The Finnins – A Humble and Shocking Beginning to Our Love of Wine

Who knew there was so much to know about wine?! When we first started on our “love of wine journey” we sure had no idea there were so much mystery and romance behind wine.  As we’re starting to blog and tell our stories, I thought that you might enjoy this one as much as I enjoy telling it.  What an awakening and learning experience!

Not too long after Tom Joe and I got together (for the full story click here) and really started delving into enjoying different wines [you know the way it goes, graduating from sweet whites or rose’s to dry white and then to Merlots and finally to the more robust flavors of Cabs, Zins and Shiraz (hmmm….I think I’m getting a touch thirsty!), and then finally a time for every wine with the right food, attitude, weather, mood, occasion, etc…].

Well anyway, we were just starting.  It was our 5th anniversary and I wanted to plan something really special to show Tom Joe how much he meant to me. So I planned this overnight stay at the 4-star hotel, The Saint Paul Hotel, in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Pretty nice place and pretty pricey to boot!  We were given a corner room on the top floor overlooking Rice Park where in the winter they have 10-feet of snow, of course, but also ice sculptures and outdoor ice skating rinks.  We could see it all from our hotel room and it was amazing.

To make this night really special I had gone to an upscale grocery store, Byerly’s, and bought a couple of their famous chocolate goodies from the bakery (eclairs and such) and then stopped by Solo Vino to have them recommend some amazing wine.  On their advice, I bought two bottles.

That evening, I learned one thing.  As we opened one of the bottles of wine, after letting it breathe, we enjoyed the aroma.  Between the nose and the flavors, I was blown away!  I had found the wine of all wines!  My description of the wine at the time to my husband was “OMG, it tastes like dirt!” and “it reminds me of when we go camping!” and I was thrilled!  Seems so strange and hilarious now!  Now I know that what I was experiencing was “earthy tones”…..earthy, dirt, camping….however you describe it…I was IN LOVE WITH THIS WINE and wanted more!

Being the “on the ball person” that I am, I saved the bottle and waited about 3-4 months and went back to Solo Vino.  I proudly said to them how much I had appreciated their selection of wine for my anniversary and they were right on the money.  I would like to buy a case please!  Right here, right now (never bought a case of ANYTHING before)!  Their response: “Oh, I’m sorry, but we no longer have that bottle.”  My response: “When will you be getting some more in?”  Their response: “Uhhhh….uhhhhhh……”  LOL – when I think back, it gives me a good chuckle!  My humble beginnings of learning that there is a relatively short shelf life of wine…if you like it, you better buy it up!  Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.  They did quickly share with me (after educating me on the life-cycle of wine and once they finally stopped laughing inside, I’m sure!) that if I had liked that one particular wine, which happened to come from Southern Italy, that I would probably like something from the same region as the soil is very similar.

Wow!  Am I wine smart now?!!??



Miki “This is the Life” Winer

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