Truth ‘n Wine, The Beginning

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
“The Drinking Song,” by William Butler Yeats
The minister at my 1991 wedding read this “truth” as my about-to-be
husband and I drank from a ceramic goblet I had made for the wine ceremony during
our intimate wedding. On that warm, late summer day on the banks of the Hudson
River in New York State the words seemed to sum up two of my truths – I loved
my husband and I loved wine. My love of both has grown stronger over the years.
But this is a blog about wine, so let’s focus on that. Probably
the most defining wine moment of my wine life came a few years prior to my
wedding, when, as a single twenty-something working woman in NYC, I was sent on
a junket by a large computer company to France to get educated on their
international operations. I did get an education … but not only in computers.
The journalists on this whirlwind trip began our adventure
in Paris, where we landed late morning and were promptly whisked off to a
Parisian luncheon, replete with several courses of rich food and many bottles
of vin.  Considering our time clocks were all on US
time, not French, the meal was a bit hard to take, and so was the wine, at what
was more like 5 am to our sleepy bodies. But we survived, adjusted our internal
clocks, visited museums, attended meetings, and ate and drank some more. We
eventually made our way down to the south of France.
On the fast train from Paris to Cannes, the wine was flowing
at 100 miles per hour. Served at all hours of the day, everywhere, the French
people all seemed to be drinking wine as a natural part of their diet. I
thought, ‘France is very civilized and I could get used to this!’
At our final dinner in Cannes, on the hypnotic French
Riviera, I and my colleagues were treated to the Mediterranean specialty of bouillabaisse, that delectable seafood
soup that tastes like the ocean. The classic wine pairing, I was told, is rosé. Hmm, I thought, that’s
the cheap pink wine that Orson Welles hawks on TV, using the slogan “We sell no
wine before its time.” I held my tongue and opened my mind, and was
delightfully surprised.  The food
complemented the wine and the wine, the food —beautifully and harmoniously. At
that moment I “got it” that foods and wines produced in the same climate and general
locale could and should be eaten and drunk together. My palette blossomed from
that day on.
Ever since that trip, I’ve been on a personal wine journey,
both informally and formally. A sip of wine often triggers a fond memory. Rosé (a wine currently back
in fashion) always takes me back to that bouillabaisse experience in Cannes; a sweet
wine takes me to Niagara Falls, where I tasted my first ice wine 20 years ago;
a tannic Syrah brings me up to beautiful Paso Robles where I have met so many startup
vintners who are part of the growing “garagiste
On a more formal level, I have just completed my WSET
Advanced Certification classes. The Wine and Spirit Education Trust, based in
London, offers this course in various locations worldwide to provide a
comprehensive overview of the global production of wine and spirits. With the
knowledge I gained, I believe I now have a solid grasp of the style and quality
of wine, although I know there is much more to learn. Red, white, rosé, port, sherry – all of
these wines have unique and varied representations on the shelves of wine
stores and supermarkets. Based on my studies, I now know how to judge what’s
behind the labels.
With “Truth ‘n Wine” I will delve into anything related to viticulture
(growing of grapes) and vinification (making of wine), such as the importance
of terroir, popular and up-and-coming varietals, large and small vineyards,
winemakers, wine bars, wine literature, and more. Most importantly, I hope to
start a dialog with you. Let’s hear your wine truths. With a nod to the coming
warm spring/summer months, the next installment will look at one of my favorite
types of wine, Rosé.
My blog will appear weekly on
 Until then, cheers!