Has anyone's wine trajectory looked like this?

I just had a thought that my wine appreciation over the last 15 years has taken some strange paths. Does this sound like anyone else’s, or anything people can relate to?
Stages of wine appreciation, never completely leaving the earlier, but somehow partly transcending them:
Cal Cab/Aussie Shiraz
Pinot in general
WHITE STICKIES/RIESLING (the world will never be the same now). Do I really like white more than red?


Shiraz / Syrah / Cab
Ribera del Duero
Other whites
Other Spain
South Italians

Basically I just found stuff randomly and started tasting it, keeping everything else and for some reason, always coming back to Rioja. No particular pattern at all. A few avoidances though.

Us pinot
Riesling stickies
The poor house

Red Mountain jug wine. My introduction to wine and the aftermath that comes with excess
Spinada, Annie Green Springs, Blue Nun and Mateus phase
Spirits only for 6 years
Silver Oak and on to Cali Cabs
Leonetti now adds Washington Cabs and with the WA wines comes Syrah which becomes the daily choice
Aussie Wines take over, with big Cali Cabs now reserved for special dinners
NZ S/B added
Introduced to Pinot Noir via several ripe Oregon offerings. Pinot takes over and even Rose gets explored
Pinot becomes the daily drinker and dinner is now accompanied by big red blends, big Zins, Petite Sirahs or Syrahs and the big Cali Cabs are still reserved for those special dinners and all off-lines.

Quit posting stuff like this Chris, Berry Crawford is going to start believing he’s a sage.

Napa Cab
Calfornia Pinot/Zinfandel

All roads lead to Zinfandel.

For me:-
1.Local Australian wines of all colours and regions
2.Started dabbling in Kiwis and any imports that i could get my hands on, trying as broadly as I could.
3. I am now more focussed on Burg (both colours), Piedmont, but still dabble in Aussies, kiwis, Rhone, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Alsace, Spain &Portugal

Only 7 years or so into my wine journey, I’ve been Burg → Burg/Piedmont/Champagne → Burg/Piedmont/Champagne/Austria/Germany. I plan to tackle the Northern Rhone next, although I can’t imagine ever deviating from the Cote d’Or as my first and primary love.

First 20 years (1980-2002): Bdx and a smattering of Rhone, Spain, Burgundy, Germany, rest of France, and the Bdx etc.
Next 10 years (2002-2012): Concerted effort to understand CA at all levels and types and areas finally landing in Sonoma/Mendocino.
The future: Who knows but I’m willing the learn. Will probably do further exploration on Austrian wines as I’ve had some great ones although not all available here.

Your mention of Champagne reminded me of the fact that, aside form the trajectory I described, Champagne has become one of the great wine loves of my life.


Early College: Boone’s Farm (especially Country Kwencher)
Later College: Chianti and Champagne
Early grad school: California cab and syrah for a half second, but quickly hit by red Burgundy, totally flipped
Later grad school: obsessed with red Burgundy, but realize I still like Williams-Selyem and Ridge Zin, still sticking wich Champagne
Postdoc: White Burg takes over like crazy, but still very strong with red Burgs, Champagne, a bit of domestic pinot and zin
Year or two later: also picked up German Riesling, Piedmonte, Norther Rhone, Vouvray
After white Burg premox: major shift to the great dry Loire whites, also picked up Beaujolais
Now: still Burgundy, Champagne, white Loires, Beaujolais, Piedmonte, northern Rhone, bit of domestic pinot and zin


Familia Cribari Zin was the go to wine in college.
Dabbled in Hearty Bugundy, Forgot all about Spanada-for festive occasions! Lieframilch for variety!
Wente and Almedan for really special events!
For years made my own to reduce cost and gradually started making better and better wines than I could reasonably buy:
Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cab Sav.
Started drinking good beer for ten years and drank up the wine stocks.
Started buying wine by the case and visiting wineries: Pinot Noir, Blanc & Gris.
Discovered K&L and wine.com: Bdx, Argentina, Rhone, Tuscan.
CT enablers: WA Bdx & Rhone reds.
Berserker enablers: CA Bdx & Rhone reds.

My road has fewer turns…

Bordeaux > Focus on Graves > Burgundy > Focus on Chambolle-Musigny

Got the wine bug while stationed in Frankenwein territory in Southern Germany in the 70’s. That (steely dry, minerally, high acid wine served with rich foods) set the tone for the following decades with this being the theme song:



Wow, I’m boring:

Sauternes and CA Cab
Sauternes and CA Cab
Sauternes and CA Cab with some zinfandel
Sauternes and CA Cab with some pinot noir
Sauternes and CA Cab

not quite…

(18-20 year journey here)

First 5 years

  • Cal Cab & Bordeaux
  • Aussie Shiraz
  • Tuscans

5-10 years

  • Aussie Shiraz back to Bordeaux, +Rhone & Spain
  • Pinot in general / + Burgundy & Sauternes
  • Barolo / - Tuscans

10-15 years

  • Burgundy / cut most pinot besides Burgundy / slow down on Bordeaux
  • German Rieslings / - Sauternes
  • Single malts

15years - present

  • Barolo & Barbaresco
  • Cali Cabs
    +more single malts
    +++ Burgundy to infinity and beyond

That got a big, deep, and lingeringly sad chuckle from me… [welldone.gif]

Nice. I totally get this line, an incredibly rational progression. And I’m going to riff on this, somewhat. I intend to turn your straight-ish line into a fractal. Or whatever.

I was ITB for a long time, 20 years ago and more. Consequently, I didn’t permit myself many “favorites,” though the few wines I could cellar then, and I still have a few of them, were Burgs, Piedmont, German Riesling, CdP, and a couple of BDX.

Then I did a million other things in life, lived abroad for several years, graduate school, professional work I’m still doing. All that. Total separation from the wine-world. Then I earned a couple more dollars, and wine came back around '05.

Now, I have cyclical shifts of total obsession. For most of 2011, it was Piedmont 24/7. Then late 2011, it was German 2010, 24/7. Now, since mid-January, it has been Burgundy 24/7. My default state is 49.9% Piedmont, 50.1% Burgundy, reds. Then 70% German Riesling, 20% Loire Chenin, and 10% Alsatian whatever, white. I love white Burg, but don’t buy it; too risky and pricey for me.

The above is all lies, though, because I also buy a little bit of Bordeaux, mostly interested in Graves. Couple of Pomerol. Some St. Julien. Pauillac, St. Emilion, Margaux, and St. Estephe all get a credit, too. And then, I also throw down some Brunello. And some Rioja and other Spanish traditionals, if they’re in my eye. And still, lately I have added quite a few old Ridge Zins, and assorted pre-'85 Cali Cabs, some old Portuguese reds, several old Nebbiolos from neglected regions, on and on.

It is like I am building a restaurant wine cellar without a front of house… It’s a way of life.

Right Bank Bordeaux
CA Cab Blends and Chard
Nothern Rhone - Red and White
Left Bank Bordeau
CA Cab and Blends…

It’s not over yet…

Bordeaux/Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre and NZ)
Northern Rhone
CA Cab
White Burgs/CA Cab
Champagne/Burgundy (red and white)

Boone’s Farm (cheap and did it’s job)
Wine coolers (chicks loved this stuff, mainly Seagrams, "Seagrams golden wine coolers, Seagrams golden wine coolers…it’s wet and it’s dry…my, my, my)
Cisco (Is this even a wine???)
White Zin (what can I say, girls always asked for it)
Cali chardonnay (usually overoaked and buttery)
…this was all in high school and college)…then…
Cali Cab/BDX
Cali pinot

The last two is where I’m spending the majority of my wine funds, but still like/buy the three above the bottom two.

For those of us old enough to have started on Boones Farm, Blue Nun, etc., there ought to be a short nostalgia taste off of those fine wines prior to one of the off-lines.