Posted on another's been fun...

Although for years I have bathed my palate with wine...the Light Bulb flashed (and hence my venture into the wine making world) with the...drumroll please...

1999 Tarius Pisoni Vineyard Pinot

Bought my ticket! Big Grin
Now for yours...

A.P. Vin
Original Post
Here's the setting:

At the Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia -- my boss at the time (a big wine fanatic) ordered the Turley Hayne from the list and is just thrilled that they have it. I, of course, don't know what Turley was and certainly didn't know what the Hayne Vineyard is. Honestly, until they brought out that sexy bottle with the distinctive purple label, I didn't even know whether it was red or white. It wasn't until six months later (when I saw Turley on another wine list) that I knew this was Zinfandel.

But when I tasted this rich, chewey, super-fruit forward wine, I suddenly understood that there was a difference between "every day" wines and "great" wines.

This would've been in 1996 or 1997, so I'm guessing the Hayne was from the 1995 or 1996 vintage -- maybe 1994, but I doubt it.

"Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too."
Originally posted by Rothko:
That's one heck of a boss: Turley and the Cloisters!

Yeah, really!! Mine serves Yellow Tail.... Frown

But, the "light bulb" or eureka wine... hmmm... Actually, it happened when I was quite a bit younger and had a sweet tooth. My father had a damn nice collection of Ch. d'Yquem and vintage ports. They got me hooked.
For me it was the 1995 Whitehall Lane Reserve cabernet. Bought a few bottles (for wine loving friends who had their first baby) on the recommendation of a wine store owner a month or two before the ratings came out.

I'm sipping on '01 Neal Cab as I wright this and the light is bright...

But, the first two times it went off:

1986 Chateau Talbot
1995 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir


"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
For me it was the 1996 Dominus. It was during my first fine dining experience.

"I have lived temperately ... I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half of wine a day and even treble it with a friend." - Thomas Jefferson
For me it was a 1991 Cakebread Cab....first bottle of wine that I ever bought. Immediately assumed that all wine was like this. So I guess the lightbulb didn't officially come on until after trying several other lesser bottles that just didn't meet the same expectations.
For me it was the 1994 Stags' Leap Winery Petite Syrah. I had never tasted a wine like that before and had no idea that it could be that delicious.
It was in 1983, at a fine Yugoslavian restaurant in San Francisco. The wine was so compelling that the three of us spent the rest of the weekend up in Napa tasting.

Postscript: Twice in the last year I have had the opportunity to try this same bottling, and the wine is still alive and kickin'!! Who said California Merlots can't age?

After college I was introduced to wine at business dinners mostly. The wines of choice seemed to be Jordan, Silver Oak, Caymus and others alike. I was new to wine and just out of school. (25 years ago Mad)

Well, I had a client whom is still a great friend that took me to dinner at the end of a project. He order the '45 Latour. It was like nothing I had ever had and took my breath away, and tears to my eyes. From that night forward, I have been hooked Smile

I was going on and on about the wine, and my client/friend Mike knew he had created a monster!

At the end of the meal I asked Mike what he thought of the wine. Much to my surprise, he said it was not even close to being ready to drink and would not try again for 10 more years. At that point, I knew I had much to learn. A 35 year old wine not ready gave me a moment of pause.

We have had this wine together twice since, and plan to open again this fall.

This post will cause me to phone Mike today Big Grin

A Votre Sante,

The year was 1975. I was playing 6 nights a week in a rock band at the time, drinking mostly gin and tonics and shots of tequilla. Roll Eyes
I met this girl who, at dinner, ordered us a bottle of Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé. Shortly after that I began to take periodic trips to Napa and began to stash wines under my house. That was one expensive meal. Big Grin
1995 St. Francis old vines Zin. Just finished my cellar and somebody gave me this bottle. Until that point I thought Zins were white and sweet. When I tried it a whole world of Zins opened up to me. Now they are my favorites.

Only the mediocre are always at their best.
At a campout one of the guys brought a bottle of 1997 Sin Zin (Alexander Valley Vineyards) that went very well with steak. After that we got started talking about different wines and trying some new ones from different vineyards other than Mondavi or Kendall-Jackson.

He "found" a little place called Arrowood with some nice Cabernets and I lucked out when one of the guys I worked with got me hooked on Kistler. Since then we have both expanded our collections and level of interest.

"Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever" - Aristophanes
For Cab, the first time was a 1987 Montelena. It didn't hurt that we had it on our honeymoon in Napa.

For Pinot, it was a Testarossa Gary's Vineyard, I don't remember the vintage. It was the perfect combination of fruit and earthiness.
I need to be awakened frequently. Originally a 1966 Chateau Talbot/ so that's what they're talking about! In california, the '91 Estancia Mertage/ it aint all swill and soda pop out there after all! From Germany a mid seventies Ayler Cup Spat that had turned golden. In the depths of the oxidized spaniards, a 1994 Tinto Pesquera, said look further into this genre, Mumms Cordon Rouge is generally a pleasure, Casa la postolle puts out a qpr merlot. Last swank dinner out took a Helen Turley '94 Pahlmeyer and an '01 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr auslese and there were light bulbs going off all over thr joint. The clearest understanding so far has been a 1991 Monte Bello up against a '91 Harlan and an '89 Pichon Baron which had whomped all the '89 and '90 first growths in a concurrent tasting. I don't think the others belong in the same room with the ridge.

When you get near home, ya gotta slide!
My calling came… and I don’t mean to be ostentatious with:

Pol Roger, Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill

What vintage it was… I don’t know… it was about a decade, or so, old. I know that with this wine… I saw starts, and a love-affair began.
1994 Robert Sinskey 'Commander Zinskey' zinfandel. I picked this up early (well, I suppose I'm still in the early stage) in my wine-drinking experience based on the label, which I found amusing. This was the first wine that made me smile _before_ I was drunk. Smile

BS aside, I think this zinfandel opened my eyes to what wine could be, as opposed to some of the swill I was drinking at the time (none of which I'll admit to drinking).

My first post here.....

1983 A. Rafanelli Zinfandel. I was sitting down on the floor with my wife, eating dinner off of the coffee table, watching tv....

What a delicious wine. I couldn't get over how enjoyable it was to drink.
I was started down the long wine road by German Qmp wines (Kab/Spat/Aus -- don't remember which producer or where they were from) that I tasted and bought at a wine tasting party in Milwaukee during the mid-1980s.

I'd have to say that most of the time since then I've focused on everyday wines and wines with good QPRs. Many of the wines I've purchased over the years were bought at wineries and I've enjoyed being able to present my guests with good wines that they couldn't have found at wine/grocery stores (e.g., Vincent Arroyo, Helena View, Davis Bynum, Dutch Henry, and others from WI, MI, NJ, NY, VA, and now NC).

I'm now working part-time in retail wine sales and get to spend what I have after taxes on wine. Given the healthy employee discount, I've ended up with a surplus in my wine account that I'm starting to use up on wines that should age over the next decade (mostly Bordeauxs so far).

What a long, strange trip it's been... Wink
Well, two actually, back to back and radically different. A Volnay Burgundy and a Clape Cornas, with food on two consecutive nights in Paris. Went back home and popped a bottle of low grade Cali wine with dinner and was disappointed and knew I needed to recreate that experience in Paris.
This past Spring, I decided to find out for myself what the hype was all about, so I took a couple of ice cubes and some Sprite and poured it into my glass of '82 Margaux. WOW!! Eek
Where have you been all my life?!! I never knew that 1st Growth spritzers could taste so heavenly!! Big Grin

In all seriousness, mine would be the 1995 Lockwood Reserve Cabernet. Just finished our last bottle about a year ago... drinking nicely.


"Drink up, me hardies, YO HO!"
I'll never forget my light bulb wine, it was the 95' Turley Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel I had @ Spago's in downtown chicago, it was so intense and concentrated and yet had balance at the same time. The next day I called the winery and put my name on the mailing list!!!.
1997 Stags' Leap Winery Petite Syrah - my father ordered it for a special dinner and to this day it will always have a special place in my heart (and palate).
It was somewhere around 1982 and the wine was 1955 Leoville Las Cases. I have not been the same since. From that day on, I have had the patience to wait for wine to develop and mature.
in 1993. Fresh out of college and had a Ruffino Reserva Chianti.

Many other light bulbs:
Cuvaison Chardonnay (remebered wondering how wine could feel so buttery)
96 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
97 Stags Leap Cab
97 Pio Cesare Barolo
97 Solaia
90 Chateau Canon Bordeaux
97 Terrabianca Campaccio
01 Selbach-Oster Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling
01 Neal Family Cabernet
96 Penfolds Grange
The Sin Que Non Pinot that Rich Aiken brought to the Dallas off-line (damn good stuff)
When I grew up we spent nearly every Sunday at my grandmother's house. We would sit down to a late morning lunch of selections from the local Italian Deli; Capacolla, Mortadella, Provolone, hard rolls etc. By 1 or 2 in the afternoon the adults lost track of our little wine glasses for our customary 2 oz taste of wine which provided great opportunity for my cousins and myself to smuggle that little bottle all over the house.
My light bulb wine: that cheap bottle of Chianti with straw on the bottom that sat on my Nonna's table.
However, the wine that brought me to the road of no return as an adult--

1994 Rochioli Pinot Noir, West Block
I drank this in late 1998 at a very special dinner I was invited to which showcased high end new world wines.

"From wine what sudden friendship springs!"
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I'd like to say it was some great wine, but it wasn't. It was a quite decent Rosemount GSM, I think 1996 or 1997, at a restaurant in Seward Alaska. I came back from that fishing trip thinking more Austalia and/or Rosemount than GSM. Within a year, and no new flickers, I decided to try the stuff after which this was patterned, and ended up with some Southern Rhone wines. As I say, I'd like to say it was the Beaucastel 1989 that was the lighbulb, but I think that was just a riostat cranking the light a little brighter. I don't like the GSM any longer, but love the wines it eventually introduced me to.
1988 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet.

I was 22, just discovered wine and this was the first wine that made me say "wow!". I was buying Chilean and Greek red wines in the $6-8 range and this was the first time I spent what I thought was a fortune at the time. The wine was $19 CAD ($14 USD) and I thought my wife (then girlfriend) was going to kill me!

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