Variety: The Saving Grace to Wine!

27 Oct

Variety: The Saving Grace to Wine! #MWWC20

wine-stain1-3

I expect you have a current favorite wine. If you are thinking “Not really,” then you surely have a specific vineyard, winemaker, or at least a varietal, if not a specific bottle and vintage. When people ask me (not sure why, but it seems to be a common question) I might admit that in a given moment I have four or five current favorites, but they are constantly changing. One day I might have a favorite dry white, a favorite sweeter white, a favorite white blend. If I spend time considering the cellar holdings versus what’s in front of me at the moment, I’ll realize I have a current “every day” favorite in red, a current favorite single vineyard red, a current favorite bordeaux, and a favorite alternative- for several years it was Rioja, but I’m currently deep in Barolo. And I can’t forget that I usually have a favorite sweet wine- last spring it was Eiswine, but I’m back on my Sauternes kick. These are all in addition to the wine I hold most dear- Château Margaux, which I might get to taste very rarely.

The fun part is that my taste preferences change seasonally, sometimes as quickly as the weather might change from sun to rain. But sometimes my base desires will change or shift. For several years I had forgotten about the joy a good sparkling wine can provide when I tasted a dry lambrusco at the Wine Blogger’s Conference #WBC14. That switched on some synapse in me that renewed my respect for sparkling wines. While I had not been enjoying very much sparkling wine before, during a subsequent family trip to Scotland I sought out great Italian restaurants, and due to the unusual heat and no A/C that summer, we found ourselves drinking sparkling rosé night after night. I came back home with a renewed vigor for all things sparkling, and found a lot of unusual sparkling wines to share with friends as a result. All this because I had renewed the desire for a refreshing, light, thirst-quenching wine!

Sometimes, I’m steady in some favorites, like my favorite white burgundy. That really hasn’t changed in seven years…but there could be a new winemaker who brings out an amazing product at a price point that simply blows my mind. And that would be wonderful. Because do we complain that there are too many great winemakers? Too many great restaurants? Too many lovely cities to visit? That we have too many friends? No, we love having some variety. Even if we want the same thing over and over again, having options is key– for one day, the fickle finger of fate will point in a different direction.

white-burgundy-chardonnay-wine-770x578

Variety. Like varietals, variety can save your butt in wine.

American Psychologist Daniel Gilbert wrote: “The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.”

Gilbert has a great point.  Having a cellar with a lot of options is similar to having a great spice rack, if you know what to do with it! You have a lot of really wonderful options that can pair together in an instance or be used independently of one another to great success. Also, spice is very much like wine in that is has a shelf life and needs to be well maintained in both temperature and humidity to stay consistent, if not to provide ideal enjoyment.
 IMG_0602

When I seek through the few treasures my cellar holds, it brings a smile to my face. Single vineyard varietals from Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, the Willamette Valley, the Finger Lakes, Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Alsace. Bottle after bottle of Bordeaux châteaux that make me smile at the thought of their vineyards and their extraordinary products. Sections of Tuscany, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige, Sicily, Lombardy. Spain, Potugal, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand. Ah, New Zealand! My mind was blown away after a night of tasting New Zealand’s wines, and then again after a tasting of some stunning wines in Santa Barbara. Perhaps that is one of the simple joys of life: enjoying food and wine. One can have spent their entire life without knowing how much they might enjoy a food or wine, blissfully unaware, and one little taste- and you must have it again! At least perhaps we have learned to appreciate a wonderful local bottle or dish. More things we enjoy and would like to try again- other than not having space to store more bottles, what could possibly be wrong with that?

lyric_opera_chicago_gala_fund_raiser-wine_auction_2006_3_001

So maybe I’ll build on and customize Gilbert’s altruism. “The secret to wine is knowing both what you like and a strong variety of wines: that you will know how and when to use them effectively.”  At the very least, have an openness towards trying new things, as winemakers will continue to challenge our palates and develop stunning wines we’ll want to try, enjoy, and then share again with friends.

And that variety is one that can enhance your life far beyond any bottle.

Nota tasting

À votre santé!

Advertisements

24 Responses to “Variety: The Saving Grace to Wine!”

  1. Kat November 3, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Congrats on winning the writing challenge! I always am asked my favorite wine and it’s hard to answer…I like so many and like you, my taste is ever changing. It all depends on my mood, environment, what I’m eating, etc. I may have my go-to’s but there’s so much out there, why limo myself to one? 😊

    Like

    • jimvanbergen November 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

      That’s the joy of variety, right? We don’t have to limit ourselves, hence my overflowing cellar
      Thanks so much for the support & kind words! Hope you enjoy the blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. the drunken cyclist October 27, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    Reblogged this on mwwcblog.

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #34 (#MWWC34) | the drunken cyclist - June 27, 2017

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  2. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #33 (#MWWC33) | the drunken cyclist - June 10, 2017

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  3. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #32 (#MWWC32) | the drunken cyclist - March 21, 2017

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  4. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #31 (#MWWC31) | the drunken cyclist - February 7, 2017

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  5. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #30 (#MWWC30) | the drunken cyclist - December 20, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  6. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #29 (#MWWC29) | the drunken cyclist - November 8, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  7. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #28 (#MWWC28) | the drunken cyclist - September 27, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  8. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #27 (#MWWC27) | the drunken cyclist - August 2, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  9. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #26 (#MWWC26) | the drunken cyclist - June 14, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  10. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #25 (#MWWC25) | the drunken cyclist - May 3, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  11. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #24 (#MWWC24) | the drunken cyclist - March 23, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  12. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #23 (#MWWC23) | the drunken cyclist - February 9, 2016

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  13. Post #1000 (and Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #22) | the drunken cyclist - December 18, 2015

    […] JVB Uncorked […]

    Like

  14. Saturday Reminders–12/5/15 | the drunken cyclist - December 5, 2015

    […] month Jim of JVB Uncorked, last month’s winner, provided the theme for the new Monthly Wine Writing Challenge […]

    Like

  15. Saturday Reminders–11/28/15 | the drunken cyclist - November 28, 2015

    […] few weeks ago Jim of JVB Uncorked, last month’s winner, provided the theme for the new Monthly Wine Writing Challenge […]

    Like

  16. Like Peas and Carrots, Just Not With Merlot… | The Epicurious Texan - November 20, 2015

    […] this month’s wine writing challenge–as selected by last month’s winner Jim of JVB Uncorked–is pairing.  And whenever I think of pairing the first thing that pops into my head is […]

    Like

  17. The Sound of Wine – #MWWC21 | THE HUNTED WINE - November 18, 2015

    […] Monthly Wine Writing Challenge (MWWC21) theme for this month, chosen by the last winner JVB Uncorked, is […]

    Like

  18. Like Peas and Carrots, Just Not With Merlot… | The Epicurious Texan - November 17, 2015

    […] this month’s wine writing challenge–as selected by last month’s winner Jim of JVB Uncorked–is pairing.  And whenever I think of pairing the first thing that pops into my head is […]

    Like

  19. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #21 (#MWWC21) | the drunken cyclist - November 9, 2015

    […] week, Jim of JVB Uncorked won the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #20 (#MWWC20) and just like all previous winners of the […]

    Like

  20. Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #20–The Results | the drunken cyclist - November 3, 2015

    […] JVB Uncorked: Variety: The Saving Grace to Wine […]

    Like

  21. #MWWC20 Time to vote! | the drunken cyclist - October 27, 2015

    […] JVB Uncorked: Variety: The Saving Grace to Wine […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: