Tasting some Pinot Noir at Ken Wright Cellars tasting room in Carlton, OR.
Half of my heritage is Mediterranean, so I was raised with a little pitcher of inexpensive wine (mostly red) always sitting on the dining room table. My mom let me have a very small amount with my dinner as a teenager, as it was part of my culture. So, from a young age, I learned that wine was part of a meal, a pairing with food. I grew up in a blue-collar family and, while my early experience wasn’t sophisticated enough to actually include specific pairings, I nevertheless appreciated that wine and food belonged together.
Over the years, I enjoyed white and red wine, although I really didn’t know much about it, except that I liked it and enjoyed a glass with dinner. And, of course, I would imbibe at happy hours after my work day. I was never intimidated about seeking out wines in stores. But, having grown up in Pennsylvania in the days when most of their state-controlled stores sold strictly from “behind the counter”, my experience to actually look at various wines was very limited. But I always asked questions of the clerk at the store. Gradually, large self-service state stores appeared, and I was free to roam about to discover wines.
In about the last fifteen years or so, and now living in California, I slowly began my wine journey. I say slowly, because mine was a solitary effort. I started exploring California Zinfandel, then moved into Cabernet Sauvignon. I knew I liked heavy reds at the time, but I could see that I was open to trying different wines. More about that in other installments.
So, fast forward to today. I now own over 750 bottles of wine of several varietals, whose origins include various regions of California, Oregon, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and, of course, the Motherland of wine, France. I always have a glass or two of wine with cheese and dinner, and my palate keeps evolving. More recently, I have been very fortunate to have spent time exploring wines here in California on a regular basis, and when travelling to France and Italy. In the past few years I added Oregon and New Zealand to my travel repertoire, as I dearly love Pinot Noirs from both. I have visited several wine regions in France, with repeat visits to Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. In 2013 I took an onsite course in Languedoc-Roussillon with the French Wine Society.
In my blog, I will take you on my journey into the world of wine. I’m not totally sure where my blog will go, but I am not a wine critic and will never claim to be one. I will offer recommendations, but strictly from the perspective of a wine lover. I want to help you, if you want, to start your own wine journey and have fun doing so. Wine is my passion, and, maybe it will be yours as well. I encourage and welcome you to ask me any questions you would like. If I don’t know the answer, I will research and find the answer for you.
I visited this beautiful chateau during my October 2011 trip to Bordeaux.
Until next time….à votre santé!