Wine Appreciation is certainly something that anyone can participate in, on any night (or day) of the week. (I won’t judge.) A fine wine, to a wine lover (because I know you don’t all share my appreciation of the libation), can add a nice little dash of ‘something’ to everyday life. Combine it with a good book and a fire and it brings out a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Mix in a glass while you’re having a gab with the girlfriends and you’ll find that laughter and open conversation are also on the cards. (I’m trying to picture a bunch of guys sitting around and doing the same thing but my imagination just isn’t quite cutting it, if you’re a guy and you’ve done this (not in a couple situation) please do let me know!) … Have a sip or two during a romantic dinner with your lover and the wine might turn a lingering glance into nothing short of passion.
Wine, to me, has always been about emotion. More so than any other form of alcohol, wine has the tendency to amplify what I’m already feeling. (As such I have learnt that it is better consumed when I am happy, in love, mellow… and so on.) But while I know I enjoy a glass or two, I’ve never really delved much more deeply into my appreciation for this particular elixir. Which is why I decided to take a Wine Appreciation class at my local college. (Yes. I know. Wine Appreciation, at college?? In my opinion it’s a beautiful thing and I was delighted to see it on the menu. Erm. In the catalogue that is.)
I convinced a good friend to go with me and went off on this adventure completely uncertain of what to expect. We arrived to find a number of bottles of wine (all hidden from view) and a plethora of meats and cheeses waiting for us. There were only ten of us in the class and we were all supplied with wine glasses and water – and a cup to spit the wine into if we were so inclined. (I did not partake of this particular option…) You could tell that no one was really sure what to do or how to act when they all first arrived. It was fun to see how the environment changed from nothing but awkwardness to one filled with laughter and enjoyment as we slowly tested the wines that were available. Perhaps for that reason alone a glass of wine at night would be conducive to good health. The reduction of stress is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
We sniffed, tasted, formed opinions and learnt about the various types of wine, how food changes the taste, what can ruin what should be a good bottle and all kinds of interesting little tidbits. The course was taught by Adrian Bryksa (@YYCWine) and he was delightfully un-snobby, clearly educated in the world of wine and an enjoyable teacher; the ideal person to share an ‘Appreciation’ for wine.
After this experience I would have to say that it never hurts to learn more about the things that you enjoy. Because really, the more you know, the more you can appreciate them!
Want to make a girl happy? BBQ me an organic steak (or tell me the name of the cow it came from) with the faintest hint of pink left in the meat, and woo me with a bottle of Clos Du Val, Cabernet Sauvignon. The vintage I tried was a 2009, but I would be open to trying out other years. ;) I would also happily accept a seafood dish served with a Trimbach, Reisling, 2010.