Ryan Chartrand

I was not much of a wine drinker until lately. The other night I felt the urge to just curl up on the couch with a bottle of vino and watch a little television.

My experimentation with sophistication began with a bottle of pinot noir. My show of choice: college rodeo. But before I could even try the wine, I had to dust off my wine glass.

No one in my house is much of a wine drinker and the glasses are mostly for show. But maybe that has changed.

The first couple of sips were hard to go down. I did not like the fact that the wine was room temperature and it left a bitter aftertaste. Of course, I had to give the wine a chance and had a second glass. I regretted it.

I could taste the wine even after I brushed my teeth and used mouth wash. Yuck. I decided the next time I drank wine, I would try a white one because it tends to be chilled.

Later on in the week, I opened a bottle of white zinfandel. It had a pretty pink color and I liked the label. I guess that shows how much I know about wine because I chose one based on its looks.

I am not completely naive though. I do know how to open a bottle of wine. I grabbed my foil cutter and removed the top, but then encountered an unusual surprise: no cork.

I started looking at the bottle and realized it was a twist top. The label said the twist top was used so there would be no cork taste. It made me wonder if twist top was one step up from boxed wine.

I was fairly impressed with the white zinfandel and decided to save it for later. My only problem was that I could not recap it because I mutilated the top.

My wine drinking stalled for a couple of days and I picked it back up over the weekend. My mom and I decided to be slackers and spend our Sunday drinking and playing Yahtzee.

My mom has spent quite a bit of time working in the wine industry and was able to educate me on its etiquette.

She taught me how to smell the wine and taste it on my tongue before swallowing. I thought the whole point of alcohol was to drink it and not completely appreciate the taste but the effect it had on the body.

Well, I took her advice and tried several other flavors of wine. I tasted a pinot grigio, pinot noir, chardonnay and gave red wine another chance by trying a cabernet sauvignon. My sophistication dropped a notch because I could not pronounce half the names.

Well, I had one sip of each but was unable to drink a whole glass, mostly because I did not like the bitter aftertaste and because they all pretty much tasted like wood.

However, I did polish off the rest of the white zinfandel and realized that it takes several glasses to create a decent buzz. The sun also helped speed the process up.

I still like the sophisticated aura that surrounds wine drinking. I think trying out some of the local wineries might be fun because I am sure there are some other flavors out there that I might like to try.

But until then my wine glasses will probably sit and collect dust until I get the urge to “class” myself up.

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