I went to my first real, live wine tasting over the 4th of July weekend at Wintergreen Winery. Rather, I should say my first wine tasting where I was legally allowed to try the wine. It wasn’t the fancy sort of wine tasting you might imagine. I kind of like it that it was casual instead. Not a whiff of that stereotypical attitude about wine. In fact, I was the only one there shoving my nose in the glass and ‘munching’ on the wine to see if I could figure out the mythical flavors (I’ve read that’s a good way to get the flavors on your tongue). I can’t. No matter how hard I try I can rarely tell if a wine is ‘good’ or not. I can tell if I like it. But I can’t tell you what went into making it good. I know all about the soil and how the elements are supposed to combine and give it a ‘hint of blackberry’ or whatever it may be. But I just can’t taste it. Or if I can it’s the horrible wines made from fruit. I can tell I don’t like those. I can tell that a wine is complex but I have no idea why. I can’t ever remember if a Chardonnay is dry or fruity. I usually just guess. I think it’s often got oak flavors, but I could be getting that confused. I can read poetry, Louis, but wine remains a mystery.

Regardless of the fact that I will never be a sommelier, much less a wine connoisseur, I really enjoyed the tasting. There were a few wines I really liked and the final one, a dessert wine that pairs well with chocolate, was a smash. In fact, once you took a handful of the dark chocolate chip they offered it was a smash in your mouth. All of us were a little stunned. 
Then we bought a few bottles and made our way out to a picnic table by a creek. We finished them all along with a french baguette, some Swiss-like hard cheese and a Brie-like cheese, but more subtle. That went extremely well with the candied figs I bought. I love them and I don’t think many people realize how good figs are. It tastes decadent and luxurious with a good cheese, bread and wine. But it’s so simple too. My friends certainly ate them fast enough, licking their fingers when the syrup dripped. It was a great way to spend an afternoon, drinking good wine with friends at a vineyard by a creek with good food. The best way to end a wine tasting, in fact.