Don’t worry, I’m not going on an “I’m drunk and love the world” kind of post. If you want one of those read “Having a Wine a Time, Wish You Were Here” and/or “Drunk Blogging.” No, this is a post about an ordinary woman learning about the wonders of wine.
Most folks who didn’t grow up around wine tend to be a little intimidated by it. Take me, I grew up around weak beer (Schlitz, Coors, Old Milwaukee, etc.). I could write volumes about beer drinking etiquette in a dry county. Wine, though, was something I thought only rich people drank. And they tended to be snobbish about it.
Dad’s eldest sister, my Aunt Jackie, was employed as a cocktail waitress in a ritzy restaurant in Marysville, California, for many years. I figured that was the most exotic profession a girl could have. Aunt Jackie knew how to do a lot of things that I’d only read about in the books I snuck from the adult section of the county library in Floydada, Texas, not the least of which was the proper way to serve wine.
On one family vacation to California we went out to dinner one night and Aunt Jackie ordered a bottle of wine. When the waitress brought it out already poured into the glasses my aunt chastised the poor girl until she almost cried. I learned two things that night: The proper way to serve wine in a nice restaurant and that my aunt wasn’t always a very nice person. I guess all those years waiting on other folks had made her cranky.
I was given a sip of wine that night, but wasn’t impressed. It reminded me, in both color and smell, of cough syrup. I remember thinking that Schlitz had wine beat by a mile. Pretty sophisticated thinking for a twelve year old.
Wine didn’t really interest me until one memorable evening in Great Bend, Kansas. A friend and I sat outside grilling steaks and drinking a very nice bottle of Merlot. Eureka! Instantly I understood the importance of pairing the right wine with the right food. That Merlot, coupled with the grilled-to-perfection steak, made my taste buds do things they’d never done. It was almost as if I’d never tasted a steak before.
That put me on a mission. What other combinations could reach the heights I’d just experienced? I started experimenting and discovered that I really like wine. I’m no connoisseur, but I don’t need to be. It turns out, one doesn’t need to be a snob or wealthy to enjoy good wine, just open minded and willing to explore. Oh, and don’t be a dick about how it’s presented. Unless one is ordering a really expensive bottle of wine, it really doesn’t matter how it’s served.