In my early 30’s my taste buds decided to take me to a new land, a promised land. You could say it’s been a culinary delight. What I didn’t like in my 20’s suddenly became a must have 10 years later.
It all started when a buddy of mine, Alex, gave me a bottle of wine. It was a Brokenwood Merlot from the Hunter Valley and it was good, damn good. I was surprised I even liked it. I’d been a beer man all my life, Corona with endless pieces of lemon, so this newfound taste for red threw me for an initial loop.
I decided to see where it could take me. I danced around, tried different “varietals” they called it, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cab Sav, Sangiovese, I didn’t discriminate, I liked them all. At parties, restaurants, awards nights, you name it, when the waiter came over and asked me what I’d like to drink, I’d say, “What kind of wine do you have?” Beer became the redheaded stepchild that I didn’t want.
The vino became even better when I married it up with dark chocolate and had it with a cigar. My new taste buds even bought me a ticket on the blue cheese train, that was unexpected and its been a good ride ever since. Especially when it’s washed down with a smooth golden Muscat.
Even Dad got in on the act, his Doctor told him a glass of red a night was good for his heart, I think Dad took it to another level and lets just say one glass is a rather large one. He likes the soft merlot from Dan Murphy’s, a clean skin, about $6 bucks a bottle; I tried it, its good.
The most expensive I’ve had is a $230 bottle of Chianti from an Italian restaurant in Melbourne that my mate Matt from Miami let the waitress choose for us, a dangerous move, it could have been worse, there was a $500 bottle on the menu. The Chianti was great, but worth $230, no.
I even took a Riedel Glass master class at a wine show, now I was moving into dangerous territory. Was I becoming a wine snob? They put all different sizes and shapes of glasses in front of me; we tried different ‘varietals’. It was true what they say, a Shiraz tastes different in a Shiraz glass as it does in a Pinot Noir glass, something to do with the oxygen, don’t try to explain it to me, just give me more wine.
Regardless the Riedel guy at the front of the class entranced me as he swirled a red inside a Carafe shaped like a snake, it was a dance any Dothraki would have been proud of. I just went with the flow and wherever my taste buds were taking me. In my 30’s they took me to red wine, blue cheese, dark chocolate, olives, Muscat and cigars, I’m not too refined though, I’ll still sip my Muscat in a Slayer t-shirt.