A toasty chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, a heart warming syrah from Saint-Joseph, a lively Pet-Nat from Gaillac.
If I travelled back in time a few years and said these words to a younger me, I am certain I would have just shook my head in disbelief, gone to the nearest bar , and ordered a beer. Because after all, good wine is for posh people.
Well, younger me, you were dead wrong.
Now, before I go on, I should make a few things clear; my girlfriend is a sommelier (and a very good one at that), we have a wine shop together in Amsterdam, and I love my job. You may assume that this is a marketing exercise for our business, and in fact, you would be partially correct, but if I can make a living doing what I love, with someone I love, and get to write about it as well, I would be crazy not to do so.
So here we are, me starting to write articles describing my favorite wines, in the hope that you come to try them, come to love them, and come to buy them. Pretty simple really, unless I’m trying to convince my younger self…
The thing is, I only ever really drank mass produced supermarket wines. Not that I think there is anything wrong with that, but it really does limit your exposure to the many different wine experiences out there, and also instils the notion that you should only ever pay 4 or 5 euros for a bottle. I did have a few moments where I would splash out on a more expensive bottle, but they were few and far between, and never took root in my sub conscious as something worth trying again.
My ‘breakthrough’ came on a road trip with my partner, Sanna. We made a deal that if she passed her WSET 3 wine exams, we would make a three week driving trip to the South of France and try a few wines along the way. Needless to say, things went well, and off we went, bags in the back of the car, ready for our first real holiday together.
I could go into great detail about the wonderful scenery, the rolling hills, and those majestic French mountains, but I wont, because this is a story about wine, and specifically my first glass of wine in Savoie. I honestly don’t remember the name of the house, the grape, or the vintage, all I remember is being shocked by how good it was. It wasn’t just the different tastes, or the different smells, it was the way they all combined, somehow expressing the mountain lakes, the fresh air, the soil, all of it contained within a delicate little wine glass.
I was hooked, and the rest, as some people say, is history.
I’m not saying that you should care about matters like minerality, acidity, or tannins, what I am saying is that its well worth keeping an open mind and investing yourself in trying some interesting wines.
So, to my younger self, I say this:
“Good wine is for everyone, so don’t limit yourself with preconceived notions about who can drink what, and how much you should pay for it. There are great cheap wines, and terrible expensive wines, so take some time to find out which are which, and enjoy the ride.”
In the coming weeks I will be writing about the different wines we have available to taste, but for now, we always have six bottles open in our tasting machine, so feel free come along and say hello.