What a week last week! I know I told myself, although like most I don't listen to myself, that I wasn't going to do three wine tasting in a row day after day. Since the time I made that decision, I have done it twice so far. I guess that's not too bad given that it's been a 6 months.
So why the no 3 times rule? I found that standing (and I do mean standing only) for 3 full hours that there are a number of ailments that come into play with me. This isn't a post about complaining about my age and getting older (although I do that enough), no, this is just understanding why I do such things to myself.
Originally, I had only tastings for two days, Friday and Saturday. Two days isn't as bad, still gets to me a little. But on this occasion, I just couldn't help myself. You see, a couple weeks ago I received an email from a French restaurant in the Oak Brook area. They were having a wine tasting for their patrons. Now I love the place and wanted to pour at the event. So I made some contacts with my wine rep friends to see if they need any assistance. Nope!
Then, the Monday before the event, which happened to be on a Thursday, I get an email asking if I can pour. Body aches be damned, I'm in! I really had no qualms about it, didn't even think about my 3 times rule. Even after, finding myself spending time on Sunday curled up with a heating pad, I'm glad I did them all.
There was a time that I thought I might have to don a French beret however as two tastings were all French wines and the last, well, I'll get to that in a bit.
I like most French wines. Bordeaux is the only region that I tend not to be as intrigued with. White wine regions (predominately) such as Alsace, Loire, Burgundy (Chards) are almost a mainstay for me. Red wines from the likes of Rhone and Burgundy (Pinot Noir) can be absolutely wonderful. Last, but certainly not least, I can't forget my all-time favorite, Champagne. I'm sure a couple of those wines from the tastings will make their way into my "Wine of the Week" as well.
French wines can be a little more daunting when it comes to getting people to understand some of the differences between those and say domestic wines. Labeling the big issue, although the French, as well as other Old World wines, are starting to be a little more understanding of us Americans. Style is another area. Usually more tannic maybe a little more acidic and drier on the finish. Things that make a good food wine as the French and others pretty much drink wine with every meal.
Even with these challenges, I persevere. That's not much of a challenge for me though. I love to talk about wine! No kidding, I even tell people sometimes to tell me to stop if I carry on too long. So far, no one has taken me up on that. Get this, people have actually thanked me for so much information. Talk about how to fuel a fire....
So anyway, Thursday comes and goes along with the knowledge that I had a great time and, hopefully for the rep I was working for, some decent sales of wine. Friday was another French wine tasting. Once again, some very nice wines which I was able to present to a great group of folks. Wine lovers loving the wine and hanging on every word I speak (A lot of the former not so much of the later). Another excellent selection of wines for the event so even better.
Saturday is where I had a slight change to the wines I poured. They weren't French. So why the reference to a beret? Well, I was pouring wines from a prestigious winery with a winemaker with a long and honorable history. A guy by the name of Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, founder of Grgich Hills Estate. Most notably, Mike was the first winemaker for a winery named Chateau Montelena beginning in 1972. Convincing his partner that Chardonnay gave them the best chance of financial success, he started producing a world-class Chardonnay. So much so that at the 1976 Judgement of Paris Competition (watch the movie Bottle Shock) his Chardonnay beat out all others with the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, thus cementing his name into the legacy of winemaking.
I know that still doesn't answer the beret question. So here's a picture that might explain things.
At 95 years young, Mike still sports his iconic beret and is working on a new film about the 1976 Competition.
So back to curling up with my heating pad thinking about a nice new blue beret.