"A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world... oh sorry... that's wine... wine does that."
I do love wine. I love it so much I may very well be in love with it. This is not a recent development. I began flirting with Champagne and Rosé at the age of 18. (Oops?) From there, I went on to discover Pinot Noir, Petit Syrah, and eventually, Cabernet Sauvignon. But I suppose I start at the beginning of our story...
In December of 2006, I went to Paris for the first time. I surprised Marie with my visit, and it was wonderful. I also drank my first few glasses of wine during my two week stay. It wasn't just because I was there through the New Year either; I found I liked it. I'm sure I'd had a few sips from my mom's or dad's glasses before then, but I hadn't enjoyed it let alone appreciated it.
Wine and I didn't really touch base again until April of 2008 when an older sorority sister gifted me a bottle of red wine. I cannot say I drank it in the most responsible manner, but I did take pleasure in the complexity of its taste and the very particular way it made me feel.
Unfortunately, that summer passed with very little wine contact.
It wasn't actually until I went to study abroad in Ecuador, and then in Chile, that I had the opportunity to truly pursue my wine passion. In Santiago, I legally experienced my first vineyard. And a few months later, when my parents came to visit, we took a trip to Santa Cruz for more wine tasting. The following semester I studied in France. There, I discovered the wines of the Alsace region and tasted champagne... in Champagne. I was also fortunate enough ride through Tuscany's vineyards. In May of 2009, I returned to the States a self-proclaimed wino.
Thankfully, I turned 21 soon after. My parents and I began mindfully ordering wine at restaurants and putting thought into the bottles we bought to be savored at home. Throughout my last year of college, I kept my room well-stocked with (embarrassingly enough) Franzia. In an attempt to drink classier, I also frequented wine and cheese happy hours and refined my palate with a Wine Appreciation class. I like to think my efforts paid off.
In April of 2010, my parents joined me on the Cayuga Wine Trail. Post-graduation and two months later, K, C, and I ventured to the Hamptons where we sampled Long Island's wines. Throughout that summer, Leslie and I made it a point to explore wine bars across the city. (Some were better than others.) Soon after, I found myself driving across the United States. I was thrilled to come across wineries in North Carolina, Washington, and South Dakota, and equally as pleased to have the chance to delight in two regions of California's Wine Country.
Following that solo road trip of mine, wine drinking became a truly social event once again in New York. It has, much to my satisfaction, continued as such.
A few weeks ago, Leslie invited me to purchase a BlackboardEats ticket to the New York Drinks New York (wine tasting) event. Sure, I thought, sounds grand. Little did I know how "grand" it would be. We were astonished by the sheer number of New York wines last night; more than 150 wines from 38 wineries, to be exact.
Don't worry, we didn't try every single one, and we made sure to help ourselves to a plate of hors d'oeuvres. The wines really were amazing though. My favorites? A one-of-a-kind Chardonnay (with a caramel finish) from Thousand Islands Winery, a nearly perfect Pinot Blanc from Glenora Wine Cellars, a delightfully dry Brut Rosé NV from Pleasant Valley Wine Co, an exquisite blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon called Wisdom from Inspire Moore, and an even more savory red blend by the name of Musée from Bedell Cellars Winery.
I truly look forward to supporting more local vineyards and wineries with my newfound regard for New York wines. By the way, did you know...?
- There are 316 New York wineries; 200 were created in the past 10 years.
- Annually, they produce 180 million bottles & host 4.98 million visitors.
- 37,000 acres of New York State is under vine.
- The state's economy benefits $3.76 billion from the industry each year.