Donna Huntley works in CNN Viewer Communications Management. This is her first in an ongoing series on her journey to understand wine.
Confession time: Until recently, I had never in my life partaken in wine. My parents did not drink it, we never had it in the house and it was never ordered when we went out to eat.
Wine was boring; I never really had a need or desire to learn about the topic, dreaded the thought of ever consuming it and certainly was not going to “waste” any time on the subject. It was not something I would ever lose sleep over. No, wine did not have a place in my life - until last month.
Not long ago my mother, who found out she was adopted, started researching her biological family. She found out that her grandmother once owned a vineyard. We don’t know much about it other than a sentence alongside some family notes, which included the phrases "she owned a vineyard" and "made wine." According to the notes, she was pretty good at it too.
So now in order to understand the great-grandmother I never had the chance to meet, I have decided to study all things wine. I want to learn about grapes and vineyards and everything that comes with it.
Correction: I want to attempt to do all this. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew at times and I don’t want this to be one of those times.
I am a wee bit scared and very much embarrassed. I know nothing about wines; heck I can’t tell the difference between purple grapes and green ones except by their colors. What makes me think I can take on the wine industry?
Truth is, I don’t know, but I really must try. Who knows? It might lead to something exciting - or nothing at all. Either way, I won’t know until I try.
A word of warning: As I write about this investigation into wine, everyone please remember I am not writing this as a connoisseur; I am writing as a novice, just starting out. I have NO, NADA, NIL knowledge of the subject matter.
Because of this there are some ground rules:
1. No making fun of me, no laughing behind my back - laugh WITH me so I can enjoy it too.
2. No admonishing me when I make mistakes - although friendly suggestions are more than welcome. This is a learning process for me, and I could use all the help I can get.
So, armed with my Wine for Dummies book, your suggestions, a notebook and my new found bravery, I am embarking on my adventure. Wish me luck.
Tomorrow - our heroine sips her first Pinot Noir and nearly falls off the bar stool. And not in a good way.