Welcome to my first column, and the fascinating world of wine. As Ernest Hemingway said, “Wine offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased.”
Wine is a natural accompaniment to food and fun. It enhances our gastronomical experiences as well as making an event more festive and memorable. Where would a wedding toast be without the celebratory bubbles? A baguette with fine cheese just isn’t as delightful without the bottle of wine.
Of course these experiences are enriched with a little wine knowledge. A lot of people already have a firm grasp on the intricacies of wine. Gone are the days when wine knowledge was inaccessible to but a few. Now everyone weighs in on the subject, and most are hungry for more learning.
My training was with James Cluer, master of wine with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust. Wow, was that an experience! Of course there are many ways to become more educated in the world of wine. There are wine magazines galore, sommelier courses, articles in newspapers, and the web. The information is never-ending which makes it both challenging and interesting.
There are ways to fill your head with facts, but I find the best way to appreciate wine is to taste it, and taste a lot of it! No need to guzzle, small sips will do!
Each bottle represents the sweat and passion of numerous people, mainly the grape grower, and the wine maker. We are the lucky ones to have the pleasure of uncorking the secrets inside each bottle, searching for its characteristics, nuances and individuality.
There are plenty of opportunities for tasting in our area. We have three wineries in our own backyard that offer public tastings: Columbia Gardens near Trail, and Skimmerhorn and Baillie-Grohman in the Creston Valley.
It’s not a long drive to the Okanagan Valley with its plethora of fabulous wineries. A weekend romp there could be just the ticket for tantalizing the palate. Also in October the New Grand hosts its gala wine tasting, and on June 2 Trail offers The Art of Wine, another great tasting event.
Don’t forget, its always fun to get together with friends for you own wine night. Like the realtor’s adage, location, location, location, we wine enthusiasts can have our own motto: taste, taste, taste!
I hope you’ll join me in the next issues when I’ll speak on specific wines and other key facts and features as we continue to explore the wonderful world of wine.