Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I have never considered myself a connoisseur of wine. I do enjoy two glasses of wine with my dinner, but they are seldom from a highly-rated example of the vintner's art. I can remember only one occasion when a wine seemed really remarkable. Al Chinn & I were having dinner at Masa's in San Francisco about a dozen years ago. It was a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, but I don't remember the year or the winemaker, which in itself tells one something about my lack of appreciation of fine wine. Many's the time I have attended wine tastings and wine appreciation sessions. I can always go through the approved motions, but it's not my everyday style. Wine today is usually so good that it grates a bit when Barbara asks me to pick out a "good" bottle of wine to give her hairdresser. "All our wine is good", I mutter sotto voce. She reminds me that when we were courting I had been buying Oak Barrel bulk wine, which she considered "plonk"--my word, not hers. She would bring a wine such as Côtes du Rhone for us to share, and 44 years later continues to insist that she taught me to appreciate good wine. The truth is that I'm perfectly content to drink wine with no pedigree.