White Zinfandel - One Option: Bottle Your Own
What a wonderful and exciting new adventure. I finally decided to try selecting and bottling my own wine. I am new to wine as it pertains to cooking. Going into a liquor store was--and is--always agony and ecstasy.
A huge component of cooking and entertainment is knowing about food and wine, how it pairs with each other, and how it changes a dish. I never thought about this before, until I was introduced to the topic in Culinary College. Then it became essential for me to learn.
These were the bottles Chef had for us to discuss and taste in wine and beer class. I do not drink very much anymore as my husband abstains because as he says it tastes awful. Cooking with wine and beer is an entirely different matter, I have decided I need to know.
It begins like this:
I went to a birthday party for a family member at a high-end establishment recently and was served a glass of Rose wine from Spain, insert angels singing, and as of that moment became a woman possessed. A search for this wine required extreme measures. Seriously, I became obsessed with finding that damn wine again. Time for a dreaded liquor store visit, dragging a non-drinking husband in tow.
First I entered the cavernous maze that is a Canadian liquor store and my eyes glazed over rows and rows of beautiful yet mysterious jeweled bottles of wine and spirits from around the world. They assaulted my ignorance and laughed at my helplessness. I pulled up my big girl pants and looked for help, with my six-foot husband shadowing me, he looks like my bodyguard, if he is not smiling you think him capable of killing your entire family. He's sweet really....anyway, I saw an older gentleman on a small ladder shifting bottles of gin. Upon reflection I should have been more careful, asking someone on a ladder for help. It may have been why he was rather curt and snooty when I sweetly made my request. I guess having to help a customer and get off a ladder is way too much of an effort ( insert colorful swear word ) because he could barely manage to cover his irritation. Who did he remind me of?
Yup, Statler, and Waldorf of The Muppets. Just as grumpy and dressed in a sweater vest. It's such a shame when the vessel with so many years experience and knowledge is also filled with sour grapes and can be so cantankerous. A grumpy old man was a well-deserved title.
The end result was he said no they had no such wine, and he took me to a section of Spanish wine, pointed, and walked away. I left the store with no wine and more frustrated than ever.
In due course, a dear friend and fellow student from College pointed me in the direction of a local wine-making store. If you can't get the help you need, do it yourself. With the help of my friend and a wine expert in the store--who I loved, by the way--a few weeks later I was bottling my first wine. I chose a white zinfandel-based on the experts advise. There will be a red wine and a white wine to follow in due time. Let us see how that works out.
Now I am sure my Chef Instructor would not approve of this wine. In my life, I need to consider cost, availability, and time. I would love to drive to Niagara on The Lake and get a box of 30 wine bottles...and I may do that someday but until I understand what I like and how it works in the food I cook, I will use the best options available for me.
~ Hugs from Mum