Sometimes I wonder if I've jumped into the proverbial deep end of the winosphere.
I was invited to join some Guild members for nibbles, a tasting or two, and interesting conversation tonight. Duh, can I?? On the way there, though, I'll admit to getting a case of stage fright and wondering just how well I would do under pressure. (Pressure of WHAT? This isn't the tasting exam, for Pete's sake! I'm not being graded!!)
I tend to feel decidedly out of my league when in the presence of mature, well-versed wineaux who can easily rhyme off a dozen French producers and be oh-so laissez-faire about the whole thing. I just nod and smile as if I know exactly what they're talking about, while my brain is desperately flipping through my mental crib notes on AOC designations.
I mentioned this (read: whined about it) to Hubby, my VP of Common Sense, and he, being the very smart man that he is, pointed out that while I may not have France's appellation system memorized, I know an awful lot about Canadian wines, probably more than most people who think Old World is the centre of the universe. And that I'm young and represent a new generation of wine lovers who have a completely different take on wine. And that I should cut myself a little slack - I *just* finished my sommelier course, nobody's expecting me to be a genius.
(Gawd love that man. Glad I married him.)
Anyway, I worried for nothing, of course, and had a fa-boo time brainstorming ideas and exchanging anecdotes on wine travels. My host was the picture of gracious hospitality. He is a master of the amuse-bouche, serving up squares of watermelon topped with sesame-crusted goat cheese; loose-leaf ravioli with two kinds of pesto; and the piece de resistance, a "grilled cheese" of Brie, basil and - get this! - DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS.
We washed it all down with a fizzy, fun Pazo Pondal Leira Albariño (Rias Baizas, Spain); two Okanagan Valley Blue Mountain Stripe Label pinot noirs (the 2002 was rose-petal soft, while the 2004 was fuller, with a more pronounced barnyard aroma and heavy cherry liquor on the palate); and a Cherry Point Vineyards Solera Blackberry fortified wine from Vancouver Island that was succulent jam up front but had a bright, acidic tang at the end.