Start Your Wine Journey with a Wine-Pairing Dinner

by Tom Joe Hops ‘R Better Winer

If you are interested in learning wine or advancing to the “next level” in your wine journey, then I highly recommend, even strongly encourage, even say it’s a REQUIREMENT, that you attend a wine-pairing dinner.

Many times restaurants don’t have a sommelier on staff and the chef takes on all the responsibilities – these are sometimes the best dinners. Other times, a winery representative is available and you get to pair their wines with the restaurant’s food choices. With a sommelier on staff, you get the most out of the dinner!!

Expectations for a Wine-Pairing Dinner

  1. Good (to exceptional) wines – This is the #1 reason I attend these dinners, for exposure to wines that I may not necessarily find or purchase for myself.
  2. Good meals – Expect 3-5 courses – don’t expect full-size portions, but do expect portions that complement the wine selection for each course. Also, many times the meals are “creations” of the chef and may not be on the normal menu – a great opportunity to taste unique dishes!!
  3. Good company – One of the reasons for attending is meeting new people that also enjoy good wine & good food. Everyone I’ve met so far is friendly & great conversationalists (which is good since I’m not one to talk much). If you are a sociable and out-going person, then this is for you; if you are more timid, then you can use this opportunity for talking about wine – asking pointed questions to the others at the table how they feel about the pairings or where they are along their journey.
  4. Good insights – At many wine dinners, you will have either the sommelier (or winery representative) and/or the chef coming out to describe the combination.  This is great, especially for newbies (and I consider myself a newbie after 12 years!!) It is a unique opportunity to have experts discuss how the food and wine bring out the best in each other.  And the best part is that during a wine dinner you have the chance to listen and then taste and experience it yourself immediately!

Wine is a lifestyle change. If you are still hesitant to start your journey or “stuck” at a fork in the path, then let me know.  I’ll give you a push or some guidelines. I’m no expert, but I am full of “wisdom” to nudge you along 🙂 … you’ll find your way. – Your Second Step

MeetUp is a great place to start to find people that like wine. Click on the logo to the right and search for “wine” and see what groups show up in your area. Try it, make new friends, and start your journey today!

Remember, it’s all about having FUN with wine!

Drink Wine – Drink Wisely!
😎 tj

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