A few months ago, my friend Jen and I started a book club. It had started as a discussion on what books I had read recently, as Jen was looking for something new to read, and it just sort of blossomed into a "We should start a book club!" kind of thing (being that Jen and I have known one another for over 30 years, this is not an unusual circumstance for us). Thus, our book club was born.
Our friend and fellow book club member Laura suggested reading "The Next Thing On My List" by Jill Smolinski for our September meeting. It was a lighthearted somewhat fluffy read that was enjoyable yet thought provoking at the same time (I won't go into much detail except to say that I recommend it highly). But the list the title is referencing is a bucket list. You know, the list people write of all the things they want to do before they kick the bucket (there's a great quote about a bucket list in the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman but it's not featured on imdb and I don't want to butcher it). So Jen had the brilliant idea that we should all write our own Bucket List.
I'm not going to lie. My list was far more superficial and materialistic than I like to admit and travel was featured prominently. But amongst other non-travel related items, I wrote in that I wanted to learn about wine. Together with my desire to lose 125 pounds or get down to a size 8 (whichever comes first), I figured I'd start tackling my bucket list by learning about wine.
I've started my endeavor by reading "Secrets From the Wine Diva: Tips on Buying, Ordering and Enjoying Wine" by Christine Ansbacher. It's an enjoyable read, and what I like most about Ms. Ansbacher's writing style is that she starts from the ground up and explains things in a funny yet understandable manner. Anyhoo….
Yesterday I decided to start my Christmas shopping and do some general errands that needed to be done. So while I was sitting at work, I decided I wanted to have some of the best non-Mexican Mexican food on the planet Chipotle for dinner. And since I already had to visit a wine store to get my gift for the office Secret Santa, I figured last night would be a perfect time to start trying to pair wine with food. After some iffy research, I came to the conclusion that Zinfandel would go best with my Carnitas Fajita Burrito bowl (to go).
After discussing what I was looking for with the wine specialist at the store, I walked out with a bottle of My Immortal Zin at his suggestion. I went and picked up my food, went home and cracked the bottle open. Side note: I am not one who cuts the foil on wine bottles before uncorking the wine. After last night's disastrous opening, I am abandoning that habit and will be cutting the foil for the rest of my life.
I poured out a glass straight away, flopped onto the couch, tuned into a Law & Order: SVU rerun (God bless USA for their marathons), and prepared to be wowed by my meal and wine selection.
I was less than impressed.
First of all, I should probably be honest and tell you I'm not a red wine fan. I've liked some better than others, but given a choice, I usually go with white. And perhaps straight from the bottle to the glass without giving the wine any time to breathe wasn't a good idea either. Nor am I to say that the little floaty bits of cork didn't ruin the wine either. But….
It was dry. Like suck-the-saliva-straight-out-of-your-mouth dry. I'm giving it another try tonight, perhaps just to enjoy by itself after dinner. So stay tuned.
On another note…. I was researching wine pairings for our book club meeting next week, and decided to try these new sites I had found to see what their suggestions were. I found a White Zinfandel that was recommended, and a Beaujolais or Merlot would also have worked.
Better luck next time.