I really enjoy wine. I love its tastes, its delicacy or fortitude, its exotic geographies…even its place in popular culture thrills me. I haven’t always though and it took me a while to come to terms with its vagaries. I first started to drink it with any regularity at university. Given how limited I view my knowledge now; I blush at the thought of the 18 year old me knocking back bottles of cheap Chenin Blanc at ‘formal’ dinners – regardless of whether I was eating a fish or a fillet steak. I didn’t even countenance red wine back then – shocking, I know.
It has taken me a little over a decade to reach a point where my appreciation has turned into a full-blown desire to learn about wine. Given how delicious wine is, my principal motivations are for improving my palate, tasting knowledge and food pairing ability. But I do want to be able to impress friends and family. Don’t we all have a bit of that in us? Beyond this, I like learning new things. I derive as much pleasure from telling someone a wine tastes of black fruits and chocolate as I do telling them a region at a high altitude will have a cooler climate than a region closer to sea level, even if they share the same latitude. Anyone who knows me will tell you geography is not my strong suit, so this is quite the departure.
I’ve just returned from a trip to Tuscany where I visited many vineyards and felt like a fraud when I tried to speak knowledgeably. I’m hoping the WSET course will de-fraud me.