More Than Just Grapes To Me!

Bringing up my love for wine has always brought an array of reactions as it is not so common. I started drinking wine at a very young age, five or six years old. Now I wasn’t sneaking sips from my parents’ liquor cabinet but my parents were very involved with culturing my older brother and I. Every so often, my parents would enjoy a getaway including to a vineyard and of course, my brother and I would accompany them.

My mom always gave my brother and me a sip to see what the wine tasted like to help us be involved and also prepare us for our adulthood. It was always a very controversial topic as there was always one person giving my mother a dirty look or waving his/her finger back and forth at my mom. There was one instance where a couple sitting next to my mom asked why she would do such a horrible thing and my mom simply replied, “ I want my children to A) either grow accustomed to the taste and not act foolish around colleagues for when they are invited to a work function or B) realize they do not like the taste and never drink again. The couple seemed astonished by the answer but then acknowledged that what my mom was doing was very progressive. That however opened a flood-gate to my love of spirits, in particular, wines!

I love all wines, but to narrow it down a bit, red wines, cognacs, and Armagnacs. There’s something so gratifying about having a full-bodied red wine after a long hard day at work or a robust Armagnac after a hearty meal. Let’s start with my favorite red wine, Malbec. Malbec started to really get recognized in the game about twenty years ago, but I feel like it has always been a great contender. Go-to regions/ vineyards I tend to gear towards when searching for a tasty Malbec are usually from South America, Chile or Argentina.

Malbec grapes from this part of the world usually are mixed with other wines such as Bordeaux, Merlot, and/or Cabernet Sauvignon. Malbecs of this region usually have a bit of a smoky taste from cocoa, tobacco and mixed with berries such as plum, cherries, blackberry, currants, etc. I usually like to enjoy an intense flavor profile so Malbec is a winner for me, and plus, it tastes great as a glass alone or along with a cheese-platter or hanger steak!

Next, we move onto Cognac and Armagnac; keep in mind it is definitely an acquired taste and is not for everyone as they are both “very strong” to many people’s pallet. Like wine, Cognac and Armagnac are made of grapes. I enjoy these two on a different level; for days I just want a sipper, when wine won’t cut it, feeling a little bit classier, or something to warm me up but not make me feel tipsy.

There are many health benefits that attracted me to these two spirits as well. For starter, both are great at aiding you in combatting heart disease and studies have shown that they help combat type 2 diabetes. In addition, Cognac for many centuries and in many cultures has been used in holistic ways to combat the flu, a headache, and even prevent gallstones. Now I’m not telling you to go out and buy jugs of these and chug it down- in moderation and THEY ARE AIDS, hahaha!

I feel like this is around the time where I’m supposed to recommend my favorite label of each, but I’m not going to do that. This passage was meant to open you up to the possibilities of trying different assortments and finding out what suits you! There is no right or wrong wine/Cognac/ Armagnac because it is what meets your needs the very best, but there is always room for growth if you keep an open heart.

Written By: Christina

Located: New York, New York