Monday, February 19, 2007

Wine of The Week - February 19th, 2007

OK, I'll make this quick, cuz you really should run out and buy about as much of this stuff as you possibly can. This stuff isn't a port, really, as it's made in Australia (port can only be called by that name if it is produced around the city of Oporto, Portugal). It's a classic tawny, for sure. Aged eight years, this thing is complex, layered and friggin' DELICIOUS. It's also inexpensive as hell: $15.00 (even less if you buy it online).

My friend Richie summed this one up pretty perfectly: it's like a glass of flan. Creamy, seemingly viscous, with caramel and creme brulee flavors throughout. Delicious. I've found myself sitting down in the living room on a number of occasions with the bottle on the table, pouring out small glass after small glass, almost unconsciously (and no, I'm not an alcoholic; this stuff is so good, you just find yourself having more of it, without really noticing).

But here's the biggest indicator for me: I opened a bottle a few weeks ago for some friends who were over for dinner (there were six of us total) and the bottle was gone by the time everyone had left for the night. And every one of them kept asking me about the stuff: where to get it, how much it cost, could I get them a bottle, etc. And quite a few of them have gone out and picked up a bottle or two for themselves.

So, go out, find it and try some. Even if you think it sounds too sweet for you, it's really not. It's very balanced in terms of its flavors, alcohol and sweetness. Don't get me wrong; it's a port, it's just not the kind you've ever really had before.

My Moment of Doubt

You know it when it happens to you: that moment, however fleeting, where you ask yourself, "what the fuck am I doing here, really?" Or, "do I really wanna be doing this?"

It happened to me a few weeks ago, while I was sitting in wine class doing a series of blind tastings. Out of 6 wines, I had correctly identified one: a fino sherry. It wasn't hard: straw-colored, oxidized smell—if you've ever had/smelled sherry, you know the smell: nutty, "off" smelling wine—and that was all I got. So depressing.

Here I was, I thought, having decided that some aspect of wine was going to be in my future, and my palette was limited (and seemingly off), my eye for wine was seemingly faulty (I have come to find out since then that I'm slightly color-blind (pink-green, to be precise)), so things on that end are a bit better) and I was just sitting in this room, filled with people from all over the wine spectrum—distributors, bar managers (from, like Per Se at the Time-Warner Center!), etc., etc.—and I've been doing wine work seriously for about seven months. Who was I kidding?

I've stayed in the class, although there was a point where I thought I might drop out and/or take it later, and after a night like last night, I'm happy that I've stuck with it. I was en fuego last night with regard to getting people wines they liked/wanted. Of course, being the people person that I am (what Aquarian isn't? :) helps, but apparently the overwhelming amount of information I must learn and keep around for instantaneous recall is actually sinking in, as I was waltzing through the French section last night pulling wines for folks. I really, really enjoy dealing with people and helping them find wines that are to their taste.

So, my enthusiasm & energy for wine are back and I'm seriously thinking about doing my Masters of Wine. IF I pass my exam at the end of April, that is! :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

40... WTF?

Man, I gotta be honest: 40 has been fucking with me. For the most part it's been something I felt but couldn't quite put my finger on. But then, suddenly, it came to me (Ha! Take that, Alzheimer's!): I feel like the kid on Halloween who's been called out by people as too old to be trick-or-treating. I'm like, "whaddaya mean?" How am I old? Why does that thought occur to me? Why do I care?

Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you... Now, how the hell do I get rid of you?

Luckily, I have a new job and my wine career to keep me occupied...