||Influence on my scores|
Falling in love with wine came in a sort of roundabout way. As a teenager, I often had a small tipple with a meal, but the experience was like a slow dance in school gymnasium – awkward and never followed up with steady dating.
I gathered the guts to approach wine, and winemaking during my undergraduate studies. Suffice it to say, the first date with my backyard Fredonia was a disaster, and the goodbye kiss was laden with vinegar. I thought winemaking and I were never meant to be together.
It was only when I went through schooling that I really wanted to apply all I had learned to the craft. My curriculum in biochemistry and microbiology along with self-guided training and informative chats with oenologists fueled my ideas for experimentation with different grapes, microbes, and equipment. I continued to learn from my mistakes and began to greatly appreciate the victories.
Since then it has grown into a fulfilling relationship. Even when there are failures, instead of getting mad and breaking up, I continue to be intrigued and fall in love even more.
I now run a tasting group called 'VinoVigilance' which regularly meets to taste and discuss particular interesting themes in the wine scene.
Wine is food, tradition, exploration, hospitality and celebration – part of a lifestyle to be shared with family and friends.
Mike de Maria