find this wine since I live in Southern Georgia, but strangely enough it was stocked at a liquor store in a bigger town. I originally went for something else, but picked it up anyway since the review was so nice. And let me tell you, that review wasn't wrong. This was the first dry red I've ever tried. It was a smart wakeup call when I took my first sip since I thought that maybe the cork had poofed into dust inside my mouth or something. Aside from the initial start, it is actually a very smooth, drinkable wine. I was worried that I might not be able to take it. I'm not yet able to really convey how much I enjoyed this bottle, so do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of Rodney Strong's 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheers.