Trainee psychiatrist, amateur wine enthusiast.
As a child I spent years travelling round France, drinking the local wine, and visiting many wine regions without knowing they would one day be the place of dream holidays. As far back as I remember I would ask for a taste of whatever my father was drinking and tended to like most of it.
Whilst I was at university I drank a lot of wine as an undergraduate and unfortunately I can only think of one that was “fine” wine. The bottle in question was Sauternes (a sweet french desert wine) which we paired with Roquefort cheese and was a delight. The majority of the wine from my student days was the “best” deal in the supermarket or off licence. After years of being disappointed with my purchases and unsure of what would come out of the bottle I decided it was time to educate myself.
It was about 5 years ago that I started to make a concerted effort to learn about wine. I remember phoning my parents for advice on what wine to buy for a gift and feeling frustrated that nobody seemed to know the difference between the various bottles. Thankfully I found others with the passion, interest and knowledge in wine to guide me and I was pointed in the direction of Hugh Johnson’s pocket book (Wine Resources).
Since this time I have tasted many wines from many regions and (after much fumbling in the dark) have a working knowledge of wine I am happy with. I began to build a collection of bottles eventually purchasing a wine storage unit out of paranoia that less than ideal temperature and conditions might be causing some damage. With friends we organised a number of tastings (starting at the level of “everyone bring a bottle”) and we have gradually refined this process. I will post reports on some of these tastings at some point.
In the past couple of years I have realised the importance of visiting the places the wine comes from and have worked at least a bit of wine tasting into my recent holidays. The beauty of visiting somewhere is being able to get through many more wines in a week and chosing a few bottles to bring home all without breaking the bank. Again I hope to share some of the information and tasting notes from past and future travels through this blog.
Buying great wine is not always expensive; all it takes is some guidance in what we are looking for.