Hello and welcome to The Glorious Grape!
This blog is dedicated to all things wine and the delicious fruit it is made from. My name is Amanda, and I have been a lover of grapes ever since my first taste of the Concords growing in my backyard as a young child in Massachusetts. My mother would harvest them into the sweetest of jellies, while my father would try his hand at homemade winemaking in the tradition of his Italian relatives who first cultivated the vines – if there were any grapes leftover, that is!
Flash forward to my college years, where my fridge is still stocked with mom’s grape jelly, but now it sits alongside whatever wine (and other alcoholic substance) can get me drunk. Boxed White Zin at the party across campus? I’ll take it, no questions asked! That $2 Cabernet in the sale bin at the packie? Tastes like rancid bacon, but sure! Eventually, I started to slowly develop my palate and realized the horrible mistakes I had been making in my underage years. With time and money soon came taste. I quickly learned I had a fondness for Southern Hemisphere Sauvignon Blancs – Chile and New Zealand, in particular. I still have a soft spot for them, to this day.
I eventually moved to Central Florida after meeting the love of my life on vacation. The change in lifestyle was quite drastic, to say the least. I had lived in the hustle and bustle of Boston for almost 8 years, and uprooted my life to a small town in the South with limited activities. In May of 2016, while I was desperately looking for a hobby to take up, I decided to begin teaching myself about wine. Why not learn and drink at the same time? I had always been hesitant about doing so in the past, mostly because I thought it was snobby, for people who had money, or for people with professional backgrounds. I felt like an outsider, and that I would be a total lame duck if I tried to join the game. But so what? I didn’t want to impress people with my fancy words, or to win over a date (I already did that). I wanted to learn for ME!
So I got down to business. First, I needed to further develop my palate. My goal was to try a new wine at least once a week, and I would keep track of my purchases and tasting notes religiously. I brought notepads and pens with me to dinner. I jotted down things in my phone. Did I like it? Would I buy it again? If I tried the style and region before, could I notice a trend in aromas and flavors? Even before I cracked a bottle open, I would do some research – where did the wine come from? What grapes were used? What are the takeaways from the region and those grapes, that can help me better understand what I am about to drink?
Before I knew it, I was already a year into my tasting experiment. I could identify the major wine growing regions, the grapes they were known for, and their hallmark aromas and flavors without assistance (some, better than others). To this day, I cannot believe the amount of knowledge I learned just from tasting, all on my own! Obviously, there is still quite a lot more learning to do, and that is a huge part of why I started this blog – to expand my knowledge, and help others on their journey, too.
As you may have noticed, this is not just your average wine review blog. Although I have no formal wine training, I do have a passion for all things grape – exploring wine regions, new, old and unclassified; unique pairings that defy unwritten “rules”; and the often overlooked science that goes into making the juice we all know and love. You may be a novice, hoping to learn a thing or two (or more!). You may be a seasoned expert, wondering if I know my stuff and curious about what an amateur could possibly have to blog about. You may be somewhere completely in the middle, or maybe you don’t even like wine at all! Whatever your reasons for being here, I hope that you are at least able to take something positive away from my site.
Welcome to The Glorious Grape, happy reading, and cheers!