Who is this Wine Guy, you ask? Well he’s my Sweetie but I have a hunch those of you here to read about wine might appreciate a more comprehensive picture.
And in this case I think Sweets, James, might do a better job of explaining just how he came to be the Wine Guy.
I was first introduced to fine wine as a fresh faced twenty-year-old working in one of the few award-winning French style dining restaurants in New Mexico.
I worked as a servers assistant in a three party service system common place in French style fine dining complete with myself whose responsibilities were similar to that of a busser, a server whose main duties were to expedite and run food and finally a captain who acted as the front waiter taking orders, pouring wine and maintaining contact with the customers from start to finish.
While working here I began to take notice of various bottles of wine enjoyed by the restaurants patrons on a regular basis.
On occasion one captain, who would become a long time friend and colleague of mine, would invite me into the Captain’s room to sample open bottles of wine and port. It was here that I first developed a taste for wine, good wine, and that set the stage for what has become and what will continue to be years of wine appreciation.
The restaurant’s wine list was pricey and full of big name California selections, while their selection of “Old World” French, Spanish and Italian wines was fairly limited. As a result I tasted mostly big, fruity and New World style wines.
New World refers to wine producing countries outside of Europe and Middle Earth such as the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
With names like Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon and Opus One Meritage tossed around with regularity I began to form an opinion that these wines were the only ones that mattered. I was content sipping Cab, Zin and Shiraz – for a while at least…
Years later I found myself working at a thriving and respectable restaurant serving fine seasonal cuisine in a casual setting. And with a new job I discovered that my taste in wine had also found a new direction.
With their award winning wine list to browse I discovered countless selections from well-known wine making countries scattered throughout the world and as I was lucky enough to taste some of these selections I found that fine wine was about much more than just nice fruit.
After tasting earthier representations of wines from various European countries I soon became enamored with the wines of the Mediterranean Mecca, known as Italy. And why not, Italy produces more wine than any other country in the world and creates some of the world’s most famous wines including Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, and Amarone just to name a few.
While I’m still a baby in the world of wine I have a hunch that the wines of Italy will continue to hold a special place in my heart.
And as my oenology matures in a way I never thought possible, I continue to find myself intrigued by new and exciting vinos from every nook and cranny of the world. Hell, even modest geographic locations such as New Mexico are successful in producing good wine.
So with an open mind and a conscious effort to find value in fine wine, I look forward to seeing where the next pop of the cork takes me.