Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

My Two Dads | September 7, 2010

Remember the 80’s sitcom, My Two Dads? Of course not. This is just the kind of obscure minutia that I bring to the table. Jealous? No, I suppose I wouldn’t be, either.
Anyway, in a premise only wacky sitcom writers- putting their Ivy League degrees to good use- could brainstorm, a teenage girl’s deceased mother grants joint custody to her two past love interests. Naturally, comedy ensues, along with heartfelt, tear-jerking moments you could only expect from a cornucopia of short-lived, NBC comedy-like flops.
The “dads” were a prototypical odd-couple: Paul Reiser’s (aka “Uncle Michael”) straight-laced sensibility often clashed with the footloose and fun-loving machismo of Greg Evigan (“Uncle Joey”). Is that an accurate description, diehards? A well-groomed beard and the pompadour-mullet combo always signals “footloose and fun-loving machismo” to me.
So, what the hell’s the point here? The point is that I, along with any other dedicated wine lovers, also have two dads. No, they won’t land us in humorous predicaments to the unsettling sounds of canned laughter, nor will they cause us great embarrassment when struggling with the awkward moments that plague every teenage girl in the custody of two random dudes…
No, the two “dads” of a wine lover are book knowledge and sensory perception. Understanding an appreciating wine at a more dynamic level requires not just an grasp on label nomenclature, allowable grapes and techniques in AOCs and DOCs, the many steps of winemaking processes, etc., but also of the flavors and aromas of wine itself.

I’ve read many books. I even acquired a Certified Specialist of Wine accreditation. However, neither of these avenues required any swirling, smelling, sipping, or spitting. One could reasonably have all the book-knowledge in the world (aka, the sensible “Paul Reiser” of wine smarts), yet be completely devoid of their sensual and fun-loving Greg Evigan. Sadly- though I’ve tasted quite a bit of wine- the latter is a life’s work. Experience and exposure and critical evaluation are the only teaching materials. Incidentally and furthermore, hundreds of bottles of wine are way more expensive than a book. And I need that money. My Two Dads, Season 3, comes out on DVD this holiday season.
The solution for one who cannot feasibly sip dozens of different wines a day? A tasting group. Regularly meeting with others who share a desire to learn can offset the cost of bottles (split between 4-6 folks), create conversation, and foster accountability for educational goals and conviviality (the latter- ultimately- being what wine is really all about).
I’m working on putting a group together, but I’ve hit a bit of a snag mulling over how to organize this thing. Does one start with a schedule of tasting the same wines from the same regions? Would taking a broad scope and narrowing down be more effective? Systematic seems more sensible to me, but with thousands and thousands of grapes, styles, and regions out there, it can be a little overwhelming.
I have some books that detail some recommended tastings. My plan of attack is to take the best practices from these pages and create something that makes sense. The second element to this planning phase is to appeal to you- the knowledgeable and attractive readership- to glean any tips or experiences you may have had with tasting groups. Or, if you’ve been thinking about putting a tasting group together yourself, maybe we can put our weed-whacker brains together and figure something out…
…if not for ourselves, then certainly for Uncle Joey.

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