Learning to Drink Wine Again

I’m learning how to drink wine again. Now, I know that might sound strange to lots of you but hear me out. I’ve been making wine for 10 years. I’ve been studying it intensely for the past 7 and due to being super paranoid about being a good Mama I really haven’t been drinking wine for the past two years. Say what you want about pregnancy, breast-feeding and wine consumption but I was not going to take ANY chances with my little boy! I would indulge in a small sip here and there once my son was born before bed but I’ve only recently started having a glass a few nights a week again. Those who know me really well know I’ve never been a big drinker. I don’t like the smell of alcohol so I stay away from spirits completely. Studying for my Diploma Unit 4 was interesting. I’ve only through my studies come to appreciate fortified wines but it is only a few times a year I might actually choose to drink one. A “most interesting man in the world” quote would be appropriate here. I don’t always drink fortified wines, but when I do I prefer Madiera. You get the picture. However, I only realized this past weekend that I haven’t been drinking wines to enjoy them, only to study them, for quite a while. There are wines I love such as Chablis, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and Burgundian Pinot Noir that I haven’t actually enjoyed a glass of in almost three years. I haven’t ordered my stock supply of Finger Lakes Riesling in two years. That has to stop and its going to stop now. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in learning as much as you can about wine and forget to actually enjoy it. I’m going back to my original inspiration for enjoying wine, not surprisingly from a man who has influenced my career heavily even though I never had a chance to get to know him beyond a chance meeting.

“Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living” – Robert Mondavi

4 thoughts on “Learning to Drink Wine Again

  1. Dear Nova:

    I have been meaning to write you for awhile. I am revisiting all the blogs I have saved on Google Chrome and I realized I haven’t read you recently. I know it’s very late to tell you, but I am so heartbroken that you didn’t pass your MW exam again. You may find it offensive (I hope not) that I choose to share the scraps of my pity party with you, but I also met Defeat this year, at my Certified Sommelier exam. (Honestly, not only did I meet Defeat, I am convinced he is secretly trying to sublet my apartment).

    Another comment echoes my reaction: You are handling this with great class and grace. Please know how much of an inspiration you are to your family, and your online fans who, perhaps, are sharing a similar dream.

    Your latest post was a little haunting. Did you see the Somm movie earlier this year? I saw it just after I choked my Certified. Maybe I wasn’t in the best frame of mind for it at that time. But honestly, aside from the movie’s virtues (and it has some, even though I would vote “Thumbs Down” on it as a whole), I left the theatre, twice, incredibly depressed.

    I am struggling with why Our Father would give us the land, the seedling, the dedicated people who take Mother’s Nature’s work and turn it into this noble beverage, if we take it and use it to mentally and physically torture ourselves to the point some MS and MW candidates do.

    This is what a wrote a young lady just one step away from her MS, a few months after the movie was out:

    “Wine is not a grid. Wine is not Jeopardy. Wine is not ESPN. When we turn it into those things something indescribable but priceless is lost.”

    Is my opinion heresy? Will I be stuck at the kiddie table forever if I share it with others in the biz?

    I understand if you’re not really in the mood for discussion about this, but with the year running out and my dream to pass this year unfulfilled, I could use some inspiration and wisdom from someone with way more experience at This Here Wine Thing than I do. If I’ve offended you, I apologize, and will understand if you don’t respond.

    In either case, I wish you much success in 2014 and to have a healthy, tasty Thanksgiving and Christmas!

    Sincerely,

    Douglas Trapasso

  2. Hi Douglas! Thank you so much for your note. It’s so gratifying to know that someone besides my closest friends and family is reading my general craziness. I’m happy to give any inspirational advice that I can although I’m not sure what that would be. Your MS to be’s quote is fantastic. I absolutely agree that we must keep in mind always that it is just wine. We are not curing cancer or creating world peace, just trying to identify some wines blind. I enjoy the challenge of it more than anything but I always try not to take myself too seriously. If you really want to continue with your dream of becoming a Somm don’t let anyone or anything hold you back, especially yourself. I’ve seen more people drop out of the MW program not because they didn’t have the knowledge or the skill to pass but they had mentally talked themselves out of it. I haven’t seen the movie Somm although I hear from various friends that I should see it and that I would relate.

    On another note, that was probably the longest comment anyone has ever left me so thank you for that. I’m so excited you like my blog and I hope you continue to visit. Happy holidays to you as well and remember to enjoy some wines, not just study them.

  3. Thank you for writing back! Actually, the quote above is what -I- wrote to the young lady Somm in Training; she actually is kind of struggling through the same issues I am. I am definitely rooting for her (and you!) to pass that final step, but it sounds like both of you have found a balance between your studies and your other life needs, and that’s just as important in life as it is in wine.

  4. My brother had at one point been studying for a very local food service Sommelier certification and he ended up ditching it, coming away with something I’ve taken to heart as having a certain truth – “The best wine is the wine you like best. And that’s all there is to it.”

    It wasn’t necessarily a viable career move for anyone but him, but like the grid quote, it’s an important thing to keep in mind. That one of the reasons we pay such attention to wine is because it’s a magical thing that defies the strictures assigned to it year after year.

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