Friday, February 17, 2006

Western Wine Tour Update: What the F**k am I Doing?


This morning I woke up very anxious about the wine tour* I'm about to take. An interesting moment came to mind: when I was in Dallas recently, meeting the father of a friend and his wine-and-car enthusiast friends, one of the gentlemen had an unexpected reaction to hearing about my blog. When I told him that I reviewed wine, he said, "Wow, you must be really confident of your expertise to put your opinion out there like that."

"No, not really," I said. "I've just got a nose, and a palate, and some knowledge. But that's all you need."

This answer didn't seem to compute well for him. I think he had more fun believing that wine appreciation was an exclusive club for those who had "palates" and the sophistication necessary to evaluate good wine.

Everybody has a palate, people. Everyone who has a tongue and a patch of nasal cilia can understand wine, food, coffee, cigars, good scotch, or what have you. Some palates are more sensitive to certain things: tolerance for sweetness, or the esther that reminds the brain of roses. But other than slowing down, paying attention, and learning a little bit of technical jargon, there's no big mystery to enjoying wine. And the more you learn, the more fun it is.

So I don't want there to be any exclusive club. I want there to be a big tent, 'cause what's really great about anything you enjoy is being able to enjoy it with other people. What the hell good is it to geek out over a gorgeous 1993 Weinbach Sylvaner all by your lonesome?

I've been deep in the planning of my trip, and since I've never done anything like this before, I'm pretty much winging it. I have no idea what's ahead. It's occured to me that I'm wanting this trip to be everything at once---The Ultimate Road Trip with plenty of room to wander freely, The Ultimate Writing Trip, with time on my own to get in touch with the Kerouac within, and The Ultimate Wine Trip, where I bust balls to get interviews, gather information, and blog like a madwoman. Whatzit gonna be? I could run myself into the ground, panicking when I'm relaxing, angry when I'm tired of talking to people.

Here's what I promise: I'm going to go out there, and talk to as many winemakers as I can, find out who's still passionate about what they do. I promise to be just an average gal who knows what she knows and loves her some wine, and ask whatever the hell I want to ask. The worst that can happen is that I'll meet a bunch of people who love what I love, right?

Right. I've got eleven days. My stomach just jumped.

Keep up with me, and send me vibes of goodness.

Clinkies.

*The Cork and Demon Wine Tour, btw: three months, driving across the wine countries of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and up the coast of California, to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. I'll be blogging from the road.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Bryan said...

I get butterflies just reading about the trip. You should get a camera crew to follow you too. Andrea Immer's 2 shows just don't fill my void.

6:55 AM  
Blogger taj said...

Dude, it's freakin' Butterfly Central in my GI tract. I wish someone would follow me around with a camera! That would sooo satisfy the inner diva. Alas, nothing so glamorous for me.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous maggie said...

It'll be awesome...you know it will. Just remember, you're driving around in search of other wine NERDS. Operative word, "nerd." They'll be happy to see you, and talk, and talk, and talk.....

2:33 PM  
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