So, anyone that spends time here probably knows that we like a good cocktail from time to time here at The Aerie. But as hard as it is to believe, a good stiff drink isn’t always the right accompaniment for every occasion. Sometimes you just have to have a good glass of wine.
Wine (as opposed to booze) is something that I’ve come to a little later in life. When I was younger, I was intimidated by the somewhat snooty air that went along with the growing “wine culture” in America. I mean, could I really taste “ripe berries” and “burnt oak” and “hints of melon” in the chianti being served at my local Italian joint? Hardly.
And then I moved to California.
Wine is of course a huge industry here and for good reason – there are a lot of really good California wines. And so, when I moved here, I started trying some and learned how to say “Pinot Noir” correctly so that I felt better about myself. And two things happened, a) I began to know what I liked and b) I began not to care what other people (read: wine snobs) thought.
So, about the time we moved into The Aerie, the Beloved and I started taking more of an interest in wine – traveling to Sonoma County several times over the last couple of years. There, we were able start finding some places that we liked and buying their wines, and over time, we built up a good little stash.
Which bring me to today’s timewaster: CellarTracker. This is a free (though they ask for a donation) website where you can input the wines you have (and even the wines you want to have…) so that you know exactly what you’ve got, how it’s rated (both by the CellarTracker community and in major publications) and in cases of wines that need to be “laid-down”, when you should drink it.
I have to say that the website is very easy to use, has a great searching algorithm (so that you don’t have to enter in everything precisely, it will find the wine for you from its database…) and if you’re a data-nerd like me, you can sort and sub-sort your wines in all sorts of interesting ways.
As it turns out, we have ~75 bottles of wine and I was able to get them all entered in maybe an hour and half. Pretty cool.
There are also fields for you to enter private and/or public tasting notes (which I think would be useful for wines you have in restaurants and would like to jot something down before the next time you go to the store…) – though I give everyone free rein to come smack me if I write one with language like “overtones of ripe plums with hints of chocolate and coffee…”