Wednesday, January 28, 2009

“The Young Connoisseur”…part 1

“David Grega is a certified sommelier and wine consultant living in the Napa valley. In addition to consulting and wine writing David made wine for his own label “Bellum Cellars” in 2008. E-mail for more information.

In this life we are blessed with many talents, gifts, opportunities and moments of joy. Unfortunately the world we live in is not a perfect Utopia like so many of us pray and hope for. Our blessings are both unique to each individual and shared with many others. We all must do our best to cherish these blessing, hold them dear to our hearts and find ways to bring about more of them to our every day lives. Often, these blessings are in disguise, and it’s not until much later that we realized just how great they were and how much of an impact they had on our lives. I can pinpoint the exact moment that would eventually lead me to one of the most positive choices of my life - the choice to dedicate my life to wine, food, people and of course the pursuit of happiness.
I found myself at the age of 19 in the middle of a controversial war. The date was January 2005 and as a tanker in the U.S Army I had just began what would prove to be more difficult and life changing than I could ever imagine. During one of my first missions in Baghdad my vehicle convoy came under attack by a road side bomb and a few snipers. No one was seriously wounded that day but I can remember very clearly the profound effect this had on me. I’ve always said it felt as if I learned a lifetime of lessons in a single moment, and I stick to that statement. On that day, back in my barracks I made a promise to myself that I have never broken and one that I never will. I promised myself that if I made it back home alive and got out of the Army that I would never waste one second of my life doing anything I didn’t really love to do. I made myself swear that I would never take one moment, not one breath for granted, and that I would use every minute of my life to better myself and the people around me. So how did I go from war to wine? Though the contrast of war and wine seems tremendous what is important to understand is that my love for wine, food and family began years before the military. As a child I grew up watching my father cook. He love to create flavorful dishes and always included me in the process. I would receive tastes of whatever he was preparing, and he would ask me if I thought it needed more spice or salt. It wasn’t long before I could accurately identify a full range of smells and flavors. Thus my palate was honed at a young age. I learned to savor a good meal and to appreciate flavor above all else. At dinner wine was often present, and if I was lucky I was able to procure a small glass, maybe an ounce at most. Wine always captivated me as a child. Growing up Catholic I learned that even Jesus enjoyed wine with his friends and family! Needless to say I had a good idea of what I enjoyed most in life by the time I did get out of the military, and I set out to follow that passion with steadfast commitment.

Part 2 will be posted next week...

1 comment:

  1. Hi David.. Great post! Wine is about living in the power of now! IM looking forward to part 2.