wine sampling for beginning mamas

I, not being a beginner, because I’ve sampled a few bottles, but also not having received a certificate in anything sommelier-ish, am also not a professional. I, neither speak the wine language in profundity, nor am innocent of its intricacies, so offer you my very humble, sometimes erudite, sometimes ordinary opinion on wine.

My opinion offered to you for one reason: I enjoy drinking it.

And I enjoy writing.

Drinking and driving: don’t do it.

But drinking and writing? Do it. Everyone else is.

Hemmingway attested to it. Apparently, so do a variety of sci-fi writers, and probably half the writing population. It’s a mix that probably originates much of your favourite entertainment.

So, for my writerly happiness, I shall write about wine. (While drinking it, of course!)

Wait a second while I grab a bottle.

Here in my hands I have a Finca Los Primos Argentinian Malbec. An affordable wine. Just under the $15 dollar mark. My husband and I have come to believe that much under the $15 mark, you will find it difficult to find a robust wine that takes on our snobbish preferences. Let me know if you love something under that price point (I’m talking Canadian dollars here).

This is not a special occasion bottle. It is a sipping wine. Sipped slowly, at 14%.

I don’t prefer to purchase wines that don’t describe their flavours. You get my attention when you label your wine “Fat Bastard”, or “Red Bicyclette”. But you won’t get me to buy them on label name.

When I swirl those 6 oz (I mean 4;) in my stemless wineglass, I like to drink in the bouquet through a deep nestling of my nose. Is it fruity? What kind of fruit? Plums? Blackberries? Will there be ample tannins? I can guess.

When I first swish a tablespoon through my teeth, I want to know the ‘awwwww’ of robust peppery notes that accentuate my pepper steak. Or at least I want to pretend that I do.

Give me a line that says, “This wine was crafted from handpicked grapes ripened under the hot Argentine sun. An easy drinking straight up Malbec filled with savoury aromas and smooth flavours of ripe black cherry and toasty oak. Enjoy this wine with good friends.”

Yes! Yes I will! Can we be friends?

Here goes…

To my plastic camping glass, I add a burgundy coloured sampling, raspberry shades where the light enters through. Might I add, don’t do plastic. Terrible. Why waste your wine enjoyment? Find yourself a glass that captures the bouquet.

These snobby wine people really aren’t trying to pull the vine over you. Your nose takes the first drink, then your mouth takes the second. Have you ever smelled a warming garbage can while trying to spit watermelon seeds over it? And decided you didn’t need the watermelon after all? Your nose knows.

Try it for yourself. After you’ve swirled, stick that nose far into the glass rim and inhale like you’re steaming your passageways with menthol. Ahhh.

They had me at…. “Malbec”. Malbec is my last five year favourite varietal. Something so drinkable about this wine. You could drink it alongside a goat cheese encrusted New York strip. You could down it slowly, swirling it as you sat back by the fire in your wing chair and cigar in your left hand, legs crossed, asking about your old chums in Oxford.

Chilean or Argentinian, these South American neighbours know their wine. The Finca Los Primos, a drinking wine, not a celebratory Easter lamb wine, or an annual Christmas roast beef wine. But a sit back at the lake, with your laptop on lap, gazing at the glossy greens flowing slowly by, hoping the hubby and kids will come back for lunch, kinda wine. The perfect wine for a lazy afternoon. I mean evening…