Yesterday I had an unexpected blast. Lynn Ware-Peek and Missy Hilton co-host a fun show called “The Mountain Life” on Park City’s local radio station and we were invited to be a part of one of their segments. Ray Miamidian, one of our school’s most dedicated students, joined for some banter about wine and to help promote our book launch, coming up on Saturday, March 10. Link to listen to the segment http://kpcw.org/2012/02/
These ladies know how to put guests at ease on their show and pretty shortly into the segment, Missy was admitting to knowing NOTHING about wine. She said that she had re-gifted wine that had been given to them and she explained it was a risky proposition, because neither she, nor her husband, have any idea what they are giving away. It could be a very nice bottle of expensive or tasty wine or it could be something that she should have cooked with.
Before I studied a lot about wine, I used to call these bottles, “Scary Wine,” because I would look at them and wonder what they held. Usually they would sit somewhere, haunting me, until finally I’d need a gift for someone else and I’d stick it in a pretty bag and feel the same angst as Missy and her husband. What was I giving away?
My suggestion is to just type the name of the wine into Google. It will pull up websites that are selling the wine and you’ll be able to see the price range that the wine is in. Also, it should pull up quite a few websites that have descriptions of the taste of the wine, and probably way more information that you want. But after spending one extra minute of time, you should have a much better idea about what you’re holding in your hand, and based on the descriptions, you can decide if you think you’ll like the wine.
How do you know what to give? First I ask the host what he or she likes. Then I look for wines that my students have liked in that category in the FSW library and search for a B+ or above. Then, if your host loves wine, I go for the highest price B+ or above. If your host has no appreciation for wine, I would get the lowest cost wine possible at that grade level. You don’t have to use our wine grades – this theory will work with any critics’ reviews.
And since you are bringing a gift for the host, the host can decide whether to serve it that night or not. So unless you are going to a party specifically designed around tasting the wines that the guests are bringing, (these kinds of parties can be a blast!) you should not expect that your wine will be opened while you are there, so don’t be disappointed and don’t bring a treasured wine that you just have to taste.
Thank you Missy and Lynn for a great time on the show and for bringing up a subject that can be a bit touchy. Keep studying!