An advantage to having worked in the wine industry, is still having friends who work in the industry. Attending the "anti-Super Bowl party," I found myself bar side by 12:30 pm, in quite an elegant affair, sipping $150 Champagne and slurping three different kinds of oysters. Sampling Blue Points, Malpeque, and Sweet Waters, I learned that there are different textures, flavors and complex depending on the region and waters they are from, much like wine. I am inspired to learn and taste more.
Hesitant to move on from the Champagne, what could possibly top this example of French perfection? The refined pin point stream of golden bubbles were tantalizing. However, after being persuaded not to spent my last paycheck on more Champagne, I began to taste my way through France. Visiting regions of equally brilliant French wines houses' with extraordinary examples of perfection from their respected regions. Including, a very tart, dry and citrus-ie Chablis, a Vouvray which reminded me of my study abroad days in the Loire Valley. A dry Hungarian Tokaji that smelt of chilantro and corn, making it the perfect paring for a burrito... seriously! And that was only the first couple of hours!
Staying until close, (about 7 hours later), we decided it was time for dinner. Another advantage to knowing people in the wine industry is that they also know colleagues in the restaurant industry. Allowing the manager and kitchen to decide what we would be eating, we began to test each other's blind tasting ability amongst a three course meal. I have to say, I was rather impressed with my own palate, especially hours after I had started drinking. Maybe my lowered inhibitions allowed me to say exactly what I was smelling and tasting, no hesitations. :) Continuing to drink Chardonnay from Burgundy and slowly tasting our way into Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Tempranillo...I honestly did not want the day to end! The company, wine and food were all amazing! These kind of experiences remind me of why I am so passionate about food and wine.
Ultimately, I was reminded that I have not only have a talent and trained palate but I have a true passion for fine wine and sharing it with others. I love tasting, (who doesn't?!), and learning about the world through wine. I also have a passion for the people working in the industry, as we are all connecting over a common passion and occasionally, trying to blind taste a wine with 100% accuracy. Champagne, Chablis and Vourvray have come back into my life with vengeance, re-awaking my senses, reminding me how important wine is to both my personal and professional life. Ultimately, it brings people together, challenges some of us and awakens a dormant heart in a select few of us. I am truly a proud oenophile.