Transportation: Where Wine has Taken Me

Fellow blogger and virtual friend, Jeff at The Drunken Cyclist, has issued a challenge to blog about the topic of “Wine and Transportation” in any way we see fit.  I’d like to tell you how wine has been the vehicle to take me to several new places over the last three years.

What Do I Smell?
As we worked on understanding the basic characteristics of different grape varietals, we discovered the concept of tasting markers.  When doing a structured wine tasting, especially with friends, we find the “real item” to smell alongside the wine, allowing us to associate what we’re smelling in the wine with the real thing.

Tasting markers for Tempranillo

Forest duff, herbs, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, raisins, cedar shavings, cinnamon, cherry preserves – Tempranillo!

Once you start paying attention to your nose, you may discover a whole new world to explore.  I started to pay closer attention to foods, spices, herbs.  At a restaurant, I’ll try to tease out the herbs/spices used in the dish.  I’ve smelled cat pee (you don’t forget that one!) for Sauvignon Blanc and our wet dog, Gus, to associate with various washed rind stinky cheeses.  And I can report that wet cardboard does provide good training for detecting a corked bottle of wine.  Wine has taken me to a place where I use my nose.

Fresh, Artisan, Local
Cheese is a natural companion for wine.  With a growing interest in wine, our desire for cheese grew in the same way.  We quickly graduated from the mass market brands at the grocery store and started to explore the world of artisan cheeses.

Lovetree Farms cheese plate

Lovetree Farms cheese plate

We’ve become regulars at local cheese shops like Surdyk’s and Sunfish Cellars for access to artisan cheeses from around the world.  In addition, we have met local cheesemakers at our farmers markets.

Artisan wines, artisan and local cheeses, why stop there?  Farmers markets are a great place to actually meet the people growing/raising the food you are buying. We have gotten to know our local sources for meat, eggs, cheese, sweet corn (!), and other fruits and vegetables.

Peter and Carmen are passionate about their fruits, veggies and especially sweet corn!

Peter and Carmen are passionate about their fruits, veggies and especially sweet corn!

Even though we live in the city, we feel closer to our farmers and consequently to the land.  This year, we’re enjoying a share in the Bossy Acres CSA, tying us even more to farmers we know.  Wine has taken us to a place where we are more connected to our food.

Our Bossy Farmers!

Karla and Elizabeth are our Bossy Farmers!

New Friends
Julie is very active in social media, and she suggested I start a wine blog.   After a bit of prodding, I decided to go ahead.  Why not?  This would be an opportunity for me to figure out what all the fuss is about blogging, Facebook, Twitter and those sorts of things.  Know what?  When you open yourself up and share who you are and what you’re interested in, you’ll find all sorts of people with similar interests.  I have new virtual friends that I may never meet in person, but we communicate and share our common passions.  I’ve also found that age is no barrier to common interests, and I’ve met new friends in the Twin Cities that I would never have met by normal means.  How does a confirmed omnivore run into a gluten-free blogger with a photography interest or a passionate vegetarian?  How about a Wine and Veggies event!  How about a whole group of Twin Cities folks passionate about food and drink!

The inevitable moment when you're out with a group of bloggers.

The inevitable moment when you’re out with a group of bloggers.

Thank you, wine, for taking me to new places and introducing me to new people.  Where shall we go next?

Comments
10 Responses to “Transportation: Where Wine has Taken Me”
  1. Delightful challenge by The Drunken Cyclist. And a delightful reply by you. Right on!

  2. Fredric Petters says:

    Jeff,

    Great work! Thanks for your posts.

    Fred

    : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Fred Petters Rootstock Wine Company Minneapolis rootstockwineco.com

    (t) 612.423.4392 (f) 612.465.4808 (e) fredp@rootstockwineco.com

  3. Great job as always Jeff–a fantastic read!

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