My new, cute little wine cooler showed up and now I just have to fill it! I have decided to make efforts to improve my wine knowledge, little by little.

I have been lucky. Learning has always been enjoyable to me and has almost always come easily. I do not have a photographic memory nor was I ever in the tippy-top of my class  but when I decide I want to learn about something new, I am able to research, watch, learn and pick it up quite quickly. There are a few exceptions to this rule.

Math was always easy for me until I took my first Calculus class and hit a wall. The stress caused stomach aches before class.  In almost every sport I was above average except basketball. I was perhaps the worst in the class and my deficiency led to gym class excuses on basketball days. I have never taken cooking classes but through experimentation and reading I have learned enough about flavors to alter recipes, add spices to appropriate foods and pair tastes that go well together.  This culinary knowledge does not seem to extend to wine.

For some reason, there is a block in my brain when it comes to retaining information about wine. I know that Chardonnay can be oake-y and that full-bodied reds are nice with hearty pasta or heavy beef dishes.  I know that, like with all foods, you should pair things that are about equal strength in taste and have flavors that compliment each other. But, which reds are the more full bodied ones again? And where does Malbec come from?  And, how do I know if the Reisling will be like that dry yummy one I loved or the syrupy sweet one I mistakenly ordered the following week?

I have tried to keep notes and have vowed to make a list of the wines I like after I try them. So far, nothing has been successful and the majority of wine knowledge I gain ends up slipping away into a brain black hole.  My usual response to these learning vacuums is to turn the other way and exercise serious avoidance.  But this time, it is going to be different.

It may take time and it may not come easily but little by little, I am going to work on my wine education. I know I’ll never be an expert but in a number of years, I hope that I can plan appropriate wines for dinner parties as easily as I can scheme up a three course menu. I will resurrect my husband’s Wine Bible and take the time to read it now and then. I’ll seek out an iPhone application to easily track what I have sipped.

As part of my new commitment, I have welcomed a new, little wine cooler into my house.  The NewAir Thermoelectric Wine Cooler holds just 21 bottles, a perfect start for my new collection. When I discover a wine I enjoy, I’ll write it down and buy a few bottles to tuck away for future sipping.  My new cooler even has dual compartments for two different storage temperatures. At this point, I don’t know which wines want what temperature but by golly, I’ll find out.

I want to love wine.  I do not want to be intimidated by it. I will except a more difficult learning process. I’ll be patient. The reward will be worth it.  My new and improved wine education plan starts now.