Mercer’s 60th birthday party started with puff pastries with warm camembert and walnuts, with which we drank Pommery’s Wintertime, a blanc de noir of only red champagne grapes. With the main dish of beef goulash and boiled potatoes we had a 2002 Cote Rotie from Patrick Jasmin, a dark spicy Syrah to complement the paprika and cumin. It was a fine wine from an awful year by way of Kermit Lynch. Margaret also served salad and homemade bread. We then decanted a Saint-Emilion from 2005, a great year, Chateau Tour de Pressac. The soft Merlot/Cabernet combo slowly replaced the spice with a little fruit. For dessert, pears poached in simple syrup with a raspberry sauce and shaved chocolate, a Napa Cabernet made port-like, 2007, from Justin Vineyards. Called “Obstuse,” it was anything but. It was all grapes and alcohol – which, come to think of it, is exactly what interests me and is what this blog is about.
We care about wine because it’s fun. We share it with friends and eat like pigs and thoroughly enjoy ourselves. Friends share their good stuff with us and, and in the natural course of events we start to build meals around what wine we are going to open. This is how we learn, and so follow our interests through hundreds, thousands of bottles.
My own investigations earned me a certification from the Sommelier Society of America, and the chance to work at one of the finest wine stores in the New York. There I was exposed to expert knowledge, and was able to improve my skills. But what I liked the best was talking to customers about wine. They had popped into the store because they were going to dinner, and we’d discuss the food, the people, their tastes and taking the specifics of the situation into account, like price range, come up with a nice bottle. We had fun; I had fun, selecting wines, like those at Mercer’s party, for customers 3 days a week, 4 hours a day, until the Great Recession put an end to that.
Because we care about wine, we read about it, sometimes, and drink it, most of the time, and now, with this inaugural address, I shall write about it, and who knows where that might lead.