Wine can be a fun hobby - provided one knows one's limits. There are so many varietals to be explored. Even after you've found your favorite, a Malbec can be a very different wine from one vineyard to the next. A wine is a growing season captured in a bottle, so even one vineyard's wine can vary from one vintage to the next.
And, it's one of the few hobbies that can be enjoyed while lounging in a bubble bath. (Take that racquet ball!)
It can also be kind of intimidating, however, if you have never really done any tasting. Reds especially can be an acquired taste and the prospect of uncorking a bottle only to discover you hate it can put a prospective wine purchaser right off.
This is why free wine tastings are a thing - a glorious, wonderful thing.
Chill Wine Lounge is offering just such a tasting Wednesday, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Ian Lawson, Owner/Winemaker from Victor Vineyards will be on hand pouring the wines he created himself. Victor Vineyards is a California winery - located just east of Lodi for you Sons of Anarchy fans.
Part of the historic Victor Fruit Company, some of the vineyards that produced the wine you'll be sampling are over 100 years, grown by dedicated farmers, and made under the direction of Winemaker, Larry Levine of Quintessa, Franciscan and Mount Veeder fame.
If you have never experienced a wine tasting administered by a winemaker or sommelier who truly knows the science and art of wine, you're missing out. A knowledgable sommelier can explain what you are tasting, whether your wine is jammy or fruit forward, are you tasting oak.
Perhaps you are a complete novice and have often wondered how a liquid can be considered "dry." It's the tannins, which come from the skins and seeds and even the oak of the barrel in which the wine was aged. It's tannins that give your mouth that feeling at the finish where you want to click your tongue on the roof of your mouth, as if it's dry.
And learning about why a wine tastes the way it does, will have you noticing flavors in other foods and beverages that were always there. (Those tannins are also hiding out in your iced tea, by the way.)
Even if it doesn't turn you into a vin-head, knowing just a little about wine, can enrich your entire dining experience.
The tasting is free and truly open to the public as Chill Wine Lounge will remain open for regular business. Check out the Facebook invite for more information.
You can contact Rebecca Dittmar, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Blog Editor at [email protected].