I can't believe it !!
- my dad
The world is waiting . . .
- anonymous friend
Pictured here is yours truly and a friend of my good friend Cathy Champagne -- her name is Lindsay.
A wineblogger can only consider himself lucky to have a friend named after expensive French sparkling wine, but back when this photo was taken at Hallowe'en in 1998, I was still a long way from ever tasting the stuff and I think mutual friend Lindsay was too. (I know the extreme dapperness we exude in this photo might lead you to think just the opposite.)
This was the first time I had ever met Lindsay, let alone drink with her. Our costumes were so complementary -- we had independently shopped at Value Village for our duds -- we decided to go as a couple. That was the only thing I thought the two of us had in common at the time, but these days I happen to know that Lindsay has spent the summer curating her next rosé, and on really special occasions she loves savouring a good Nebbiolo.
THE WINO IN ITS INFANCY
But look at us then: coloured plastic wine glasses and crap Baby Duck-like wine from a crap line of table wine made by an unmentionable Ontario producer. Okay, I will mention these wines by name because I can see that the LCBO has mercifully discontinued their sale outright across the entire province. They were Oakridge, a forgettable range of wine branded by Andrès Wines Ltd. (I don't think that it was even CELLARED in Canada, if you know what I mean.)
I can still taste those bottom-of-the-barrel Cabernets. But hey, we all can't start with Champagne, right? So take a look at the background of the photo and how the empty bottles are lined up on my windowsill. These wines we were drinking were actually being rated. I was ranking them into an order. This was the beginning of my wine habit -- those earliest moments when my development into a full-fledged wino was becoming irreversible.