Once upon a time, many years ago, Bonnie drank Bridgehampton. Usually the Sauvignon Blanc. Tangy, prickly, delicious. "We should drink local," she said, as I gazed at her befuddled with delight. "Local. Local... yes... we should." Where is Bridgehampton? Local... somewhere. Did I ask? No. Was I happy? Yes.
And Amy drank Hargrave. Wild, wistful Amy had somehow snagged Hargrave in her flowing tresses, so we drank that. Long Island's first superstars, the Lords of North Fork, brilliant, unpredictable reds and succulent whites, Amy and I drank those.
Fast forward to my recent trip to New York City when I had a few hours off. I didn't have time to do a full vineyard trip, so I just went to Bedell, whose wines I tasted most recently in London.
I didn’t set out to be a wine writer. I set out to be a wine drinker.
I didn’t set out to be a critic. I intended to be a hedonist scouring the world for flavors and smells, sucking them all in as much with my emotions as with my intellect. It’s not that I don’t like the intellectual demands of wine. I do. Indeed some wines seem better suited to cerebral rather than self-indulgent response.
But I’ve always wanted to put wines and their flavors into context. Not just the context of what wine goes with what food, but also their sense of place. Where they came from, the culture and politics of their land, the character and foibles of their producers. And then there’s who you drink them with.
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