Thursday, March 11, 2010

Katie Knoch : Sommelier

A few summers ago I visited Napa Valley with Pep and Aunt Karen. I had JUST started crossing over from White Zin (I know, I know....we all gotta start somewhere though) to white wines. So I was excited - not like I would be now - but still, excited.

We checked out a couple little wineries before we headed to V. Sattui Winery where my lush of a mother (gotta get it from someone) is a member of their 'exclusive' wine club. Meaning, we got the V.I.P. treatment with a private wine tasting down in their cellar. We got this GREAT sommelier who explained that he would be walking us through the tasting. We would start with whites and then....

"Oh no, no, sir. I would JUST like to try the whites. I do not like red." (My 26 year-old-self cannot believe I just typed those words...)

"Oh, no, my're trying them all. I will get you there. Trust me, by the time we reach the reds, you'll be ready."

Who am I to argue? This guy OBV knows what he is talking about. And, let's be honest, I've never been as picky with alcohol as I am with food.

So the 'tasting' begins. I put tasting in quotations because there was nothing tasting-size about these samples. We are talking half glasses of wine. And like 12 of them. In two hours. Standing up. Pre-lunch. By glass 7, I was stuffing pretzels in my face like they were cheese. And sure enough, the whites came and went, the rose wine came and went and before I knew folks, I was drinking red wine.

And it's been a serious love affair ever since.

But I digress. The guy, I can't remember his name, so we'll just call him Oscar. Oscar was REAL good about telling me what he thought I would like, what I could expect my taste-buds to experience, what cheese would go well with such and such wine (again, love this man) and I might not like this one as much, but this will be the one you will want to take home with you, etc. etc.

So needless to say, we are PRETTY SAUCY by the end of this whole thing. And let me tell you, I am a PRO at tasting wine. I am swirling it in my glass, slightly sniffing for a preview, taking in the aroma. Then Oscar, my new B.F.F. at this point, tells me that THIS THIS RIGHT HERE will FOR SURE be the one you want to purchase. "I saved the best for last," he tells me. BRING IT ON OSCAR, BRING IT ON!

I take a sip and BY GOLLY it truly is the most delicious thing in the mouth EVER.

"Oscar! Holy SHIT! (hey, I was drunk). THIS IS DELICIOUS. I'll TAKE 4!!"

Oscar starts to crack a smile as he shows me the bottle of their exclusive, bottled-on-site...

Oh yeah, that one really got my mother and aunt rolling. Here I was, age 23, thinking I had just taken the most sophisticated glass in wine tasting EVER to be fooled. But I did learn an important thing that day.

I love red wine. All day. Every day. And Forever.


Panda said...

That is so funny! That is my favorite winery in Napa!!!

x said...

OMG, that is hilarious. We played a similar joke on my friend "Kendra." In fact, when she gets back from Hawaii I'm gonna have her read this.

Man, maybe you should have Oscar be your personal matchmaker! If he can choose men the way he chooses wine (and grape juice). ...