The journey from childhood to maturity has several paths of learning. Let’s think about the road to wine, a way that requires going through a palate experimentation. It might end up delighting yourself with the best wines of the world. Or maybe not!
We all start out on a similar path in the world of wine. In the beginning, as occurs with coffee, people don’t like it much because they are unaccustomed to its taste. Nobody shifts from having Coca-Cola to drinking a Priorat just because they reach the legal drinking age.
From sweet to wine
As with everything, adaptation is required, and in this case that adaptation occurs in terms of both taste and social interaction, because you must not forget that wine forms part of celebrations and gourmet cuisine. Due to that, most of us got their first taste of wine at a New Year’s Eve party, when the family toasted with champagne or cava and let us wet our lips. But few of us are seduced by that first sip, and we end up returning to soft drinks or more dubious mixed drinks.
The likes of a teenager
After ending our teenage years and partaking in mischief with our gang of friends, though, we fall in love. And that first date is usually a dinner at the local pizzeria over a Lambrusco which begins to seem appealing to us (both our date and the wine). We like it, because it is fizzy and fruity, and because it puts us as ease so we can talk about our feelings. Yes, that first wine we share makes us feel “giggly” and delights us.
After that come the paellas at the beach and the sparkling wines and picnics with rosé wines. Then one day you try out a wine your mother likes: very aromatic, a bit sweet and very refreshing. And it inspires you.
Wines with your boss
Later on, at your first job, you go out to a nice restaurant with your boss. You don’t mention that you don’t like wine, because you are embarrassed, so you end up tasting a red wine with some tasty meat and a plate of cheese before dessert, and… it is amazing!
And so the story goes: there are a thousand ways in which you might end up with that obsession they call wine. And an end is always a beginning, as well!
Your road to wine
Pay close attention, though: they say all roads lead to Rome, but sometimes they don’t. There are people who spend their whole lives drinking Lambrusco, and there is nothing wrong with that.
There are people who starting drinking milk with a splash of coffee and heaps of sugar the night before an exam when they have to stay up studying. One day there isn’t much milk left in the fridge, so they end up having a stronger brew after a weekend of partying. One day, they drink some coffee by itself without no sugar, because the cupboards are empty, and they notice it isn’t so bad. Afterwards they take a trip to Italy and find they are charmed when they try a ristretto.
We start at sweet and end up at bitter, with a side trip through sour. And just as there are some people continue to drink cappuccino after dinner, there are some people who continue to love young wines throughout their entire lives, without ever growing to love red reserves. Since variety is the spice of life, everything goes, as long as it is what you are convinced by.
Key concepts for beginners
- Lambrusco: The most greatly sold wine in the world (though this is not exactly a matter of pride amongst experts), especially its most commercial version: rosé, sweet and very cheap. It originates in the Emilia-Romagna region, where they usually drink it red and dry.
- Priorat: This is the only official appellation d’origine in Catalonia. Many years ago, this historical region produced rustic, high-alcohol wines that were sold in bulk. Nowadays, these wines have received great international acclaim because of their authenticity.
- Sparkling wine: Also known as pétillant in France or vino de aguja in Spain. These wines are slightly fizzy and quite fun because they bring out the wine’s fruity character. However, they don’t have the visible frothiness of a sparkling cava or champagne.