So…what is YOUR favorite wine? This question makes perfect sense, but at least for me it is really hard to answer. I WILL tell you what my all time favorite wine is, eventually, but you’re going to have to bear with me for a bit while I first talk about why this is such a tough question for me to answer.
First, let us examine where you experience this bottle may have an effect on how you indeed experience it. For example, drinking a Bordeaux in Bordeaux overlooking a 500 year old Chateau with a river winding through the backdrop at sunset is going to influence how the wine tastes when you compare that same Bordeaux on your couch watching Friends re-runs with a view of your neighbors bathroom. Trust me, I have done both and it definitely has an effect.
Most wines are meant to be enjoyed with food. Sometimes my wife and I look back on our experience with a certain wine and we wonder if the wine was really that great or if the meal as a whole; food, wine, service, night out without the kids, made the experience exceptional. Likewise, we may want to give a wine a second shot because the food that we paired it with, maybe wasn’t the best decision. So did you really just have an amazing wine or did you have an amazing dining experience?
How can I possibly be expected to choose one favorite when the choices of varietal are so abundant? In addition, there is where those varieties come from. Then, on top of all the wine making regions, the varieties taste varies from country to country and region to region. Confused yet…for example, a Cabernet is going to taste different whether it comes from France, Napa or up here in El Dorado County (of course ours is the best!) That’s why terroir is so important in wine making (I’m sure you have heard Paul mention that word a few times).
And yet…after all that, as promised, here is my favorite wine. When I was going to school in Italy, not for wine, I was invited to a dinner on a vineyard with a few of my school friends. The host was serving two wines, an unfiltered white and an unfiltered red. Part of the way through the meal, I looked down to the locals end of the long table and I saw that they were blending the white and the red at the table, in their glasses. I nearly fell out of my chair…it was unbelievably good. So there…that was my favorite wine…EVER! I have no idea what the varieties were, I just know that I had an incredible blend of white and red unfiltered wines in 1998 Tuscany.
Hopefully this helps explain, for me at least, why it is so difficult to choose just one favorite wine. Cheers and keep exploring all those different wines out there.