I haven’t been blogging a lot lately – it’s my first blog on this account that I’ve had for literally YEARS. Sad, I know.
I do have another web site that I’m restructuring, but it’s all about techie stuff. You know, CmputrAce…
Right now I want to talk about Wine. Specifically, Texas wine… but first, some history.
I was raised in a Southern Baptist home and a Southern Baptist church. If you aren’t familiar with Houston-area Southern Baptists in the ’60s, let me tell you: we were the pinnacles of DON’T. You know, “We don’t smoke and we don’t chew, and we don’t go with the girls that do.” And we didn’t drink alcoholic beverages AT ALL.
I didn’t discover wine until our Jewish pediatrician actually prescribed Manaschevitz (1/4 teaspoonful) to help our youngest with colic. I tried some and realized that he probably prescribed it more for me than for the child. A little for him and a glass for me.
A few years later I joined a company as Managing Director and ended up going out to dinner with clients and fellow Managing Directors – one of whom was French with quite a taste for wine. He taught me all about wine – and good wine at that. The down (or up) side of his tutelage is that I acquired a taste for rich, dry red wines – and often very expensive ones. You’d think that I would be a complete wine snob by now.
And I am. And I’m not.
Confusing, I know. I’m a snob in that I don’t care for mediocre “good enough” wines corked just for a buck. I’m not a snob because I can’t tell you which year was the best for Napa/Sonoma/Rhine/whatever reds or whites or blah blah blah. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
What I do give a damn about is a delicious grape that has been painstakingly crafted by God, nature, vinegrowers, and wine masters into the true nectar of the “gods”. And I have to admit that I was a Napa Valley wine aficionado (in my own mind) for years. Then I quit making big bucks (thank you, Enron) and was forced to “discover” good wines on a budget. I drank many a bottle of Jacob’s Creek Cab-Syrah until I got one with a bad cork. It just ruined it for me.
When I finally got out of my financial crisis, I was introduced by the sommelier of Bice Ristoranto to wonderful Italian wines. Amarone, Valpolicella, Montepulciano, etc, and I became an Italian wine “snob” of sorts – not that I put down any other wines, but I would always look for Italians when taking my wife out for a nice dinner.
Another note, and you can read more about this on Mrs.CmputrAce’s blog: we like to take one-to-two day road trips. Usually unplanned. On one of these mini-trips, I pulled out my iPad (OK, it was already out) and looked up “winery” to see what was close to Dripping Springs. Julie took over the iPad since I was driving and started reading about the wineries in the area, and Duchman Winery stood out because of their wide selection of Italian grapes grown in Texas. Italian grapes grown in Texas? We have GOT to try this out.
We followed the path drawn out by Google Map to the winery and I became a fan. A big fan. I fell in love with the 2008 Dolcetto, not even knowing the awards that it had (or would) win. Julie’s not a red wine lover – she prefers crisp whites or sweet / semi-sweet wines, so we grabbed some Canto Felice and Orange Muscat(?) for her. We actually went back before Christmas and stocked up on several cases for gifts.
Since then, we have started visiting all the wineries we find on our road trips and we pick up a bottle or two (or three or…) of the wines that we like. I really need to build a wine rack now, because we have perhaps a hundred bottles of Texas wines. All of them good, and some of them absolutely wonderful. In fact, we prefer to buy only Texas wines. Why? Why not?
OK, there is an exception. I haven’t found a Texas Amarone that compares to the $70-120/bottle Italians that I pick up, but I think that could change soon.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’ll tell you about the wines I love and why I love them, and I’ll tell you about the wines I don’t love and why as well. I’ll also let you know up front that I still have a lot to learn about wine, so if we disagree about what’s good and bad, hopefully you will accept that although I’m adamant about my own tastes, I also know that we have different tastes. What tastes like piss to you may taste like honey to me, and my turpentine may be your love potion #9.
So I’m not a snob after all, I’m just a #TXWine fan.