At a recent wine event, I became engaged in a deep conversation with some enthusiasts about our favorite wines. When I first started drinking wine many years ago, I gravitated towards a specific varietal (usually red), exploring different vineyards from around the globe, until something else peaked my interest. At the time I considered myself a “varietal drinker” having had my share of Malbec, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo, before taking wine classes and expanding my inexperienced palate. Now I like to say that I am a “seasonal wine drinker” – red in fall and winter and white and rose’ in the spring and summer months. The majority of wine drinkers tend to fall into this category.
The gentleman I was speaking with had a very interesting way of choosing his, what I will call, “wine of the moment”. He explained that for him, environment has a lot to do with whether he is enjoying the wine he is drinking. Clarifying further, if he is enjoying the company of the people he is sharing the wine with or the place where the wine is opened, then that wine tends to be his favorite “wine of the moment”. Intrigued, I gave this some thought and agreed that this philosophical notion given to the wine experience really made some sense to me.
I recalled a time long ago when I was at a vineyard with a group of friends in the Hudson Valley area of New York, which I will not name. It was a cool summer day in June, the conversations were flowing, along with the wine. Everyone was relaxed and having a good time. I had sampled a Chardonnay, which I am not normally drawn to, but on this particular day it tasted like heaven and I could not resist buying a bottle. Months later, I opened the bottle after a rough day at work (subconsciously looking to relive that day?) and I wondered, “Why the hell did I buy this?”
I can also see this approach come into play in one of my closest friendships. I have a good friend that I have known since first grade – we have laughed our way together through grade school and high school. These days we are still laughing and when we do get together it is usually a two bottle night for us. Having put this philosophical notion to the test together many times, I can honestly tell you, we have never had a bottle of wine that we did not enjoy. Our years of friendship and laughter have gotten us both through some pretty hard times in recent years. In turn, I can attribute a lot of great bottles of wine to our amazing friendship. Just this weekend my “wine of the moment” was a crisp, dry Gruner Veltliner. Oh, and as usual there was a second bottle – a refreshing Loire Valley Rose’.
So make some exciting plans, gather up your friends or family, and open some bottles of wine. Maybe you too will find your “wine of the moment”. I would be interested to hear about them.