Well, hello! Welcome to The Sugar Vine! I’m Jennifer, I’m the founder/owner but I like to call myself the Lead Wine Lover. My journey into wine has been full of twists and turns and definitely hasn’t followed a traditional path of any sort (if there even is a traditional path into the wine industry). I used to think wine was the worst way to torture your taste buds, then I slowly started trying different varietals and learning what I liked and didn’t like. I definitely preferred sweet wines at first, but now if I’m drinking wine by itself I lean towards either really bright, refreshing, high acid whites or big, bold, well-balanced reds. Just because I enjoy these types of wines doesn’t mean that I expect you to- in fact, the diversity of palates is one of the reasons I love wine so much. There truly is a wine for every person and every food- it just might take some trial and error to find it.
This is a big part of the reason I started The Sugar Vine. I find it heartbreaking that so many people consider the wine industry intimidating. Trust me, if you feel this way I get where you’re coming from. I felt like that at first, too. Even now it can be a little overwhelming to think about all of the thousands of grapes varietals out there. In fact, there are so many different ways of classifying them that there’s not always consensus on the exact number. Somewhere around 10,000. TEN THOUSAND!!!!! If you tried a different one every day it would take you over 27 years to try every single one. By the time you finished, you’d have forgotten what the first ones tasted like and would need to start over again!
Don’t worry, you don’t need to do that to have a really solid foundation in wine and be able to impress your friends with your ability to pair them with food. There are lots of great resources out there and I hope you will consider The Sugar Vine one of them. We publish articles regularly that are geared toward anyone who either wants to learn about wine or who already has a foundation and wants to take that knowledge to a deeper level. We believe in having fun with wine, that each glass is a celebration. So you’re not going to find us telling you that you have to like a certain wine because it scored 100 points in some expert’s rankings. We will discuss wines we like and talk about how they rank as objectively as possible to give you an idea of whether or not you’d like them, but we will never, ever, ever, ever, ever tell you that a wine you like is bad, that you don’t know what tastes good, that your palate needs to be refined, or any of the other horrible things that the wine industry has a bad reputation for saying. A wine is good if you like it. I’m going to say that again because it’s important: A WINE IS GOOD IF YOU LIKE IT.
What we will do is encourage you to try different things. Not because you’re wrong, but because it’s fun to explore the wine world. Your palate might change over time like mine has (or it might not, and that’s cool, too) so it’s not a bad idea to go back and try varietals again after a few years. Different winemakers also use different techniques that make the same varietal taste different, so it doesn’t hurt to try a few different brands.
Food also has a major impact on your perception of wine, so we’ll discuss some of the ways this happens and make recommendations for food and wine pairings. I am a bit of an oddball in the wine world because I love pairing wine and dessert, so you’ll see quite a few dessert pairings. Don’t worry if you’re not a dessert fan- there will be savory pairings as well.
We’re also here for you if you need some wine accessories like corkscrews, glasses, picnic totes, or charcuterie boards; or if you need the perfect gift for a fellow wine lover. Some of our products are functional, others are fun, but they’re all wine oriented and change regularly, so bookmark the shop and come back often!
Most of all, we want to be here for you. So if you’re looking for a certain item, want to know more about a new varietal, or would like to share the totally awesome wine and food pairing you had last night, send us a message. We truly want this to be a fun, safe community for everyone and we can’t do that without you.
So cheers, until next time!