“But you already know about wine!”

For me, it’s back to school and this ain’t exactly the little red schoolhouse. This isn’t a just-for-fun extension class where friends and I gather to learn about wine in a more-or-less social setting, but a real, read-100-pages-study-till-your-eyes-bleed-stress-over-midterms-and-finals college class. Yeah, it’s that real. Sotheby’s and Jancis Robinson. ‘Nuff said.

Why, Irene, why?

Wine has been a part of my life for over 20 years, a passion ignited during the early years of my friendship with The Wineaux Guy™. I had already liked “wine,” but it was that epiphanous (aka “ah-ha” “eureka”) moment when I had a wine that wasn’t Boone’s Farm, “Hearty Burgundy,” or “Mountain Chablis.” It wasn’t the newly promoted White Zinfandel or anything out a screwcap jug o’ wine. That was the beginning of the best friendship of my life – over a beautiful glass of Jordan Winery wine shared by The Wineaux Guy™ that transformed my life.

Shortly after “that moment” and I’d moved to Las Vegas, I had a glass of Chardonnay that was so different from the mundane “white wine” that I’d been drinking that I was completely taken aback. I spent years trying to recreate that moment. Every “Chardonnay” I had after that tasted like lemonade more than wine.

After the period encompassing my second marriage and divorce had passed and after my kids were grown and on their own, I decided that wine was something that I wanted to learn about, not just drink. I’d never forgotten the gorgeous Jordan or the beautiful Chardonnay that I’d had at one time, and knew that I needed to explore those things that had given me such pleasure. I really wanted to “get” what it was that the cultures of the world were so crazy about. Could it really mean what I felt in my heart?

I made friends, drank wine, attended classes, and subscribed to every wine magazine that I could. The classes were fun, informal, and informative, and I learned about regions, wines, and styles. Most of the reading I did (other than magazines) was mostly online. I went to wine country. Had a blast! Actually, to be more accurate, had many blasts! And while I was learning how to taste wines, discovered that I have a great palate. Which, unknown to me at the time, is a real gift.

When I met up with my old friend The Wineaux Guy™ a few years ago, my simmering love of wine – and long-held crush on him – took on a life of its own. My love of research and writing found an outlet in Vegas Wineaux, so here I am!

I look at my love of all things wine the same way as I look at cohabitating: there comes a time when the “piece of paper” really is important. This is where commitment counts. This is where you get to prove that taking my word for it isn’t as nearly important as the proof that I’ve got what it takes. And if means a bunch of initials after my name, then so be it. In fact, it had better mean a bunch of initials after my name, because I’m committed to the long haul.

Coming soon:  Part Two. Wine + Me = Marriage Made in Heaven

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