My Introduction to Wine

My knowledge about wine was as good as the knowledge of cricket of my Spanish colleagues. Not that it has changed remarkably now. Since my first visit to Barcelona in October 2008, I had tried developing a taste for wine. The same is true for Blue Cheese and Anchovies as well. But what happened in Pamplona in 2009 will remain as my first lesson to the world of Wines.

First buying experience

Italian White Wine

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

It was a chilling night in Pamplona when I came to know that wine is more than just white and red. Our then CTO Paolo invited me and Frank to his place in Pamplona. We decided to pick up a bottle of wine from El Corte Inglés. While in the store, I look at Frank to rescue me as I was absolutely confused about which one to buy. Equally confused, Frank in his deep voice said, “Don’t ever ask a German to pick up a wine bottle.” Well, two utterly confused souls got rescued by the store manager. He smiled at us and asked about a budget and handed over a bottle of Rioja. He assured us saying, this is the best available in our budget. Impressed with the look of the bottle we went to Paolo’s place.

The Pizza and then

It was a cosy apartment at the end of the avenue, extremely well decorated with soothing lightings. We were late and Paolo’s kids were almost in their beds. We handed over the bottle to Paolo’s wife while we sat in the cosy sofas in his drawing-room. Till this time, it was our happy time. The smell of the pizzas coming out from Paolo’s kitchen was making things merrier till I looked up.

The rectangular room had two huge bookshelves in one side of the room and two cellars in another side of the room. The bookshelves had books about wine. In fact, more than 90% of the books were on wines. And the cellars were packed with bottles of wines. I looked at Frank and understood that his expression was not very different from mine.

What a shock it was

It was Paolo’s wife, perhaps looking at our expression, started talking about Paolo’s love for wine. To our utter disbelief, we found that not only is he is a professional wine taster but he is appointed by few of the vineyards at Veneto, a region in Italy.

The dinner was homemade pizza by Paolo with a session of wine discovery ranging from Grenache, Merlot, Shiraz to Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tutorial on Wine

What followed the dinner was almost a tutorial or an introduction to the world of wines by Paolo. That was the first time I came to know about the four major types of wines, red, white, rose (or blush) and champagne. The techniques of drinking different wines; the perfect temperature to have the wine. That evening we had Pinot Grigio from the vineyard where Paolo is a taster. We had some Chardonnay followed by Cabernet Sauvignon to Rosé and a few more that I don’t remember now. The winner to me was a Merlot from Castello di AmaL’Apparita from Tuscany. Personally, I love the oak soaked taste. The aftertaste of this dense merlot will make you fall in love for sure.

The hero of Single Malt

In my Spain office, I am always a hero when it comes to Single Malt as no one else really understands the taste. But that evening at Paolo’s place I understood a few things.

  • wine as a subject needs dedication that a mere human being like me does not have. Paolo explained the strict regimen of food and drink he had to undergo for three months before the tasting sessions. It was unimaginable.
  • how justified it was for my colleagues to fight on the wine supremacy between Catalonia and Burgundy.
  • how naïve I was (I still am not much better than) before
  • India can never have a wine like Italy or Spain or France or even California.

That evening changed something in me permanently. I started enjoying Wine. And possibly that evening is responsible as to why I will never pay for a bottle of Sula. No wonder why my European colleagues do not even consider it to be a decent wine.

Something remained unchanged

However, something remained unchanged… so Frank continued his love for beer (read German Beer) and I continued admiring Single Malt. However, my love of Merlot keeps growing and I had a wonderful time in Italy this year. But that will be another story to tell.

Read my experience of the best Spanish Food in Kolkata. 


Wine to me is a difficult subject. Not the best of the things on which I am allowed to comment. However, I started liking the taste of wine from 2009. Here is the story of my introduction to wine.

— Sunando
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  • Anonymous

    July 23, 2019 at 11:35 am

    An introduction for me as well...wud love one for single malt also..looking fwd to it

    • Sunando

      July 24, 2019 at 7:24 am

      Hello! Thanks for the comment!

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Hi, I'm Eveleyn. I love to read, write and travel. I'm full time writer. Welcome to my blog. Read More

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