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No Imitation Wine

We’ve all heard the saying “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” Usually, I try to steer clear of kitschy coined phrases but this one has to be addressed. If this quote is indeed true, why is it that my reaction is the total opposite of what it should be?

This week, upon visiting one of my dearest friends, I observed identical decor to mine, and the feeling was far from flattering. In fact, it was much more like a sucker punch. It’s the same way I feel when my sister buys the exact same clothes as me. The first time it happens I grin and pretend to be flattered but what if it continually occurs? Maybe it’s your car, your job, or a hobby that acts as your personal outlet for creative expression. I take care to put a lot of me, not to mention special family heirlooms and sentimental items, into my home, my gardens, and, though you may not be able to tell if you stop by unannounced, my wardrobe. It’s one thing to copy the pages of Pottery Barn, it’s quite another to chip away at someone’s identity. If we all are the same than nothing seems special. Which got me to thinking about wine.

There is plenty of wine out there that merely falls into the category of “wine”. Maybe a silly label or fun name graces the bottle but the contents go no further than potable fermented juice from grapes. This type of wine is what I deem imitation. It forgets all about the magic. Last night as I cracked into a chilled bottle of Albarino I was expecting a light, easy drinking, fairly non-descript white wine from Portugal or Spain. After one sip of Verdemar, I was floating on air. True, it was white and from Spain but it was far from non-descript. In fact, both my husband and I continued to describe this wine sip after sip. That is truly unique in a wine. It was not surprising we loved it, as we knew it passed through the hands of one of our all-time favorite winemakers; Maria Martinez- Sierra. She puts herself into her wine and every glass shows her style.

It paired perfectly with grilled shrimp and a crisp Caesar salad with toasted Challah croutons. This is no imitation wine. It’s special, like my friend mentioned above–who I know will forgive my gripe once I deliver a bottle of Verdemar to her back door.

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