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.  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), 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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One thought on “about

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

    We have contacted you through mail previously. 
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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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