Just go out there and taste, is what we say. And the only reason you deem yourself a “beginner,” more than likely, is because someone told you that’s where you are in your wine experience, or you’ve either intentionally or unintentionally been made to feel and see yourself as such. We, here in the 1Stop office, believe that if you’re drinking wine, have a rough idea of what you like, then you’re as much a wine “aficionado,” “connoisseur,” “maven,” or whatever glossy term is now fashionable, as the next one tilting a glass.
Try different varietals, vintages, AVA’s, producers, winemaking styles, price points. Just have fun. Isn’t wine supposed to be fun? That’s why we’re in the business, right? Isn’t that why a wine consumer spends fought-for funds on corked containers with once-vined fruit in its borders, holding that ever-entrancing character? When tasting, which inherently entails trial and experimentation, taste everything, even the varietals that you think you won’t like, or been told you won’t. And especially make yourself taste the wines that aren’t fashionable, not trending. We’d love to know what your wine experience is, what you like, when you started liking it, and what you haven’t yet sipped but soon aim to.
My first go-to varietal, or bottle rather, was a Blackstone Merlot. I bought my first in 2002 (think the bottle’s vintage was 2000), while living in San Ramon, having company over. I loved what I tasted, and from the little bit of research I did on Merlot’s varietal, I felt a wave of interest invade my newly-chorused wine vision. From there, I tried Syrahs, then went through a Chardonnay phase, of course Pinot, Zinfandel (mostly from Dry Creek and Rockpile), and now I find myself a Cab hound. All by whim, just having fun, playing with my finds. So, we have to ask, what are some of your wine catches, finds? Where have you been with wine, where do you want to go? Do you have a certain level you want to reach, or are you just sipping to sip, like most of us here at 1Stop? Let us know! Sip, sip …
FYI – In my glass now, a nice 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, that saw a little French Oak, the rest stainless. This bottle was given to the 1Stop office as a gift, I think. I used to hate Sauvignon Blancs, I mean loathe them, fiercely. This is, till I tasted one produced by a young Sonoma Valley winemaker, whose approach was different than this bottle (in that it was 100% stainless steel). And, again, just because someone, be it yourself or another, places you in the beginner boat, don’t limit yourself, don’t not try something because it’s not a high-end or “luxury” label. Taste what you want, what you have, whatever wine you meet. Have fun.
-The 1Stop Crew