Thursday, February 8, 2007

What was that first bottle that got you hooked on wine?


I think most people have that one bottle that got them absolutely hooked on wine. If it wasn't a bottle, maybe it was a situation, a romantic dinner or specific moment when you realized there was more to wine than just a good buzz.

For me it happened in a kind of unusual way, as I thought I was already into wine. I befriended my local wine merchant in my new neighborhood of Jersey city. As I would come in there he would observe my buying habits and one day recommended a bottle of Neonato 2000 Rioja by Marques de Marrieta.

The wine would explode with fruit up front, then mellow out with a velvety texture. Beautiful nose and an overall great wine as I remember it. The next day, I literally walked into the store on my way to work and shook the guys hand. It was an epiphany. I told him that I'd be back that night to pick up a case of Neonato. Since that day, I have been much more adventurous and open to trying new and different wines - spending a small fortune to keep up with this obsession.

So lets here from you out there, was there one wine, moment, dinner party that just set you off? (At least got you hooked enough to be reading a wine blog) Post a comment and let's hear it.

11 comments:

Sergeant-At-Arms said...

It was a bottle of Ruffino Chianti. Up until then I was still mesmerized about microbrews (still am) and obsessed with badmouthing Bud, Coors and Miller brand beers.

By the way in last week's BusinessWeek, Robert Parker had a What's Hot and What's Not listing. He listed Argentinian Malbecs in the What's Hot column.

Grape Nut said...

Mrs. Grape Nut would probably agree with you on that wine. On our first date - heading to a little Italian BYOB place in the neighborhood - I asked what type of wine she'd like to have with dinner and she requested Ruffino Chianti (Reserve I believe). Problem was, that I was so broke it almost broke the budget for the date. Damn I was broke and thank god for BYOB restaurants.

The Vine Guy said...

This one is not very easy for me to answer. There are two occassions I vividly remember that hooked me. One is the experience I wrote about in the very first post ever written on this blog. Helping my dad make wine when I was 6 years-old, and sneaking some sips straight from tha barrel afetr fermentation. The second I would have to say was a trip to Florence, Italy me, and Mrs. Vine Guy took with a group of very good friends. We visited a village, Castelo de Volpaia, and sampled a bunch of their wines. To this day, that 1997 Chinati Classico is the best I've ever had.

I'd be curious to see what Mr. C thought of that wine, since he was with me when I tried it.

Chenoa said...

I think the bottles closely linked to good memories are the best even when they aren't the most sophisticated. I will always have a soft spot for Casal Garcia thanks to the Vine Guy who introduced me to it when we were dating. Whenever he buys a case or two of that, I think of all the good times we've shared over a glass of the vinho verde.
The chianti classico is pretty darn good too. We recently received it as a gift from a friend who went with us on that trip. It's a wine we dont want to forget.

Sergeant-At-Arms said...

Ah yes, Casal Garcia! I believe a certain female challenged the Vine Guy and myself to a competition sticking strictly to this perfect party white wine. Does that challenge still exist?

The Vine Guy said...

Casal Garcia is without a doubt my favorite Vinho Verde. It is perfect in every way...I don't care how cheap it is. I've tried many over the years, and even sampled a few when I was in Portugal in August. The only one that came close was a house wine I had while eating lunch at a restaurant on the banks of the Duoro river. The meal was great, the wine was great, and the view was simply incredible.

Kim and Victoria said...

Florence is a great place to fall in love with wine. Our third day there we ate dinner at a wine bar and with our daughter drank our first Barolos and Brunellos. We've been on a wine journey ever since.

Sergeant-At-Arms said...

I also have fond memories of a Paringa Shiraz.

MyManMisterC said...

Sorry for the late response on this one.

Wine Guy, if you remember, it wasn't the chianti classico that made our mouths water, it was the Balifico, which was a super tuscan that San Gioveto and Cabarnet grapes to make that melodious grape goodness.

In fact, weeks after returning from Italy, I was at the Captial Grille in Philly and ordered a bottle of it. It cost us $12 a bottle in Italy. The price at the Capital Grille -- $104. How's that for a markup!!

MyManMisterC said...

http://www.volpaia.com/sito/inglese/prodotti/vino.php

Enjoy!

Grape Nut said...

That's pretty much highway robbery.