You never stop learning about wine. And that goes double for me. Because not only is there an ever-expanding body of knowledge to consume, at the same time you take in the facts, you take in some wine and then it's hard to remember the facts. That's one reason wine people, with their ability to remember both facts and flavors, are so awesome.
All I can do is keep trying.
That's what I do whenever local wine broker Francis Fecteau invites me to a tasting, like he did today. I brought my little notebook, and my camera, and I paid close attention to everything that monsieur from MaisonLouis Latour was telling me about the legendary red and white wines of Burgundy, while I noshed on escargots, cheese, frisee with walnut oil and all the other typical Burgundian foods set out by Eric Debonis at The Paris.
Then all of a sudden I realized I had moaned out loud. Not my fault. There was something about the combination of duck confit, chanterelles, lentils de Puy in a buckwheat crepe with the taste of the 2005 Marsannay, that overwhelmed me. Only a few heads turned.
Most of the sippers were listening intently to another explanation of the extremely mysterious negociant system, how the clay-lime-oyster shelly soil of Cbablis differs from the other 399 distinct dirts, I mean terroirs, of Burgundy.
And clearly I was learning something. Mainly, that I don't have a big enough wine budget. Not that these wines are incredibly expensive, but food journalists tend to get used to food and drink way out of line with what their income allows. Also, that anyone who thinks snails taste like garlic butter had better get over to The Paris and order some of the amazing pernod-and-parsley drenched ones being served there. I also got to practice saying pouilly-fuisse, something all Americans should know, since 75% of it is being shipped here.
I take it back. I think the main thing I learned is to be glad I live in a world where you can benefit from the wine knowledge of generations of people who have cultivated the same vineyards for hundreds of years.