Wine...it’s been around for centuries, but has arguably never been more popular than it is today! But it can also be expensive, disappointing, pompous and confusing – just to name a few adjectives! All of that is too bad, because as a beverage and accompaniment to food, it can also bring a lot of pleasure to everyday life.
So I am here to help with all that. My name is Stephen Bruyneel and this is my wine page. Wine and food have been a hobby of mine for over 25 years now. During that time, I have tasted, drank and bought thousands of wines – good, bad and indifferent. And I have read and listened to many of the so-called “wine experts”, some of whom I agree with (and many of whom I don’t).
After all these years, I have landed on two simple -- but I think important -- conclusions.
First, everybody's taste is different, so there is really no such thing as good and bad wine (unless it is technically"off", which is rare). So it is a matter of what style of wine you like and why like it. There may be wines that are better values than others, but even those recommendations can be relative (depending on what you think is "a lot of money").
That leads to the second conclusion, which is something a wine educator told me early on in my pursuit of this hobby. He said:
“The best wine is the wine you like the best.”
These are things I have come to believe in very strongly. It’s not about labels or names, flowery descriptions or even the opinion of the so-called experts. It all comes down to what you personally like to drink.
And that’s what I have been helping friends and colleagues with for some time now. Tell me what you like drinking, and I can show you some similar wines you might want to try. Want to spend a few more dollars? Let me show you what you can get in the style you like. Interested in expanding your wine horizons? I can give you some suggestions – whether white, red, sweet, dry or sparkling – that I think you will find interesting (and won’t break the bank!).
So why am I doing this? Well, it’s fun...and a chance to share one of my passions. And it might one day become something I can turn into a career.
For now, though, it is a chance to help people find – and drink – better wine.
How many times have you been walking through a liquor store, knowing that you have to buy some wine for yourself, a dinner party or as a gift. You either don’t know what to buy or else want to try something different, but also don’t want to spend too much money. You probably don’t have a lot of time, but also don’t want to ask someone for help. As a result, you turn to a label you recognize, maybe paying more than you want to....
Sound familiar? Well, I can help in a number of ways. My bi-monthly wine list guides you to values in your local store. SB’s BC wine club can offer insight and access to smaller, high quality local wineries. My ongoing tasting experiences – many with wines you can get yourselves – are chronicled in a blog and on Twitter for you to follow. And I even offer personal wine services for that special occasion.
All of this with the goal of helping you find more wines that you like. So read on, and enjoy!