My name is Cat, and I’m a thirty-something Canadian nomad who recently decided to leave a 9 year career in supply chain to learn how to make wine.

In the heart of the Douro Valley - this place makes you want to eat, sleep and breathe wine.

In the heart of the Douro Valley – this place makes you want to eat, sleep and breathe wine.

I like cooking, and singing, and running.  Maybe a little wine tasting here and there 🙂  But I have a confession to make – I have a terrible sense of smell! So I’m working very hard to practice building my nose and palate. (…I think I’m getting a hint of… wine?)  I’m using this blog to capture my wine journey and encourage everyone to love wine a little bit more than they do today.  My only rule when it comes to wine is whether I love it or not; I’m hoping to become more articulate in describing what I do and don’t like about wine so that I can keep finding more wines that I will like (which so far is proving to be most of them!)

I wrote down how my journey began here.

Why When Wine Sings?

The name of this blog is when wine sings because of two reasons:

The first reason is related to the fact that one of my all-time favourite wine stores in New York City is a shop called Appellation Wines and Spirits, at 20th and 10th in Chelsea. I was in there at least once a week, and often more than that, perusing the new wares and chatting with the lovely folks who ran the place.  They were particularly good at knowing what I liked, and helping me to craft wine lists that were part experimental and part catering to the palate that I was starting to develop.  I had purchased a Ribera Sacra Mencia for a Spanish wine night a few weeks later, when I got this note from one of the staff who knew I was sitting on this bottle:

“Don’t know if you’ve had your Spain tasting event yet, but I wanted to give you a heads up about the Envínate Mencia from Ribeira Sacra. I opened a bottle on Sunday night, and it was a little tight, so I had a glass and then had another Monday, and another today (I’m a lush).  The result is that by the second day it opened up nicely, and by the third day it is really singing.”

You see why I liked these guys?  Beyond the tip (which was really good, and by the way, I can’t recommend the Vacuvin Wine Saver enough), I really loved the phrase of wine singing to describe achieving the perfect balance between oxygen, tannin, acidity and all the other scientific things that turn wine from a drink into an art form. I haven’t been able to get that phrase out of my head.

The second reason is related to my own singing. I come from a musical family, and have sung all my life, but started formal vocal instruction about a year before my wine story began.  My singing evolution through classical to heavy metal and opera to jazz, has felt like a metaphor for several other things in my life, wine included.  And the more I fall into the world of wine, the more I discover unusual crossovers between the worlds of wine and music: classically trained trumpeters-turned-sommeliers in France; jazz musician winemakers in Portugal; theories on the impact of music on wine tasting by post modern wine-and-folk-music-makers in the US.  I’d like to keep exploring how the two worlds meet.

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  1. Dear Cat,
     
    Congratulations for your blog! It is amazing!

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    We really appreciate your blog because you provide useful and practical advice to foreigners in order to make their travel experience easy & enjoyable. Therefore we thought that you would be interested in INSIDR, and we’d love to explore potential ways to collaborate with you.
     
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