(Last night’s wine. Photo by Robin. 2007)

I jumped on the wagon for a little while as part of the Healthy Living Project (my efforts to exercise and lose weight). But last night we had pasta for dinner and M likes to have wine with his pasta. So do I.

Wine, to me, is almost like a food, a part of the meal. When I drink for fun and giggles, it isn’t wine I choose. Perhaps I take wine a little seriously and that’s why it’s not a fun drink for me. Or maybe it’s that wine pairs so well with food, as if it were born to do so (and very likely it was). I know there are beer-food matches as well, and they’re often quite good, but wine (in my opinion) belongs with food.

I’m not a wine snob by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I know very little about wine. We did some wine tasting with a friend while in the San Francisco area (in Napa) last year. I learned a lot, which is what taught me that I know very little about wine.

There is a Total Wine & More store not too far from Sabbaticalville. The place is amazing. A warehouse of wine, wine, and more. The wine selections are so big and varied that it’s hard not to be overwhelmed. They have free wine tastings on the weekends (perhaps during the week as well, but we usually go on the weekends so I’m not sure). Our first time in the store there was a free vodka tasting. I thought vodka was vodka was vodka, but found that’s not true when you’re tasting the expensive stuff.

Am I digressing again? Oh yes, I am.

We’ve been having a hard time keeping track of the wines we’ve tried since we learned a little about wine last year. (No, it’s not because we’re drinking so much of it that we’re blacking out.) I decided blogging to keep track of what we’re doing in life would also come in handy for keeping track of the wines we’ve tried.

So, I bring you our first (blogged about) wine and the description from the bottle:

Anakena, a Pinot Noir from Chile (Single Vineyard, D.O. Rapel Valley)

Cherry red in colour with elegant aromas, ripe strawberry and wild cherry flavours. A subtle touch of oak enhances this soft and delicate Pinot Noir. Delicious with red and white meats, seafood, salmon and pasta.

A little trivia about Pinot Noir: Pinot noir is, of course, a type of red grape (vitis vinifera), but the name also refers to the wines made with this grape. Production of wines made with pinot noir grapes date back over two thousand years. Apparently it’s not an easy grape to grow or make into a wine.

Side note: I’m always astounded by the fact that someone thought to take something like the grape and turn it into wine. It’s like coffee, which I find even more astounding because someone saw the bean, picked the bean, thought to roast the bean, grind the bean, and then run hot water over it or through the grinds or whatever it is they first did to come up with the first cup of coffee. I suppose wine was easier in that the grapes probably did the fermenting on their own and someone said “Ah ha!” and then decided to make a science of the whole business.

All digressions aside, the wine was tasty and went well with our dinner (bow tie pasta with portobello mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes, and angel hair pasta with broccoli and roasted red peppers; both lovely dishes purchased at La Cucina, a little Italian booth at the farmers market we frequently shop at). It was a nice, dry wine, the strawberry flavor coming through first, followed by the wild cherry that sort of lingered on the tongue.

I can’t remember the cost of the wine, but I do know it would’ve been under $15.00 (because we’re cheap… I mean thrifty).