I love to collect wine. The problem is that I also love to drink wine. I especially love opening a bottle when friends and family are in town and enjoying the art that is wine as we explore different wines and vintages.
I really started to get into wine over 20 years ago when my good friend Randy and I discovered some excellent wines. Since then my collection has grown to over 1000 bottles and my wife and I make at least one trip up to California wine country a year.
So what have I learned about wine? Well here are some things for the newbie;
1. There is very little correlation between the cost of a bottle of wine and the quality of wine. Right now there is a wine glut and you can get some really excellent bottles of wine for under $20 a bottle. Why spend $100+ on a bottle when you can get 5 really good bottles for the same price?
2. Napa is played out: The next great wines from California are from Sonoma and they are delicious. Some wineries that I recommend are: Papa Pietro Perry, Hartford Family, and Quivera. Napa wines are overpriced and hyped too much. Napa is a beautiful area but big companies have purchased a lot of the great brands and during that time their quality has gone downhill.
3. Not all expensive wines are not worth the money. I particularly like Joseph Phelps Insignia which is a blend of red wine and is consistently an excellent wine for the fall and special dinners during the holidays.
4. Take a trip to wine country but get off the main roads. Get a good map and go find the wineries you have never heard of and visit them. You’ll often meet with the owners or wine makers and you’ll taste some really excellent wines while seeing some really pretty scenery.
5. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. So you don’t know a Cabernet wine from a Merlot? Who cares? People at the winery are always interested to talk to you and share with you the pleasures of the grape.
We’re all under a lot of stress today with work and the economy but opening up a bottle over a good meal with friends and family can change the outlook for anyone because in the end it’s not the wine you own that is important it’s the memory of sharing that special bottle with friends and remembering that trip to wine country where you got a great massage, met great people and had a time to reconnect to your spouse.
When was the last time you slept naked with your spouse and woke up to a great day?
Life is too short not to enjoy good wine!
There are a lot of resorts in wine country and a great massage feels good after a heavy day of lifting wine glasses