What was the first, "Ok, I get it" wine that got you into the hobby of tasting & collecting?
For me, it was (2) completely different reds. The first was a '79 Stag's Leap "Cask 23," and the second was an '85 Mouton Rothschild. Both tasted pretty close together, these were definitely the wines that got me serious about collecting.
There's already a thread on this somewhere. Mine was a half bottle of 1964 Lafite.
Just one more sip.
I agree, but no harm in reviving the subject.
There are plenty of candidates, but for me, probably the one key bottle was a 1970 La Lagune.
My boss gave me a bottle of 01 Justification and I was drinking it while playing Nintendo. Lead to a habit that cost me a lot of money.
Wow! You must have bought a lot of games!
Following a game of "slap the bag" on a Halloween trolley bar crawl in Chicago, after which I realized there must be more to life than getting slapped in the face with a giant bag of Franzia box wine (box removed), slapping the bag then chugging.
In all honesty, though, probably sharing magnums of early 90s Napa Cabs with generous folks on a Caribbean cruise.
1991 Byron Pinot Noir. Hook, line and sinker!
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
85 Gaja ST and SSL, followed shortly thereafter by 94 Dominus. Was working at a restaurant the summer before university. Light bulb went on.
I'm just going to come out and embarrass myself, but my first ah-hah experience with wine was a D'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz. Gorgeous blackberry fruit, spice, with a distinct earthiness, and a ton of tar; I later suggested the concoction was akin to motor oil, due to viscosity, and the fact that the nose was like standing near an oil refinery. While that isn't what I look for anymore, it opened my eyes to the potential complexity in wine, and I occasionally revisit a bottle, hoping for it to bring back some fond memories.
1993 silver oak alexander valley. Yeah i know most people hate it.
"The hardest thing to attain ... is the appreciation of difference without insisting on superiority" George Saintsbury
I was 6, visiting University Park, Pennsylvania...
I was a kid, though.
I would have dinner at my aunt's father in law's place and he made wine in his sub-sub-cellar and would let me help push down the cap in his barrels and let me taste what was in process and what the grown ups would have with dinner.
One night, he evidently had one of those lucky barrels that occasionally crop up and all the adults were raving about it, so I tried to memorize it for it for future reference.
So, home made, 1966, in Reno, with grapes brought up from one of the "eye-talian" vineyards in Napa.
In retrospect, it tasted maybe like an early Sutter Home Amador zin - from before they turned to the "white" side!
I would say similar to the 1972 Amador.
"What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?" -Isak Dinesen
I had already started collecting, when I opened and shared an 89 Lynch-Bages. Justified everything that I had done, and have done since. Sort of....
I was sitting at a nudist resort near Sacramento a few years back with a couple who were gently trying to tell me about wine. As a (snob) beer drinker for 30 years, I was not an easy sell. At some point late at night we were drinking a rather low end Californian blend (Zinnabar? Smoking Loon?) and I suddenly "understood" what a nose was all about. I exclaimed, "I LIKE this wine." It went swiftly uphill from there.
The other night (7 years and many thousands of dollars later) my wife and I were thoroughly enjoying a Martin Ray Pinot and reflecting on my humble beginnings. I even flipped her from white to red which helped immensely with financing my/our habit. I now probably drink a case of wine for every bottle of beer.
Another funny fact is that when I started I didn't even realize there were such things as varietals; I thought there were just different companies that made red or white wine. Why don't they teach people stuff like this is grade school?
It might be the wine talking, and it keeps saying have more wine.
16 years old, trip to Europe with my Grandfather, we found a small farmhouse that turned out to be a wonderful local restaurant in Tuscany. I don't remember the names of the wine we had that day, but I remember how good it was, especially with the food. That trip opened me up to food, wine, and travel all in one shot
I think I might be able to help with the Pan, Pam dilemma
'95 Phelps Insignia.....tasted like a chocolate milkshake made fresh in a diner. How did they get these flavors in this wine? I recall saying that. Like a scene from "The Matrix".....I know this is red wine, I can see it, I can feel it, but it smells and tastes like a chocolate milkshake spiked with some Baileys. Have two bottles left still to open.
Trip down memory lane with those.....
I recall a friend's moment at a business meeting at a local restaurant. When it was time to pick a wine, the group of 8 pointed to me to oblige due to my reputation. I asked a partner seated next to me what he preferred and he stated he didn't really like wine. I inquired more, and he stated he'd tried Kendall Jackson and Blackstone but wasn't impressed. I ordered a bottle whose name escapes me but was from Rutherford with the typical Rutherford dust. My partner whom I'd had the conversation with was second to get poured and by the time the wine steward had made it around the table his glass was emply and raised for more....
He now owns a Eurocave and visits Napa/Sonoma yearly.
For me, it was a '97 Insignia. I still remember the setting where I enjoyed that wine with great detail. Needless to say, I'm hooked.
The wines that got me into appreciating fine wines were not that special, a Chateau Ste. Michelle Cab and an Inglenook Cab. (this was in the early 70's). They were enough better than the jug wine I was used to that I was motivated to explore further. The first wines that really knocked my socks off were the white and red wines from Burgundy. I wasn't keeping track of names at the time, but French wines at that time were cheaper than you would believe.
1970 Chateau La Lagune with about 20 years of age on it.
Umm...so a 1950 La Lagune?
Great wine requires a mad man to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make it, and a lover to drink it. - Salvador Dali
"Mimik" on cellartracker.com
plus 20 years
My first Ah-Hah moment was in 1990.
Doh! I've never been known to be bright!
1987 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet. Tasted in 1990. I had never had a wine with so many layers and depth. Hooked on good wine ever since.
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