Monday, October 31, 2011

Great Grapes!

Thursday night I worked at Holland College where they were hosting a private wine tasting for most of the restaurants in Charlottetown and surrounding area where wine is a large priority to the restaurant. It was an "invite-only" kind of situation and there were 36 different tables of people all displaying their wine and providing samples of their product for the owners and/or head chefs of the invited restaurants. Obviously the goal of the night was for a vendor to win over the taste buds of at least one of the invitees so that he/she will buy their wine and sell it at the restaurant.

I have had a distaste for wine since the first time I ever smelled it. My dad used to make his own wine in our basement and during the fermentation, the basement would stink so much and I would avoid the house until the stinky process was complete. Gross. I have also never enjoyed the taste and even though I would take a sip here or there of someone's wine, I would always just turn away after that one sip and head back to my beer. It just never physically appealed to me at all.

The thing about that though is that I want to, so badly, enjoy wine. I can appreciate the depth and breadth and complexity that wines can have. I love knowing that some wines compliment certain foods and there are endless factors that can alter the taste of an given wine. I think the science behind wine is fantastic and I wish that I could like wine enough to learn all of this first-hand (by drinking it!). But alas. It just doesn't taste good to me.

THEN! Last night I was talking to one of the vendors for quite a while and we got into talking about all of this.  I explained to him how I wish that I could go into a restaurant and order a lovely glass of wine to accompany my dinner and appreciate the product for exactly what its experience gives me. His product is called Quails Gate and he persuaded me to taste one of his wines.

I guess I should mention that during the last 30 minutes of the wine tasting, us servers were allowed to go around and taste some of the wines if we didn't drink to the point where they were carrying us out over a shoulder.

So I tasted one of his wines, and didn't hate it! It was such an extraordinary moment for me. We talked about the flavours I was tasting and how they go about creating the wine. Before I could even take my second sip he was pouring me another kind of wine, a dessert wine, which I also was to taste. And guess what? I didn't hate that one either. I definitely am not much of a fan for the sweeter dessert wines, but it wasn't that bad at all. I wasn't allowed to buy his wine so it's not like he was in it for that. I think for him, he liked the fact that he was slowly converting me into someone who might someday drink wine and he wanted to educate me with what he knew. So after this I decided to mosey around a little more and taste a couple more wines from a couple different vendors. Not gonna lie. I didn't hate any of the wines that I tasted.  There might be hope for me still. I am going to make a conscious effort to try more wines when they are offered to me and even possibly buy a bottle every now and then in hopes of learning more about what I enjoy and what I can pass on.

When the Quails Gate man was packing up, he handed me one of his company pens and said, "So you remember who gave you the first glass of wine that you didn't hate." I looked at the pen and guess what?? His winery is in the Okanagan. A good man from BC gave me the first glass of wine that I didn't hate. I love life sometimes.

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