Man Date 101

I know it's been a while and as luck would have it, I had the good fortune to go to dinner with a male friend of mine (hence the Man Date theme) and as we normally do, we both bring a bottle of wine to dinner, which gave me the idea for this blog post.  The interesting part to this is the fact that we have different tastes in wine.  Now first and foremost we both love great wine, who doesn't?  But our tastes do lead us to some interesting awareness between what we think we like and what ends up to be something we actual like.  

Let me explain.  I think I  have mentioned that over the course of the last year or so, I  found myself becoming more and more drawn to the likes of big cabs with a bigger earthier style.  Whereas I normally looked for wines with a little more fruit flavor.  I can trace some of that change directly to our dinners.  While I would likely bring a wine with a fruit component, he liked, and would normally bring, these big rich and earthy wines.  The more and more I would become exposed to these types of wines, the more I appreciated them.  That's probably wine tasting 101 as well. 

What was interesting to me was on this last man date I  brought along a Washington state syrah from Force Majeure, their 2012 Collaboration III Series, recently rated 97 points by Wine Advocate.  I say interestingly because, if you're a fan of syrah, you know that they come along with a nice helping of fruit, which this one did.  A beautiful wine with lush fruit, soft tannins integrated with a nice supporting note of earthiness.  While it did take a good hour or so to open up, the wait was worth it.  What a fantastic wine.  I can't wait to see what it will taste like in a few years.  

Now I'm confused, do I like fruit or don't I?  Giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that I'm just a fan of great wine.  I thought about some of my other past favorites, especially white wines that I drink.  Sure enough, I see myself going back and forth on those as well.  Like the big oaky chardonnays versus the more refined and delicate ones.  Again, I like them both, and can appreciate them both equally.  

Now I think I have a very good palate for wines, it's just that sometimes this whole thing surprises me when it comes to my personal tastes.  Maybe more importantly, how my tastes have changed and my ability to better discern flavor differences have changed over the years.  It's rather quite fun exploring the wine world. 

It's sort of the never ending story of wines.  I think that is what has drawn me into this wonderful world of wines over the years.  New wines every year, new challenges mother nature throws at the grapes for the winemakers to tackle.  Interestingly, as I sit here pounding out this story, I find myself asking the next question.  With so much to choose from, how does the casual wine drinker or even the collectors out there even begin to choose.  Working at the shop for so long, it has become apparent that some wine drinkers have their favorite wineries or areas where they choose their wines.  I have the luxury of being exposed to so many wines that many of us never get a chance to try.  I guess that's the reason I created the Don's Picks wine tastings that I do.  So more people can be exposed to more wines to help them explore the world of wines.

So for now, I guess I'll just keep moving forward, drinking and trying as many wines as I can and maybe spreading a little bit of that knowledge around to those who will listen and keep going on those man dates to expand my universe of wines in as manner ways as possible.