Wine’s of the World: from the Wine Enthusiast
I remember when I entered into the world of wine, from being a student to a full time worker. As I climbed the career ladder and started attending fancier events I realized my taste buds also had to mature.
No longer was the chicken and chips with sprite a sufficient order to be made - I now needed to get used to big plates with minimal food served with wine.
Whenever I would head out to fancy events, the first question a waiter would ask is “Would you like red or white”, ”Red!” I would confidently retort. As they poured the red beverage I had no idea whether it was going to taste nice or what would happen when I consumed a glass. Initially when I tasted wine I found it bitter, dry and high in alcohol - a highly undesirable beverage which I couldn't understand for the life of me why anybody would want to consume.
I am not one to give in to peer pressure, yet being in an environment where I was generally the youngest amongst a sea of professionals whom I aspired to become, therefore I was willing to do the least harmful things which allowed me to grow and play the part.
As they would pour I would be worried whether I could really drink what I had been presented and what would happen to me if I did so.
I would say I never was a peer pressure kind of person, I was always able to navigate my way through school and my peers without feeling influenced by them. But in this environment I was generally the youngest and truly aspired to be like the sea of professionals whom I was amongst, therefore quite naturally doing the things which played the part.
I got used to asking for and consuming red wine at events, there were only ever two options of wine it was easy. The challenge occurred when I took my wine knowledge to the restaurant…
“What wine would you like?’
“Which kind of red wine”
“Errrrrr” my eyes would dart around to avoid embarrassment, then I would quickly respond “well which one do you have?”
I would then be provided with quite an extensive wine list…what is a girl to do? I would then ask “what is your house wine?” more often than not it would be a Merlot and that was it…my wine option was always a Merlot.
I would feel fancy going out places asking for a Merlot - my friends at the time were impressed as they were cocktail and beer drinkers and didn't know much about wine, my work colleagues were indifferent!
Merlot wine very quickly became my wine of choice, yet overtime I realized I did not have any idea of what wine was to fully appreciate it. For example, I didn't know that Merlot was one of many red grapes, I didn't know that wine would taste different depending on which part of the world the wine was produced. I also wasn't aware that the wine could taste different dependent on the vintage or that wine would best pair with one kind of food over others - let alone that I would enjoy my wine more when I would take time to seek out its flavours.
I further didn't know that red wine was better ‘decanted’ and that I had to smell, taste and examine the finish - I only got to learn this over a number of years. It was with this I realized how wonderful and amazing the wine culture is.
Wine is more than a beverage, it is an art, a culture, a great conversation piece. The wine spectrum is so broad and really does come down to ones own individual taste for what they are consuming.
After more than 10 years in the corporate world, wine has really grown on me. I am a proud wine enthusiast as wine has become more than a drink or a past time, but now a lifestyle.
Dear Readers, what do you really know about wine?
This article was written by wine enthusiast Ms Nadia Takyiwaa-Mensah.
To get in contact email email@example.com or follow me on twitter @nadiamensah