Wine Bits: A Bit on Pairing and Hosting, Part 2

 
The following is part two of a two-part series that was written for Two Dancing Buckeyes by ‘Dad’ Wolfe who is a regular ‘Wine Bits’  and TDB contributor.
 

In my last post, I wrote about wine and food pairings and made a few suggestions regarding which wines might pair well with a selection of Two Dancing Buckeyes recipes.  Now, regarding wine and hosting, I recommend having, at least, a small variety of choices at any gathering.  First of all, it’s the mark of a good host to accommodate the major differences in preferences of red or white and, within the reds and whites, of sweet or not so sweet (i.e. dry).  To thoroughly cover the bases might require six to eight choices:  a sweet, dry and middle-of-the-road red (3), the same for whites (3), a rosé(1) and something with bubbles–a champagne, a sparkling or a moscato (1), totaling eight.  And, of course, it’s a nice gesture to have some beer on hand for that person who “does not drink wine” and some soft drinks (don’t forget sugar-free and/or caffeine-free choices) or fruit drinks, as well as bottled water, for those who do not wish to drink beer or wine.  Whew!  Sounds like a pretty big job.  Not really.  All of the above can be kept on hand for quite a while (when it is best to drink various wines and how long they may be kept will be discussed in a soon-to-follow posting),  so you may find it helpful to gradually accumulate a variety of beverages to have on hand.  In this way, you will be reasonably prepared for an impromptu gathering.  The only things you may need are a cooler and a bag of ice.  No, I haven’t forgotten your friends who prefer mixed drinks.  However, to accommodate such preferences requires a great deal more inventory, expense, accessories and preparation.  You must decide for yourself how far in that direction you wish to go.  However, that’s another story for another writer.

As for wine, if you purchase what you want for a particular occasion, as you go, it can be a bit expensive.  However, if you make purchases on an on-going basis, perhaps buying a case, from time to time, of something you like and/or that may be on sale, you will gradually expand your inventory.  You may visit a winery and, after tasting a variety, bring home some bottles of something you enjoyed.  Or you might attend a wine-tasting at a restaurant or wine store and find some varieties you wish to have.  There is much less guess-work with this method.  Recently, a favorite restaurant of mine hosted a particular wine-maker for a tasting.  Such events are usually very reasonably priced and may include appetizers.  The object is to acquaint you with the wine and, hopefully, sell some to you.  It is also very interesting and informative to talk with the winemaker.  I came home with a case which included a number of varieties.  Most purchases, by the case, are discounted, depending on the applicable state laws (a case consisting of twelve bottles).  Many larger grocery stores are expanding their wine sections to include a greater variety at a wide range of prices.  Oftentimes, they will offer tastings of a featured wine for as little as $0.25 or $0.50, and that wine will be on sale that day.  This is another good opportunity to expand your reserve supply.  If you acquire a variety, over a period of time, you will be better prepared to accommodate the varying tastes of your guests or your own range of choices depending on your food and mood.

Two other ways to be prepared are 1) check with your guests ahead of time as to their preferences and 2) request guests, to a planned event, to bring one bottle of a wine they like, to share.  If you plan to serve a wine which is new to you, it’s a good idea to conduct your own tasting, in advance, to be sure it is what you expect and want.  This will also give you an opportunity to try different foods with the wine.   Sometimes, a pop-in guest will bring a bottle of wine along and say something like “let’s try this and see what we think.”  That’s a fun way to experience a new wine.  And, of course, you might do the same when you are the visitor.  Your host will appreciate it.

Having a proper place to store your wine is important in building and maintaining a good supply.  I have a friend who lives in a nice, older country home, the kind which typically has a fruit cellar (sometimes a room formerly used for coal) and his house has one.  Such places are dark and cool and usually stay at a fairly constant temperature.  Although he had been a life-long beer drinker and had little interest in wine, I was able to get him to expand his horizons to include wine.  We joined a wine club together, which gave us a good chance to taste a variety of wines, and he gradually found where his preferences lay.  He began to accumulate wines and, one day, boastfully announced (having cleaned out his fruit cellar to store his wines—temperature control being a significant point here—more on this later), “I have a WINE CELLAR, you only have a basement” (one-upsmanship being a game we tend to play).  I replied to him that, while I may only have a basement, he never seems to have any trouble finding something he likes when he goes there.  It’s all in good humor and a part of enjoying the journey.  Until next time, please do enjoy the journey.

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Wine Bits: A Bit on Pairing and Hosting, Part 1

 
The following is the first of a two-part series that was written for Two Dancing Buckeyes by ‘Dad’ Wolfe who is a regular ‘Wine Bits’  and TDB contributor.
 

Spring is upon us and thoughts begin turning toward warm weather, outdoor activities and enjoying some relaxation on our decks, porches, patios and/or in our backyards.  Likewise, cookouts and picnics come to the forefront.  Some of the recipes presented by our two dancing buckeyes are perfect for such activities, such as the salads, dips, soups, chicken dishes, desserts and on and on.  And, of course, we should have our favorite beverages, which may include wine.  Wine pairs wonderfully with the foods of picnics and barbeques.  Wine is also a necessary accessory in the grilling process. There are so many great choices of wine, at reasonable prices, and lots of flexibility for varying tastes and preferences.  Also, it is not that difficult to take a bottle or two of wine on a picnic, outdoor concert, etc.  (where legally permitted, of course).  The bottles can be chilled, in advance, and easily transported.  There are convenient carriers for one or two wine bottles which you should add to your wine accessories.

In this offering, I will suggest some wines that I believe will pair well with some of the suggestions from the TDBs.  Of course, such suggestions are just “one person’s opinions” and you must always remember: all that really matters is what YOU like.  However, there is generally some rationale to the concepts of what wines work well with what foods.  The object is for the food and the wine to complement each other.  I like to look for a wine that will not overwhelm the food and, likewise, one the taste of which will not be lost to the food.  For example, with some fresh fruit, mild cheese and crackers, something such as a chilled sauvignon blanc will do very nicely.  However, with a spicy dip, breads and various meats you may find a heartier red wine to be more suitable.  People’s taste buds vary, so it is not an exact science and achieving a balanced pairing is sometimes a difficult task.  It may require a little experimentation.

Recent food suggestions from the Two Dancing Buckeyes and my thoughts on wines to go with them:

Cucumber Crunch Salad  — a dry white, such as a chardonnay, or a moderate red such as a malbec.

Taco Layer Dip — a more robust red such as a tempranillo.

Crab and Corn Chowder — a moderate white, perhaps a viognier, or a lighter red such as a pinot noir, perhaps even a rosé, as you may wish.

Cilantro-Tomato Sauce Over Chicken — a tough one, how do you feel?  Maybe a hearty red, to balance the sauce.  There’s no right or wrong here (or anywhere, for that matter).

Spinach Salad — I would prefer a nice, chilled pinot gris with this simple, but tasty salad.

Crudité Platter — Lots of opportunity here, but how about a nice chilled rosé on a warm summer evening.

Black Bean Burgers — I’d go with a cabernet on this, while preparing the burgers on the grill.  Sounds great!

Desserts — break out the bubbly to wind down the evening.  Enjoy.

A Few Musings on Wine, the Holidays, and a New Favorite Grape

 
The following post was written for Two Dancing Buckeyes by ‘Dad’ Wolfe who is a regular ‘Wine Bits’ contributor.
 

Hello, oenophiles and anyone who appreciates wine at any level.  Well, after a bit of a prolonged absence, I’m back to chat about wine.  I hope you have used the past few months to visit wineries, try some new wines and continue the journey of finding out what’s out there and what you like.

The grape harvest season is winding down, a very busy time for vineyards, and wine shops are starting to advertise wines for the holidays.  One of the first seasonal wines is the traditional Beaujolais Nouveau, which is released on the third Thursday of November, just in time for Thanksgiving.  This is a light, red wine, made from the Gamay grape and produced in the Beaujolais region of France.  It is fermented for only a few weeks and, therefore, has very little tannin.  It is intended for immediate drinking and should not be kept for very long, as it does not age well.  In France, the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau is a festive occasion, resulting in all-night and several days-long partying.  There is a rush by producers to get the wine distributed around the world.  Check with your supplier and reserve your bottle or two.  Its fruity flavors work reasonably well with the types of foods typically served at Thanksgiving dinners.  However, don’t hesitate to have several bottles of your favorite wines, be they red or white, as you wish.

Of course, the holiday season also finds sparkling wines coming to the forefront (although ANYTIME is a good time for sparkling wines).  There are many, very good selections available, at reasonable prices, and often are available at special sale prices.  Stock up while there is an ample supply.  Sparkling wines, as well as others, make excellent gifts, as well.  Incidentally, many of the larger grocery stores have outstanding wine departments, with excellent variety and reasonable prices.  They often have sales on many very good wines.  Be a smart shopper and stock up on your favorites when the price is right.

There are a lot of reasons as to why one selects a particular type of wine—type, taste, food pairing, mood, occasion, temperature, etc.  Sometimes we are simply attracted to the label.  Wineries often expend a great deal of effort and money in the design of their labels.  They are trying to attract you to pick up their bottle.  Catchy names are also a marketing tool.  Well, this past weekend, I bought a bottle of wine for no other reason than the name of the winery.  I was in a very nice wine bar and restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, called the Wine Bistro, and discovered a wine on its wine list produced by a winery named Villa Wolf.  Well, now, as my last name is Wolfe (and three generations ago was spelled “Wolf”), I thought to myself that I should have a bottle of that.  I was pleased to discover that the contents, a pinot gris from Germany, were very tasty—light and refreshing.  I will have it again, this time for the wine, not for the name of the winery.  Regardless of the reason, it’s fun to make a discovery.  I suppose you could do no worse than to close your eyes and point to the wine list.  Descriptions are also an enticement and are very helpful when selecting a wine flight to try.  Remember, wine flights are great ways to taste a number of wines without having to purchase a bottle of each until you find out which ones you prefer.

In reading some wine magazines and books, this past summer, I noted an amusing difference of opinion.  In one magazine, there was an article featuring two noted sommeliers, who both bemoaned being asked by patrons about pairing chocolate and red wine, and expressed their view that it was entirely inappropriate.  Then, in a book about wine regions around the world, there was a lengthy discussion about a winery in a resort region of South Africa that thought so highly of pairing wine with chocolate that they made it a feature of the winery.  It seems to me, if you like chocolate, that it will go with just about anything, but, for the record, put me down on the side favoring a good, dark chocolate with a deep, red wine.  Wonderful combination, in my opinion.  Not sure about that?  Try it and decide for yourself.  There’s no right or wrong answer, and the issue shows that experts do differ.  Kinda makes it all more fun that way, doesn’t it?

When last I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be), I was musing about wine clubs and the opportunity they present to try little known wines from even lesser known wineries.  One of those that I found particularly enjoyable was a wonderful white wine from Italy—Pecorino.  It quickly became apparent that I didn’t know enough about the pecorino grape or pecorino wine to write about it (but when has that stopped me before), so I took a sabbatical to do some research.  I wish I could say that I traveled to Italy for that purpose.  But, alas, I did not.  What I did do was seek out some samples of pecorino wine (not as easy as I had hoped) and, upon obtaining a few, did some tasting.  Pecorino wine is not readily available, but, if you can find it, it is well worth the effort.  I may have found a new favorite (du jour, at least). Usually ranging in alcohol content from 13.5 to 14% and aged in stainless steel, this white seems to embody all the things I like in white wines, combined.  It is fruity, with a variety of flavors.  It is full-bodied, yet balanced with moderate acidity.  It has a great mouth-feel and lingers just enough to thoroughly please the palate.  One review described it as having the essence of peach, mango and candied rose petals (although I’m not sure exactly how candied rose petals are supposed to smell), as well as the taste of bright yellow fruits, wild sage, white ginger and white pepper, along with hints of almonds and hazelnuts.  How someone is able to discern all those elements from smelling and tasting a wine is beyond me (you may sense some, all or even none of the suggested flavors and aromas, or others, for that matter—it’s all in what you, personally, perceive), but, in my opinion, this wine is vibrant, refreshing and very flavorful.  Try some and decide for yourself, but, as always, enjoy the journey.

Vinifera Potpourri

The following post was written for Two Dancing Buckeyes by ‘Dad’ Wolfe who is a regular ‘Wine Bits’ contributor.

The question was recently posed to me: “What is your favorite wine?”  My initial reaction was “Whoa, not fair.  Do you mean today, with this meal or what?”  “No, just your over-all favorite wine,” was the reply.  I still felt that there are too many variables to answer that question, but, upon further reflection, wondered to myself, alright, just what is my number one choice.  What is it that I will always (or almost always—see, a qualified answer even when musing hypothetically) feel comfortable with and be sure to enjoy.  Then I thought that, maybe, this wasn’t such a far-fetched question.  Perhaps it is helpful for one to try to come up with an answer.  This will help you identify the range of wines you may prefer (at this time, anyway—oops, another qualification).  As there are myriad variables, I suggest that a conclusive answer is fantasy.  But sometimes it’s fun to engage in fantasy, so let’s play the game.  What is your single-most favorite wine?  One might say, “I haven’t found it yet because I haven’t tasted every one (and even then vintages will vary).”  Get the idea that wine-drinking is an ever-changing landscape?  But I digress.  We do like something that is constant and upon which we can rely.  That’s part of human nature.  So what is it for you?  To be fair, let’s divide the question into three categories: whites, reds and others.  For this test, everyone will get a 100, as there are no wrong answers.  Okay, I won’t ask you to do something I wouldn’t do myself, so here are my choices (du jour, at least).

Whites:  I love the Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend, “Ariadne,” of Clos Du Val Winery (California).  Crisp and refreshing, excellent when white wine is the choice.  A close second is any good Sauvignon Blanc.  Something, perhaps, from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, but you pick the region and the winery.

Reds:  My wine-tasting journey has led me to the belief that the Bourdeaux-style reds (i.e. blends of three to five grapes) is my safe harbor, upon which I can reasonably rely.  My personal favorite is Shya Red by Pomum Cellars, Washington State.  There are many others and many wonderful red varietals from around the globe—too numerous to mention and all fun to try.  A close second for reds would be a super Tuscan (Italy).  Try one sometime.

Others:  There are a lot of specialty wines, many of which you may find appealing.  Not so much for me, but, as I have said before, it is important to keep an open mind.  However, a nice, chilled sparkling wine is good for virtually any occasion.

Okay, so much for that exercise in futility.  What did you come up with?  There are probably no two answers alike to such a question.

To close this post, here’s a suggestion for what to do with left over wine.  “Left-over wine”—qu’ est que c’est?  Nonetheless, if the party’s over and there’s still something left in a bottle or two, try freezing it in an ice cube tray.  Yeah, it works.  I tried it.  Then use the wine cubes at a later time, when wine is desired for cooking purposes.  Not a bad suggestion.  Thanks to Charmaine for the contribution.  And, as always, enjoy the journey.

The Wide World of Wine

The following post was written for Two Dancing Buckeyes by ‘Dad’ Wolfe who is a regular ‘Wine Bits’ contributor.

As we anticipate the arrival of warmer weather and being out-of-doors more often, perhaps our wine selection will vary.  As we’ve noted before, wine is a time and place thing.  It may vary as to the circumstances, the company, the food, the weather, etc.  If you like a particular kind of wine and that’s what you want to drink all of the time, that’s your choice and it’s okay.  However, there is so much more out there.  On a warm day, sitting on the patio, with some light appetizers, a slightly chilled sauvignon blanc hits the spot.  Or you may prefer a pinot grigio or even a chardonnay.  Wonderful!  Then, when you bring out the steaks, the ribs or burgers (yes, it’s fine to drink wine with burgers), you may wish to shift to a nice red of your choosing—a pinot noir, if you want something lighter or a cabernet sauvignon, if you want something more robust.  In between those choices, you might select a merlot, a malbec or a syrah.  There are some excellent reds produced in Spain and a nice tempranillo may be perfect for the occasion, especially if you prepare something like a paella.  Vary your wine selections, and the wide world of wine will begin to open to you.  Enjoy.

Wine Bits: Bits And Pieces

This ‘Wine Bits’ post was written by ‘Dad’ Wolfe for Two Dancing Buckeyes.

Have you ever been somewhere, with a little time to pass, and wanted to get a glass of wine, and perhaps a snack, while you had the chance (such as waiting in an airport), but the variety of establishments was limited, and the wine selection was not very extensive? Recently, I was in an airport, all checked in, and had about an hour and a half until my flight. It was close enough to lunchtime, so I decided to get a sandwich and asked for a wine list. There were about six choices and none of what I would like to have had. On this occasion, I desired a white wine. The menu listed a pinot grigio and a chardonnay. I was hoping for something in between those two. Preferring several varieties of white blends (varying percentages of different white grapes mixed together, as the winemaker may determine), I decided to make my own blend. The price of a glass of the pinot grigio and a glass of the chardonnay were the same (although it shouldn’t be much problem to do the math if there was a difference in prices–add the two together and divide by two), so I asked the server to mix a glass of half pinot grigio and half chardonnay. It worked fine. Be sure you have some idea about what you are mixing because if you don’t like it, you bought it anyway. The server said that no one had ever asked to do that, but had no problem accommodating me. Be sure to tip well, when making a special request. I suppose, if you are thirsty enough, that you could just order a glass of each and an extra glass and do the mixing for yourself.

A favorite white grape of mine is “Semillon.” I also like “Sauvignon Blanc.” Lo and behold, a couple of years ago, I discovered an ideal wine—a semillon and sauvignon blanc blend. It is excellent and will be good, slightly chilled, on a warm evening, with some fresh fruit and cheese. The name of this nectar is Ariadne, made by the Clos Du Val winery in Napa Valley, California. There may well be other similar blends out there, so, if you discover something else to your liking, go for it. The winery tasting notes for Ariadne describe it as follows: “This proprietary blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc takes its name from Ariadne, wife of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. Like its namesake, Clos Du Val’s Ariadne is rich, intense and elegant. Pale gold in color with a green tinge, the wine displays aromas of melon, fig and a hint of passion fruit. On the palate, Ariadne is consistent with intense tropical flavors of passion fruit, guava and citrus. Subtle oak tones make for a rich creamy mouth feel, while firm acids keep the finish crisp and light. Great for food pairings.” Mmmmm. I think I hear a bottle calling my name, now. Reasonably priced at $21.00 per bottle. Generally, Clos Du Val is better know for its reds. By the way, the Clos Du Val winery label depicts the daughters of Zeus– Splendor, Mirth and Joy. They are referred to as The Three Graces and throughout ancient Greece were known for dancing, singing and being the life of Olympian parties. You didn’t know that, in addition to learning about wine, you were also going to get information on Greek mythology, did you? Surprise. Remember the name Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. There will be a quiz later. In the meantime, enjoy the journey!

Several More Ways To Taste Wines At A Reasonable Cost

This ‘Wine Bits’ post was written by ‘Dad’ Wolfe for Two Dancing Buckeyes.

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In addition to winery visits, wine bars and wine festivals, there are a number of other ways to enjoy a wide range of wine tasting at a reasonable price.

Many larger grocery stores which sell wine, and usually have reasonably good wine selections, will have tastings, usually to promote a particular wine of the week.  The cost is ordinarily nominal.  Good opportunity and it helps make the grocery shopping trip a bit more enjoyable.  Likewise, wine stores will frequently schedule wine tastings, perhaps once a week or once a month, most often on a Friday or Saturday.  Cost may vary (I have seen them anywhere from $5.00 to $20.00), but these are good opportunities to many times taste some higher end wines.

Another way to taste a wide variety of wines is to get together a group of like-minded people (i.e. those who are interested in tasting wine) and have a wine tasting party.  Ask each guest to bring a bottle of his or her favorite wine or an unfamiliar wine that the guest has been wanting to try.  Open them all and let everyone taste.  A few appetizers and you have a great theme party.  You can vary this idea by specifying a certain area of the world from time to time.

Wine clubs (mail order wines) are a way to broaden your tasting experiences, although this will involve a bit more expense and full bottles of wines.  I have participated in several and have been satisfied with them.  There are a number out there.  Scrutinize them carefully and find one that fits your desires, if this is something you want to try.  Be sure that you can select the general categories (white, red or mixed) that you receive, that you can determine the frequency of deliveries and that you can quit at any time.  I had a bad bottle only once and with a phone call it was quickly replaced, no questions asked.  Continue the journey and enjoy.

Pasta with Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce

This is a recipe concocted by my husband (who is an amazing cook, by the way), and if you love mushrooms, you have to try it!  It’s quick, easy, cheap, and delicious, so if you aspire to be more handy in the kitchen, this is a good dinner recipe to help you cultivate your interest in cooking.  It can be served as an entrée or a side dish, and it pairs well with just about anything, including the rest of the bottle of red wine!

Makes two large or four small servings.

8 ounces of shiitake mushrooms (or some other kind of meaty mushrooms, such as white button, cremini, or portobello, which, by the way, are all variations of the same kind that are aged differently)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4-5 tablespoons of cold butter, separated

olive oil (butter can be substituted)

8 ounces of your choice of pasta (farfalle, linguine, and campanelle are my favorites for this dish)

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

3/4 cup red wine

salt

1/2 – 1 cup of reserved pasta water

fresh parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

Cut or quarter your mushrooms into chunks no less than 1/2 of an inch in size.  Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the packaging directions.  Begin to make the sauce when you drop the pasta in the boiling water by placing a large sauté pan over high heat.  Coat the pan with about one tablespoon of butter (or olive oil), and when it’s good and hot, add your mushrooms and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  The high heat will allow the mushrooms to cook quickly so that the moisture they release is instantly evaporated, and they stay in a more substantial form, rather than become too soft.  After the mushrooms have released most of their moisture (about 4-5 minutes), turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic.  Add a little extra oil, if needed, so that the garlic doesn’t burn, and cook for 2 minutes.  Push the mushrooms and garlic off to the side and add the tomato paste, stirring it for about 20-30 seconds – you want it to slightly cook, but not burn.  Next, mix together the mushrooms and the tomato paste, then stir in the red wine.  After the alcohol has evaporated and the liquid has reduced by at least one-half, turn the heat to low.  Add four tablespoons of cold butter in small amounts, one pat at a time, and simply swirl the pan to combine.  After the butter has melted, add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the sauce to thin it out, and remove it from the heat.  Toss the sauce with the pasta, adding more pasta water, if needed, so that the pasta is coated, but not dry.  Salt to taste.  Garnish with chopped parsley and freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Since this dish isn’t particularly dense when it comes to nutrition, round out your meal with a large, tasty Mediterranean salad, with green leaf lettuce, Kalamata olives, scallions, chopped red peppers, tomatoes, feta, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  Oh, and don’t forget to pour yourself a large glass of that delicious red wine!

Wine-drinking for people who just want to enjoy it, without a lot of stress and anxiety

Many years ago, actually back in my college days, I became interested in drinking wine.  Why?  I’m not sure.  But I discovered that I like it and, to me, that’s the main thing.  It’s not about status or image or any of that kind of stuff.  It’s about what you like.  Perhaps that’s why there are so many different kinds of wines—because many different people have many different tastes.  You don’t have to like them all.  In fact, you may believe that you only like a few.  And guess what?  That’s just fine.  However, when I talk with people about wine, I stress the importance of drinking what you like (and what you can afford-but that’s a subject for another discussion), but I also urge that one be willing to “try” different wines, because you just might find that there is something out there that you like even better.

Also, preferences can vary as to time, place, food, weather, mood, etc.  A wine I prefer one day, under some circumstances, will not necessarily be the same wine I prefer on another day.  These, and many others, are features I look forward to discussing in the days and weeks ahead.  I am not an “expert,” whatever your definition of that term may be.  I’m simply someone who enjoys drinking wine.  If I am aware of a few more things about wine than some other people, it’s only for two reasons:  I taste and I read.  It helps me enjoy my wine-drinking  to a greater degree.  I have probably forgotten more of what I’ve learned than I have retained, but it can be a fun process.  I hope to discuss some of the ways to learn more about wine, as we go along, and share, with you, some of my thoughts.  Most importantly, it must be fun.

A few years ago, I introduced a friend to wine-drinking.  He was skeptical, at first, but found that he really enjoyed the tasting and he enjoyed learning more about it.  However, at one point, he said “this is becoming too much like school and is taking all the fun out of it.”  We don’t want to take the fun out of it.  We want to talk about things you want to know.  And any question a person has deserves an answer.  Let’s have fun together, tasting and enjoying wine-drinking.