Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cheers to Wine

For many years I've had a very specific vision of what my life would look like after I graduated from college.  I would get a good job - that part was always vague - in a major city.  I would have a well-decorated apartment that was often filled with sunlight.  I would wear professional, fashionable outfits and adorable shoes, which would be miraculously comfortable, and I'd walk around the city wearing cool trench coats and pea coats as the weather permitted.  After work, I'd either go out to a wine bar and have a drink or two with my equally successful and fashionable friends or I'd go home and whip up a nutritiously well-balanced meal that looked like it came from the pages of Gourmet.  Since graduating, I've learned that this is harder to do than I'd thought.  For one thing, decorating an apartment to make it look like a Crate & Barrel catalog is extremely expensive.  But still, I've slowly started on the path towards my Sophisticated Urban Working Girl dream.  

Kind of like Kate Beckett from Castle, though I'm not tough enough to be a cop.
Drinking wine has always felt classier to me than drinking beer (ignoring any arguments about microbrews, etc.), and so the idea of wine bars and knowing anything about wine has figured in to my sophisticated post-grad image.  Since turning 21, I've learned a thing or two beyond the fact that Chardonnay is a white and Merlot is a red.  While I was in Bordeaux last year, I went on a wine tour to two vineyards.  In addition to learning a whole lot of wine-related French vocab words, I found out that there's a vineyard in France that sells exactly 100 milliliters of wine in test tube-shaped bottles.  It's the largest amount of liquid you can bring in a carry-on bag, and it's equivalent to one glass of wine.  (Yes, I got one for my parents.)
I also learned that grape vines are not very exciting to pose with.
A few weekends ago, I had the most fun with wine that I ever have.  My friend Hope spent this summer interning with Second Glass, a company that puts on wine-related events.  They throw Wine Riots in several cities around the country each year, and Hope helped put together Wine Riot New York.  Since I'd heard about it all summer and it was my last chance to see Hope before she took off to live in France for the next year (Hope is also the classiest person I know), my boyfriend Eric and I hopped a train to New York for a night out at the biggest wine tasting I have ever seen.  

This room was filled with tables which were covered with wine bottles.
It was incredible!
Wine Riot New York was set up in an old bank in Brooklyn.  There were hundreds wines from all over the world, arranged in front of the teller booths and in the vault in the basement.  I hadn't been sure what to expect and was worried that after trying two wines everyone there would know that I don't know anything about wine.  When I tried my first sip of cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, I thought the woman pouring my glass would start talking about the type of grape and give me information about how it was made.  Instead, she turned to me and said, "I just love this DJ!  Don't you?'  I did, and I loved the temporary tattoo table as well.  The highlight of the night for me was seeing Hope, but I was also excited to be at an event that was sophisticated without being pretentious.  It was people who love wine, but who also love drinking wine with friends.  Thanks to Hope, I learned a lot about wine and found more than a few that I'd love to try again, plus I got to feel like I was achieving my being-fancy dream.  Cheers to that.

Have you ever been to a wine tasting?
How did you imagine post-grad life to be?
What's your favorite kind of wine?

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