Throughout my life of working the restaurant industry, I grew a Champaign taste on a beer budget while hitting the wine trail. I wanted to travel to as many wineries as possible always fearing that if I stopped I just might miss something. I have been accused many times of being a wine connoisseur, so much so you might think I could spell the word. My response has always been the same; "do you know the difference between a connoisseur and a wino?" Answer; "a connoisseur takes the bag off the bottle."
I am slowly reading towards level one of sommelier foundations and may later attempt to become certified. My wine education comes from working the service industry, reading industry books/periodicals, tasting wine, studying, wine industry interviews, and constantly asking questions. I'm in a tasting room, vineyard, or wine event constantly doing photography/videography along the way.
Anyone snobby about wine quickly forgets the fact that at the end of the day, wine is a grown crop from a dirt field, made by farmers fueled by God's weather. I would rather be dubbed a wino than a connoisseur, and my inherit ability to speak fluent sarcasm makes it all the more fitting. I hope I can share something with you and learn something from you. Cheers!
The movie "Sideways" seems to be a beaten dead horse amongst the wine industry, so much so, it could be called the "S-word." They say perception is reality and many people's knowledge base sometimes falls on a simple movie. As exasperated as the discussions might be, the impact has been a lasting one. A well known winemaker called it the "Sideways bump." The Santa Barbara region was heavily blessed with a lot of wine travelers seeking the much talked about Pinot Noir with cash in hand. While Santa Barbara county may produce some of the best Pinot Noir in the country, that I consume by the barrel, there is much more to the area than Pinot Noir.
If you've had the pleasure of touring Santa Barbara's wine country, you likely visited some combination of Santa Maria Valley, Foxen Trail, Los Olivos, Sta Rita Hills, downtown "funk-zone," or Santa Ynez Valley. These fantastic wine trails are posted clearly on most wine maps. Not all of the great spots are included....