an introduction (part one)
If you would allow, I would like to make an introduction. Actually, to be more specific, I would like to make 1/2 and introduction, which will make more sense in a moment.
I am a sommelier. I could say wine professional but I use this title knowing what comes into your mind: a puffed up arrogant bloke, dressed in an obnoxious tie to match the imperious vocabulary which he so willingly spews in response to your simple wine questioning. Am I correct? Good. I wanted to start the introduction with that picture specifically because I am very aware of its representation of the big divide in wine enjoyment. It paints a picture that there are those of us who know and thereby “get it” and there are those who simply do not. The “get-it” types seem to rule the experience and dominate the conversation. The latter, generally, must simply wait out what gets doled to them and blindly take as gospel what is good and the reasons why. From my perspective, that is nothing but clogging frustration that will never improve our overall relationship with wine in the U.S. So, allow me to introduce myself as not this kind of sommelier. I want to make wine easier.
I would like to assure you that our meeting leads only to the simple pleasure of drinking good wine. It is important to me, as someone dedicated to wine as a career, to engage with every wine I meet, question every sip I take, and realize my place in my own path of discovery. But, I realize this intensity is not what everyone enjoys or has the immediate ability to master. I am sure everyone who likes wine, wants to know it better, widen their drinking range, but not if it is exhausting. They do not necessarily want to drink with the guy we mentioned above. A more friendly person who knows a bit more perhaps, who is cool enough to guide the drinking experience without dominating it, might make the better drinking companion. I am that kind of sommelier. I know you have likes and dislikes, probably questions from so many perspectives and the desire to get a wine you want. So I have created thewinearray.com to help get you there and this blog as a platform to discuss easy ways to develop a better relationship with wine in general….and maybe make you closer to my end of the divide. Actually, I hope it finds us perfectly in the middle.
Now, the reason why I say this is only 1/2 an introduction is the moderating force that keeps me humble and honest has not been introduced. My partner is not a sommelier. Nor is he aspiring to take my place as the pro on the team. But he loves wine. He loves everything that wine brings to enhance his life on a daily basis. And he certainly has distinct likes and dislikes despite not knowing the best ways to describe them. That is how we met. It is how thewinearray.com was created. Two guys chatting about wine, attempting to meet somewhere between the erudite and the curious player, between the long-winded and the shy, reticent response, to a point of common enjoyment around a good bottle of wine.
It would be unfair of me to introduce him. In fact, it would be counter to what I suggest here. I will let the good man speak for himself. And, if you care to follow, we will use this dialogue as the impetus of this blog: the presentation of two sides of the wine experience that hopefully everyone can learn from. Eavesdropping on the conversation and discoveries of a sommelier and his client at the bar. I’ll post what I find as interesting. My sidekick can add what makes him think and drink wine. You can sit back and soak up what fits. Sound interesting? Let’s see what comes of it!