I have a love hate relationship with wine snobs.
I hate being around people who out wine me with arrogance…but I love the idea of knowing what they know. I want to be a non-arrogant wine snob. I mean, that’s possible right?
I love the idea of bantering with a sommelier about vintages from obscure wine regions. I love the thought of sharing wines under $20 that are going to be the hit at a dinner party. I would love to have a wine “bucket list” of bottles to save for and wait to try with grand expectations of greatness.
Right now I am not a wine snob and I don’t have the bandwidth to become a legitimate snob – or even a novice one for that matter.
What I am is a wine explorer. It’s what I call my desire to know from a sniff that I have a Cab Franc not a Cab Sauvignon in my hand.
It’s minor league. But I’d like to invite you to be a wine explorer with me. You have been drafted onto my wine explorer team.
Here’s how you play.
Limit your wine drinking to the country you are in. Travel. Eat out. Ask the waiter, bar tender or sommelier (if applicable) to recommend a local wine. Drink local. It’s the liquid version of eating local and it ups your wine IQ exponentially with every local bottle you consume. All in the name of education of course.
Disclaimer: This works best if you are not in France.
Hubs and I started this a while ago. We were in Seattle with a group of killer friends and we were served a killer wine from the Waving Tree Winery in Washington. Washington wines were not necessarily on the list of go-to regions but after the Waving Tree experience, Washington wines graced many a Hency dinner party table.
Other places we have asked for local wines that ended with killer bottles of vino – Austria while in Vienna, Morocco in Marrakech, England in London. We even have a local wine from Texas that we love. The vineyard is Becker and the wines we drink are Iconoclast and Raven – we don’t recommend their other wines but those two we love.
Places we have opted to drink local and it could have gone better: Turkey in Sirince. So no, it doesn’t work every time but we have laughed and laughed about the syrup they serve as wine in this teenie tinsiest village known for fruit vino. Even though the wine was miserable the memory is sweet and makes for a story worth telling.
So you have been drafted. Be a wine explorer. Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear about the wine you discovered in New Hampshire or Cyprus. I’d like to know even more if it went really terribly but you laughed, smiled, and made the locals feel like they nailed it.