I am taking a wine class with my friend, Amy. It is awesome. I mean really fantastic. It is held at this great little wine shop along Ashley River Road about 7 - 10 minutes from my house. Not the same wine shop we have been tasting at previously but another delightfully local shop with a constantly present and very educated shop owner. She runs the class, her name is Jacki and she loves her job. "I will do this until my liver gives out or I find something better." Love. it.
So yeah, I am learning how wine is made, how to taste it, what bottle shapes indicate all stuff that would have been really, really 'effin helpful when I lived California 4 months ago. But what can you do? But now, at the end of January I will be able to look like and sound like one of those asses swirling, spitting, and saying things like, "This Syrah is delightful. There are hints of Cassis, Coffee, and a little tobacco. I find it elegant but a little Hedonistic." And after saying that through my nose I will drop my monocle and call my driver so he can drive me to.....
THE MOST AWESOME BEER SHOP I FOUND THIS WEEKEND!!!! That sentence is in all caps for a reason. About a month ago Nick and I made a failed attempt to find a European style bakery. Nick had heard of a place downtown and we drove there on a whim only to find that it was some sit-down place with, vinyl covered menus and individually packaged creamers that also sold baked goods. Think glorified Tippins, or Denny's meets Einstein Bros. We left, kicking pebbles in the parking lot, totally dejected. As we were pulling out of the parking lot we ended up behind a car with a sticker from "The Charleston Beer Exchange." I screamed, "Holy crap, do you see that? That can't be bad." And it took a few weeks but we finally made it there. A thing of total beauty. This shop treats beer with the same reverence people give wine. There are bottles of Rogue beer I have never seen and we lived in Washington for nearly three years, there is a beer made with Muscat grapes (which is the closest thing I have been able to find to the "beer wine" from the Briar Rose Winery in Temecula, California), and I even heard them respond to other customers with, "Uh, no. That is a very rare beer. We are lucky to have it now and if we are lucky enough to get more, it won't be until next year." Needless to say we purchased a growler and are chomping at the bit to go to our first "Rare Beer Tuesday."
It is so nice to start developing my palette and learn how to pair drink and foods and learn to have even more discerning taste. And that is what this is. If I start touting what a revelation Bud Light Lime was to the entire industry then I give everyone permission to stage an intervention.