As someone who was raised by parents who’s idea of a special meal beverage was Martenelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider, it’s safe to say I had to develop my taste for wine elsewhere. Luckily for me, I knew a few wine lovers who could point me in the right direction. The friend I happen to live with had a taste for white wine and so, I did too, by association. I loved the crisp, citrusy tastes of them, the lightness, the kisses of flavor and I became familiar with them. Moscatos, Rieslings, Chardonnays. When I was finally able to bring my new-found love of wine into the public at 21, white is what I always ordered.
But recently…don’t tell my beloved white wines…I’ve been having an affair with red wine.
It all started at a family gathering with my boyfriend’s family, most of whom love red wine. I remember the first time I went over to the wine table and looked at all the bottles. “Not a white in sight?” I thought. “What am I supposed to drink?” Not wanting to look “unclassy” (not to mention, still being in the stage where I desperately want my boyfriend’s family to like me) I grab a cute, little, stemless red wine glass and choose a wine to try because, quote, “Its label looks cool.” (I can literally hear the rolling of a thousand oenophiles’ eyes.)
I picked up the bottle of Gnarly Head and poured it into my little glass then took a sip and bam. Punched in the face with flavor. And I liked it. The flavor is full and bold and has character. After my first sip I struggled to stay classy and not look like I’ve never tasted something so wonderful before. I think I nailed it by taking small, but frequent and eager sips. And afterwards I believe I’ve found my new favorite red wine, adorably enough, my very first red wine. How high school.
A few months later, at Christmas, my boyfriend’s family brings along, again, their favorite red wines to share along with their Christmas wishes. As I mosey around the wine counter I see this beauty (again, I’m a sucker for labels):
I like the look of it so I pour a glass. Even before the elixir hits my lips I take in its warm aroma. Once I swallow a sip I feel the warmth radiate through me. Is it possible to fall in love with a wine at first sip? Yes. I know, because I did. Another bold red has stolen my heart, my new favorite.
But it might have some competition since I’ve recently met D’Aquino Chianti.
Purchased by, you guessed it, my boyfriend’s mother to share with on an evening in along with pasta for me and meatball subs for her sons, served with a side of human flesh (ha ha ha, a Hannibal Lecter-Chianti joke, how original). But I was eager to try it, already in love with the presentation, it’s straw wrapping quaint and nostalgic, cute even. I took a sip and was tickled by its touch of sweetness and found comfort in its lightness. My first glass was gone in almost a flash. I tried to be classier with the second glass. And I waited for my boyfriend’s mother to leave before sneaking my third. Classy.
All in all, look out white wines. Looks like the reds are what my heart seems to be going for these days: the boldness, the warmth, the character, and frankly, the downright sexiness of them. White wines say fun but the reds say mystery and class. And fun (after three glasses). But I’m sure my taste buds (and liver) can make room to love both. Besides, I have plenty more sipping to do.
Tell me what some of your favorite wines are!