My First Time

I don’t remember the first time I drank wine or the first wine I drank. I’m sure it wouldn’t be a pleasant memory even if I did remember. I do remember buying a case of Mogen David for myself because it was only $1.50 per bottle. I had huge plans for that case, I was going to cellar it and sell it in twenty years for thousands of dollars!  The case lasted about a week, and it’s not a purchase I would repeat, even if it was only $18.00.

I do remember the first wine I enjoyed.

When I was 19 years old, my best friend Caleb worked at a little French Bistro called Rococco. He was a waiter, and he was really good friends with the owner. The owner was known for being extremely generous with her nice selections. One year for Christmas, she gave Caleb a bottle of wine. The wine was called L’Espil. It was a Grenache blend from Priorat. Until about three years ago, I would have said that Priorat was the varietal, and in previous wine buying positions, I had been desperately seeking the illusive Priorat grape. As it turns out, Priorat is a region in Spain that is known for some pretty spectacular juice.

As Caleb and I were slightly under the legal age to purchase our own alcohol, that night that we were desperate to drink. And with no means of getting our booze, we remembered his Christmas present. In the basement of my mother’s house, out of the cheapest stemware imaginable, we drank that bottle and didn’t think twice about the situation. Looking back at it, it was AMAZING!! Before that night, I had no appreciation for wine whatsoever. It was all grape juice with a weird aftertaste. This was clearly the exception. I can still taste it. It was full flavored and rich up front. The wine had an intense tannic and acidic mid-palate but finished with a long-lasting smooth amazing black peppery finish. I never forgot the name Priorat. It wasn’t until seven or so years later that I came to really appreciate it. It was a wine that I would now sell for probably $200 to $250. The region has a really cool history that I love to talk about.

Coming soon: “Priorat… Danger and Celibacy”

View my restaurants’ wine lists:

The Blue Star:

Also coming soon:

Wine Event at Nosh – March 17, 6PM – 8PM – Wince Cru Spanish and Portuguese Wine Tasting

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  1. #1 by Marti Mitchell on March 9, 2011 - 2:55 PM

    What is your favorite wine? Favorite White ?

  2. #2 by Marti Mitchell on March 9, 2011 - 2:56 PM

    What is your favorite wine? Red?

  3. #3 by nosh121 on March 9, 2011 - 4:43 PM

    The topic of favorites is so situational. I think a great example would be the luxury wine dinner that we hosted at the Blue Star last night. We poured well over $1000 worth of wine (from 5 bottles). I tasted Krug 1990 Vintage Champagne, Domaine Bruno Claire 2002 Morey St. Denis Chardonnay, DRC Eschezeaux 2001 Pinot Noir, Araujo 2000 Napa Cab. In theory, one of these wines should be my favorite, right? They average over $400/ bottle on our list. Was the Chard my favorite white of all time? Was the DRC my favorite red of all time? Oddly enough, No, and No. FANTASTIC WINES!!! But, standing around at the end of the night on a Tuesday, in a rush to get home wasn’t the prper setting to enjoy such luxurious wines.

    When I moved in to my house, my fiancee and I opened a bottle of T-Vine 2006 Grenache. It’s about $100 on my list at both restaurants. I can find it at a few liquor stores for about $50. Is it the best wine in the world? Certainly not, but that night, it was perfect! It’s rich and fruity, as T-Vine does so well, but a lingering acidity that makes it ever so perfect, with or without food. A stunning wine for a stunning occasion.

    My White wine story is a little less romantic. I had a wine a winemaker lunch in Denver, with Merry Edwards. She, the “Queen of Pinot Noir”, was there along with her incredible line up of 95+ point Pinot Noirs. I am a strong fan of a large amount of Pinot Noir’s. None of her’s spoke to me like her Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc did. Her 2009 Sauv Blanc gives me goosebumps everytime i taste it. It recieved GREAT press this year, and they sold out pretty fast. It’ll run about $40-45 in liquor stores, but worth every penny if you can find it. It was my birthday wine this year!

  4. #4 by vividlyemily on March 9, 2011 - 5:44 PM

    I enjoy reading your posts, Brandon. or Joe lol.

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