Comfort zones are easy. They’re reliable. Comfort zones are, well, comfortable. Disappointment is not often found in the comfort zone, which is probably why we tend to stay in them. But, where would progress and discovery be without stepping outside of those zones? They’d be hard to find is what they’d be. I’m a classic “comfort zoner,” always have been. Funny thing is, some of the most amazing things have happened to me when I’ve stepped outside – hesitantly. Studying abroad, moving to the east coast, and starting a small business are some the great things that have happened. Oh, and rosé. Oh yes, and Chardonnay, too.
I’ll admit, I used to be kind of snobby when it came to wine. Only big reds were my thing. Pink wine, Chardonnay, wine in a box, wine in a jug, ice in wine (eeek!) are a handful of things I’d turn my nose up at and essentially thought were beneath my taste. To give you an idea of the progress – or perhaps regress! – I’ve made, let me tell you which wines are in my refrigerator at the moment: bright pink rose and a box of Chardonnay. Yes, a box. And guess what? I love them.
My choice pairing with tomato buccatini? Sangiovese. But if yours is Moscato or Beverino, own it
Looking back, I think this is how it happened: I started working for a winery (you can guess which one), and I adored it. My boss, coworkers and the guests we served were wonderful. Right off the bat I began educating myself on wine, not only our wines, but all kinds. I researched wine and food pairings, I bought wine magazines – the snooty ones. The ones that rank and rate and wear white jackets and speak with arrogance about their wine. I quickly began to associate “cheap” wines with low quality. In my mind, in order to be a serious wine drinker and wine industry associate, I had to drink serious wines. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Ponte’s motto of “if you like it, it’s good wine” resonated with me to its fullest when they first released their Fiorella, a dry (and very pink) rosé wine. All I knew of pink wines was that they were almost always sweet. My first sip of Fiorella changed my wine world in an instant. It wasn’t sweet at all! Dry, fruity and pleasant, and I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. Shortly after that, I started tasting Chardonnays again. Prior to this, I listened to the wine “experts” who said that California Chardonnays were too woody, too oaky, low quality and not worth buying. I had tasted some pretty bad Chardonnays years before and thought I hated them all. Then I found one (ahem, Ponte’s 2011 Chardonnay) that was unlike anything I remembered and I was hooked on this white wine. I began trying sweeter reds like Beverino which I found are best chilled on hot days, and I even iced my room temperature Pinot Grigio one day when I didn’t have time to chill it. It was just fine.
Pink. And not sweet!
I guess you could say I became a rebel, a rule-breaker. All those wine “rules” are just someone’s opinion anyway… in my opinion. Drink what you like, step out of your comfort zone and you just might discover something you love.