Monday, June 16, 2008

Wine is More Than Fine by Barbara Quinn

Forget the water and bring on the wine. I’ve mentioned before that I was raised in an Italian-American household where wine was introduced without fuss during childhood. Fortunately, there were no alcoholics in my family and thus no fear that drinking could lead to alcoholism. Instead, we were able to enjoy our meals with every type of wine.

Back then there was a jug of Hearty Burgundy under the kitchen sink (oh no!)for our daily drinking. I didn’t care for it and was relieved when in summer we could slice the peaches from our yard into a pitcher of the wine to sweeten away the harshness. There was Cold Duck on special occasions and Vermouth before dinner. There were Chiantis, the ones with straw around the bottle. Most of the wines we drank were red, though I do remember my grandmother bringing bottles of Lacryma Christi(tears of Christ)a legendary southern Italian wine whose vines are said to have sprung from Christ's tears. My grandfather wielded a silver canister of seltzer to make us all the first version of wine spritzers. And he made terrible dandelion wine!

In college I drank the sweet stuff: Yago Sangria or Mateus Rose. As time passed I discovered the world of dry wine. French Chablis, Graves, Fumes, and Meursault, California Chardonnay, Italian Pinot Grigio. French Rhones, California Cabernets, Oregon Pinot Noirs, Spanish Tempranillos, Argentinian Malbecs.

It’s been a wonderful journey around the world via wine. My current favorites are reds: Pinot Noirs, Barolos, Barberas, Nero D’avolas, and Bordeaux (2005 was an excellent year so if you see any bargains from then snap them up!) When I do drink the occasional glass of white it’s likely to be a Viognier.

And the best thing about wine? More and more studies show that it’s good for your heart and may prevent ageing. So drink up. It's good for your health! And I am grateful for the grape.



Kathryn Magendie said...

We didn't have alcohol in our house when I was growing up, as alcoholism was an issue (my father has been recovered for many many years - forty something, maybe close to fifty), my first wine was Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill in the pasture - ugh...bleah...erk...!

I grew to love wine as an older adult, when I was finally "shown" better wine - meaning, NOT white zen! *laugh*...which is really a "starter wine" (sorry white zen drinkers!)

I love a good pinot, too...used to love merlot but now I think it's too heavy, almost like going from White Zen to Merlot to the good stuff *laughing*!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm a Boone's Farm Tickled Pink & Straweberry Hill initiate too. Maybe that's why the vino never grew on me. ;)

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