A one dollar purchase from Michaels has given me an enormous amount of pleasure. If you have ever been to Michaels Art Supply Store, I am sure you are familiar with the $1 section in the front, with reasonable purchases in bins. A couple of years ago I bought a Wine Book there, which has spaces inside for information about wines. My husband and I love wine, but usually buy the same wine (Pinot Grigio) and guzzle it down without thinking much about it. Now, when we try a new wine, we take out our wine book, sit down somewhere quiet and go about recording our opinions on the wine. This is a way of living more in the moment, and savoring the small pleasures of the day, as well as trying new wines and finding new favorites. In the book, we record the type of wine, the vintage, the producer and the region/state/country. This gets us thinking of the different places the wines come from, and trying wines from different parts of the world, instead of sticking with our usual (California and Italy) locations. Then we record the price, date tasted, place tasted and what was served with the wine (usually nothing). The third set of questions is where it really gets fun; this asks for appearance, bouquet, taste and balance. We have gotten really good at detecting aromas, such as pear, citrus, apples etc... The 2008 Chianti in this photo, for example, boasts an "intense aroma of violets". That one we did not guess. Then, there is the tasting of the wine and deciding if it would be a wine we would buy again. My daughter A.J. (a Food and Hospitality major) taught us the correct way to drink wine, last year during our trip to Italy. First, look at the color of the wine (preferably in a good light), next, swirl it around to release the aromas and take a deep sniff, getting your nose inside the glass. Then, take a sip, swishing the wine around in your mouth, and finally, swallow. This way of drinking wine, makes a bottle of wine more of an event, rather than a day in a life. This little wine book has recorded many beautiful and relaxing nights with my husband and I highly recommend buying one.
"Wine is bottled poetry." Robert Louis Stevenson