Having spent many of my formative years in Taiwan, where the drinking age is more of a guideline than a law, I attribute my penchant for wine to a New Year's dinner at my grandparents'. Instead of bringing out the usual bottle of celebratory whiskey, Grandfather Yun broke open a bottle of wine -- to my young self, the wine went down a lot easier than the whiskey. From then on, I always opted for wine when offered. And sometimes reached for it even when it wasn't.
At home, we had a wine fridge stocked with multiple bottles of the same wines. Sometimes these "repeat" bottles would go missing. To this day, it remains an unsolved mystery.
Post-college, I moved to Los Angeles, California, largely to escape Chicago's fickle weather. I suddenly found myself surrounded by not only sunny weather, but also vineyards, vineyards everywhere! Wine tasting with friends became a favorite weekend pastime.
I thought to myself, as much as I enjoy wine tasting now, I'd enjoy it more if I knew a little something about it. Books were my first line of attack. However, you can read as much as you want and never be able to quite grasp the taste being described to you. So I began my Wine & Spirit and Education Trust courses -- and now possess my WSET 3 Certification.
A Note from Murphy: Why Wine Matters
Sitting down, I pick up the glass of wine from my table and suddenly I'm bubbling with excitement.
It must have been years ago, when many hands planted the vines and tilled the soil to grow wine grapes. Many more hands picked through the year's grape harvest, making sure only healthy grapes would be used to make this wine. Who knows how many more hands it took to operate the heavy machinery needed to crush and ferment the grapes, bottle this wine, age this wine, get the finished product in front of distributors, and transport it from some faraway place to the comfort of your table?
Each wine has a different story behind it. Each wine is made for a different reason by a passionate winemaker -- not without the help of an army. By bringing the glass of wine to my lips, smelling its other-worldly aromas, and taking a sip of it, I get to share in its story.
MOW Host, Murphy Perng