Earlier this spring, we launched Vine Geeks -- in which AZ Wine Merchants' Brian Reeder and Pavle Milic share advice, news and a little levity from the world of wine. Today, we bring you Romancing the Grape. In this occasional series, Milic will spill about his current mission to learn how wine is made -- literally from the Southern Arizona ground up.
To say that I have been around wine all my life is a severe understatement. But it was not until my early 20s that wine spoke to me. It grabbed my senses, all of them. At the time, I was already a decade into my career in the restaurant industry (a business that chose me -- my first restaurant job was working for my stepfather at Franco's Trattoria in Scottsdale) working as a server at Rancho Pinot in Scottsdale. Then co-owner Tom Kaufman, a die-hard pinot-phile, asked me if I liked wine. I said no.
Let me paint a picture. I used to wear red Dr. Martens, sleeveless plaid shirts, pierced ears, platinum-white bleached hair (yes, I had hair) and a pearl white Honda CBR 600. Oh, and Morrissey and the Cure were my Discman buds. My drink of choice was Red Stripe beer from Jamaica, and it always seemed to taste better at TT Roadhouse.
One night after the shift at Rancho Pinto, Tom opened a bottle of Calera Pinot Noir.