Thursday, June 16, 2011

Taking the Plunge

I’ve been saying I would start a wine blog for over a year.

There was much talk about the blog during that time: topics I would cover, dinners I would cook, winery and bottle shop visits I would make and, certainly, bottles of wine I actually did purchase, all in the name of STARTING A WINE BLOG. My husband (who’s face can be seen in the picture below) had taken to guffawing each time I mentioned this non-existent blog. This charming reaction, coupled with my recent layoff, finally gave me the motivation to actually do it.

American Wine Girl is where I will explore how Americans’ enjoy wine. We tend to add a unique flair to every cultural import and find a way to make it our own. And wine is certainly no exception.

I’m going to start with what may seem very commonplace now, but not long ago was extremely rare in the United States - drinking fine American wine with dinner. I was doing just that in the picture above. It’s from a typical night at our friends’ house, George and Kim. Now, they happen to be both great cooks and fantastic hosts, so when Kim said, “Come on over, I’m making paella!”, I grabbed some wine and my husband and rushed out the door.

We didn’t have the luxury of enjoying American-made fine wine routinely at our dinner tables until roughly the 1970s. Until “The Judgement of Paris” in 1976 (the famous blind tasting of French and American wines where the American wines from Northern California won hands down) not many believed you could make wines in the US that would match the quality of the old world. (For more on this, read Paul Lukacs' American Vintage : The Rise of American Wine.)

Thankfully, after that tasting the American wine industry made up for lost time very quickly.

Now, just 35+ years later, I can’t imagine dinner without it.

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