There’s an explanation for why we are so cognizant of the first wine that changed our lives--our first wine "a-ha" moment (which was also the subject of a recent Wine Spectator video).
I'm asked this question as often as any other (the answer: Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet 1968). A close runner-up query is what is my all time favorite wine, for which I don't have an answer. There have simply been too many great wines and wine experiences to single out one.
I'd like to read about your life-altering wine moments. The theory of why we cling to those long-lasting memory moments is what brain specialists refer to as "first in, last out." That is, the things that we learn the first, or earliest in life, often stay with us the longest. I’m not entirely sure about that. But considering the staying power of the "firsts" in our lives – childhood friends, homes, pets, your parents, your first bike or even your first date or first speeding ticket -- it certainly seems that the hypothesis has some merit.
With wine, that "first in" experience is often the one we cling to the longest, since it usually brings with it fond memories and a powerful link to the past.