Welcome.  I thought I’d start the first column with a discussion about “wine defining” moments.  I wrote about mine a few months ago in a neighborhood wine column: Wine and Eureka: A moment of discovery (reprinted from Black, White and Read).  Since then I’ve been thinking about other wine defining moments in my life and ironically how a moment that should have been defining with wine was not. Almost sixteen years ago, I married a wonderful man.

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He was my college sweetheart and we were in our 20’s when we tied the knot. The wedding was gorgeous and the reception was everything I wanted it to be – great food, friends from all over the world, an open bar and dancing for hours.  Near the end of the reception we made our final dramatic exit.  As we ran through the shower of birdseed and headed toward the limo, we flung open the door and piled in.  And there it was – a bottle of White Zinfandel?  On our wedding day?  Really?  Well, it seems the hotel forgot to box up meals for us and provide the wine so one of the groomsmen grabbed the only bottle of wine left at the bar before we ran out.  That’s when I learned my first wine lesson – there are some experiences that go better with wine and there are some times when it’s better to wait for the champagne in the room.