More than any other virtue, I believe the chiefest virtue of the wine lover to be curiosity. Here’s what I wrote about it in my book, The Essence of Wine:
I believe the single most important quality for any wine lover to cultivate is their sense of curiosity. The breadth and diversity of the wine world almost defy description. With dozens of countries producing wine from thousands of different kinds of grapes, the landscape open to the adventurous drinker rewards exploration with experience. Indeed, more than any wine course or wine book, simply tasting different kinds of wine as often as practically possible may make the greatest difference in any aspiring wine lover’s life. Such exploration invariably yields two primary benefits. First, it helps us figure out what we like and what we don’t. Second, it leads to the kinds of discoveries that fuel the excitement that makes up a part of every wine lover’s passion. For some that may be the thrill of finding a $15 bottle that drinks like a $50 bottle; for others it might be the first taste of a wine that really smells like lychees. Nothing befits a wine lover more than a childlike desire to experience yet another unknown corner of the wine world.
And that, my friends is the reason that anyone who loves wine should pay attention to what’s going on in a little corner of California’s Central Coast on October 29th.
Appropriately titled “Grapetionary” (as in dictionary), this event offers several elements to recommend itself to the intrepid wine lover. First, an opportunity to taste 26 different grape varieties made into wine by almost two dozen different producers from around the world (the very curious can see the list here).
Secondly, the event features the world’s foremost grape geneticist, Dr. José Vouillamoz, a man who knows more about wine grapes than just about anyone else on the planet. Dr. Vouillamoz is a great speaker, and someone I’d love to listen to for hours, as he is something of a Sherlock Holmes of plant genetics.
Thirdly, don’t underestimate the charms of Randall Graham, nor his property, as well as master of ceremonies Jason Tesauro all of whom play hosts to this event for the day.
And finally, I hear there will be good food, too. So if you’re looking for a little weekend diversion, jump in the car and head on down to the hills above the Pacific Ocean for an afternoon of vinous exploration. But buy your tickets in advance.
2016 Grapetionary Wine Event
Saturday, October 29
12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
543 Mission Vineyard Rd.,
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045
Tickets run $250 per person and should be purchased in advance online. This will be an outdoor event (albeit tented against the possibility of rain). So bring everything from a tank top and sunscreen to a down jacket, and definitely wear sneakers or even hiking boots.