I love wine.

I love drinking it, learning about how it’s made, where it comes from, its cultural and historical significance, the laws that govern it. I love that it is based in science, significant to history and involves having an opinion.

The stereotype of a wine lover or person who is in the wine industry, however, can be one of snobbery. The vocabulary in the world of wine is usually the main culprit. It starts with the technical term for a wine lover: oenophile. Seriously? Of course it has to be a word made of letters that aren’t pronounced phonetically. If you are a lover of wine you are said to have oenophelia. That sounds like some strange fetish or unusual disease. I will never refer to myself as an oenophile. It would be the most wine-snobbiest thing I could do.

Have you ever read a wine review by an oenophile? It’s like the person writing the description or review doesn’t want anyone to understand it but wants you to know there is a select group of people that do. And you are clearly not one of them. Ha. Ha. Ha. Insert evil laugh here.

I love discovering wines with unique flavors and stories, and when I find something I love or something totally different, I want to shout it from the rooftops to everyone I know. But if I start using words like “linalool”, “acacia” and even “gooseberry,” no one I know will understand or care. And they would think I’m a total weirdo. I wouldn’t even know where to find a gooseberry to try to smell one to use that word. I’d have better luck finding a snozzberry.

As much as I love wine, I’m trying to not let my education create a wine monster, to the point where it takes all the enjoyment out of drinking it in the first place. I have an intermediate Sommelier certification and just started working on my advanced cert. While I am competitive enough to fit the profile of someone studying to be a Master Somm, I don’t want my thirst for knowledge to be quenched by taking it quite that seriously.

So the point of this blog is to tell wine stories using normal words and phrases that people I know will understand and relate to. It doesn’t mean it’s less colorful or less descriptive. It means people who like discovering wine and enjoy drinking it will be able to decide in less than a minute if it is a wine they want to try. You will not need a thesaurus and 30 minutes to decipher what I’m trying to say. Traditional oenophiles should move on, and forget you ever read this. You will hate it and probably me.


P.S. I also write about my travel adventures, which often include wine. If you’re interested, visit the blog of my alter ego, Sandy Solo at