It was sauvignon blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand that got me seriously interested in good beer.
See, while I liked a good beer, there was a time when my wife and I were quite into wine. We arranged holidays to include visits to wine regions (including a stop at Margaret River during our honeymoon in WA) and, if we happened to drive by one on our way somewhere else, we’d pull in for a few samples.
Along the way, my wife developed an intense liking for Marlborough sav blanc and it’s passionfruit aromas and flavours. I liked it – for a while. But it seemed like every we went to a bottle shop we’d come out with a bottle of the stuff. Soon enough, my taste buds started craving some variety.
So I started picking up a beer or two – craft beer, that is (my sojourn into wine taught me to expect flavour in my alcoholic beverages).
After a while, I wasn’t even bothering to look in the wine sections. I’d head straight for the beer fridges.
It didn’t take long before I was totally hooked on the stuff. So now if we go on holidays I consult the indispensable Ultimate Beer Guide to see if there are any breweries near our destination. Or I even push to go on holidays to beer-friendly places.
I’ll travel some distance to a fancy beer shop to buy a bottle of something I’ve heard of and been dying to try. I’ll buy beer online for the same purpose. If I’m going to someone’s house and I’m worried about the sort of beer they’ll have there, I’ll bring my own.
I read books and magazines about beer. I get excited about visiting a brewery and seeing the tanks – kind of feels like going backstage after a concert.
I’ve even started making the stuff myself – which has only served to further respect the efforts of brewers who do it for a living.
And I can’t remember the last time I tried a Marlborough sauvignon blanc.