I have become a wine snob. I just realized it this week. I have gone Sideways.
I opened a bottle of Merlot that someone brought to a party I was hosting. It wasn’t drank at the party so it ended up on my shelf. I’ve been drifting away from Merlot for some time now and I realized this week why. It’s boring.
Merlot is the Bud Light of wine.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great first wine. It’s probably the first red that most people say they like when they begin drinking wine. However, as you try more wines and expand your palette, you realize why you liked it in the first place and why you can never go back to it.
It’s a simple, uncomplicated taste. But it has no character. It’s pleasant, almost sweet but soon, it starts to taste like an alcoholic grape juice. It’s the wine you move on to when you’ve had your fill of White Zinfandel and want to start drinking reds. It’s the gateway wine.
My taste buds have become too sophisticated for Merlot and this is a good thing. I can now appreciate the nuances of Malbec and Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. I can handle a Cabernet Sauvignon and Burgundy. If I want something lighter, a nice Grenache fits the bill. And don’t get me started on Rosé. A nice, dry Rosé made from the Malbec grape. C’est magnifique!
A couple of years back, I realized I was on the road to wine snobbery when I went wine tasting in Walla Walla, Washington with my brother and his wife. We were sampling a 2006 Meritage and when the smell hit my nostrils, I suddenly understood what the big deal was about wine. I’ll never forget that scent. That was what it was all about. I have that bottle on my shelf.
One more, for the road.