The Life of an MW Student – Sixteen

‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’. Yeah, right.

I joined the wine trade because I love wine. I am fascinated by it. The study of wine encompasses many disciplines – chemistry, biology, history, culture and language to name just a few. I began the MW because my curiosity about the ever-changing world of wine kept growing.

The problem is that with a serious job and a demanding course, wine can end up becoming a source of stress. Every glass feels like a revision opportunity. I find myself replacing a relaxing evening glass of wine with a gin and tonic or a beer – at this point wine feels anything but relaxing.

So, this week I decided that my passion needed rekindling. In other words, it was time to open something serious.

I had a look in my wine fridge and immediately knew what I wanted. It was a bottle of Guado al Tasso 2013. This wine has a special significance to me – let me explain.

In 2013, my husband Marcello and I took our first trip away together. We went to Orbetello, a small town in Tuscany which is where Marcello grew up. It was an incredible experience for me – we drove around Tuscany like maniacs in his mother’s ancient old Fiat, visiting the most beautiful places, eating the most delicious food and of course, drinking the most delicious wine. It was just as romantic as it sounds.

During that trip, we took a drive up to Bolgheri. This is an area on the Tuscan coast which is world famous for its wine production. If you’ve ever heard of the ‘Super Tuscans’ (fine wines made in Tuscany using Bordeaux grape varieties), this is where they come from. We stopped at Tenuta Guado al Tasso – a gorgeous estate whose pristine vineyards are surrounded by wild-boar inhabited woods. It is owned by the Antinori family – essentially Italian wine royalty who own several of the country’s top estates (and have done for centuries). This was one of my first ever visits to a vineyard, and I was totally dazzled. I can still remember the smell of the barrel room, a heady mix of wine and wood that I wished could be made into a perfume.

Nine years later, the wine made from grapes we had seen growing on the vines during that special trip seemed like just the thing to give me a lift.

After an hour in the decanter, it was absolutely singing. Concentrated, serious, complex but somehow shining so brightly. I often describe really fine wines as ‘luminous’ and this certainly was. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in perfect harmony. Every element in balance, and subtly evolving and shifting in the glass. Paired with a grilled steak it was utter heaven. I remembered why I love wine. But more importantly, I had a wonderful evening with my husband.

People often save great bottles of wine for a special occasion. This time, I used a great bottle of wine to turn an ordinary Monday evening into a special occasion – and it worked like a dream.

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