Wine adventures at home

Glass of wine with dinner1

Wine adventures at home

Tasting at Pippen Hill

A recent post on Wine Folly reminded me of how much I love finding new wines!  At heart I am a winery girl.

I love to find new wineries, meet the people in the tasting room and get to know the spirit and passion behind the label.  But…living in Las Vegas means that my opportunities for these occasions come only on weekends or vacations.  So…while landlocked and vineyard deprived finding new wines at the local wine shop is another invigorating way to feed my wine habit.

There are two ways to go about this and it depends on your circumstances.  If you have a great local wine shop with a knowlegeable staff that are fun to talk to then perhaps you wander in, tell them what you like and ask for interesting wines that might fit that profile.  If you are a geek like me you find something online or research areas and wines and then head to the wine shop with a list in tow, often to be disappointed by what the giant wine distributor has decided to carry.  I unfortunately don’t have a great little wineshop in my neck of the woods.  There is one in town that I love but it is a drive!  Most often due to lack of resources I head to the giant wine store and try to track down James if he is there because he never steers me wrong!

If you, like me, love trying new varieties and wines, you should pick up Mark Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine.  I have it on my Kindle and take a larger than usual purse with me to the wineshop so I have room for it and can whip it out to look up his recommendations. (Maybe I should download it to my phone and skip the bigger purse?).  Unfortunately more often than not the all the rage new wine from several years ago in New York is not to be found at the giant wine store in Las Vegas.  You would think in a town with sooooo many great chefs that we would have more variety.  Turns out, what they bring in for the restaurants and what they bring in for Joe wine drinker are two different things.  I usually get kinda grumpy and look for someone to complain to.  Then James talks me down and finds me a great alternative.


So try something new and have a wine adventure!  Find a perfect pairing, or search for one.  I tend to do the research at our house and then try to shop to match the wine.  Michael is much more freeform picking up all sorts of things and then pairing to see what it does.  He’s a rebel that way, sometime with great results, sometimes with disasters.  Another thought…inspired by the Mayo Family Reserve room (read my post on them here) is to buy two bottles, pop one open and drink it and find out what you crave to go with it.  Then you can shop and pop the 2nd bottle to enjoy with the pairing!  Or…go the full science route and pick up Francois Chartier’s Taste Buds & Molecules.

Regardless of how you approach it, get out of your wine slump and tickle your tastebuds with something new.  Often you’ll find a new favorite that is easy on the wallet too.  So this weekend…will it be a Cannonau from Sardinia? A Montefalco Rosso from Umbria?  Or Maybe a Negroamaro from Puglia. Thanks Madeline for the inspiration!  I’m on my way to the wine shop and another adventure!


pinit fg en rect red 28

Robin Renken
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