Anna Kucera

Anna Kucera
Anna Kucera is a talented marketing and public relations professional. We met at our day job, but many common interests have been coerced into true kinship. A year ago, Anna declared that her New Year’s Resolution was to learn more about wine. Anticipating the dawn of 2014, I all but forced Anna to write a reflective piece about her wine journey.
Anna lives in Northeast Minneapolis with her husband, Jake, and two dogs: Skye and Clyde. She holds degrees in both English and Biology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Anna serves as board chair for Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa. She’s a fellow ginger whose talents also include dog training, sassy behavior and the best Little Evie impersonation I’ve seen (to date). Gardens Little Evie

A Conversation with Anna: her new year’s resolution to drink wine

A New Year’s Resolution: Drink More Wine

The Chardonnay Line Up

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. My resolutions of bygone years (EXERCISE!, DRESS NICELY!, SHOWER MORE!) are clearly evidence of an inflated sense of personal potential. So last January, I made a promise I thought I could stick to: drink wine. And I committed to learning more about it.

Twelve months ago, the extent of my wine knowledge was that it comes in two colors — red and white — and that Chardonnay was nasty. As I deal with most things in life, I began my buzzy journey by reading books. I chose the authors carefully, as I was warned the subject can overwhelm and discourage.

I kicked things off with “Drink This: Wine Made Simple” by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, in addition to the gorgeous, intelligent, approachable and wildly entertaining Savvy Lush. (Here’s where I earn my keep as guest blogger. See how I did that? In this case though, it’s all true. She can also turn water into wine coolers, slay dragons and float four feet off the ground.)

“Dara,” as I like to call her, wrote a book that’s perfect for a wine novice like me. (Here’s where I pretend I actually know Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. I don’t. I have looked in her windows though, and can you believe it? Neon beer signs plaster her living room wall and there are peanuts on the floor. (This is also a lie. I don’t know where she lives.))

I skipped ahead to her chapter on the green-skinned, evil grape; the green goblin of the wine family: Chardonnay. It’s the one I thought I hated, so why not make sure? I asked for help at the wine store and made the clerk explain all the words I didn’t understand. I can’t underline the importance of asking questions enough. You learn more if you have no shame, so be shameless. This approach will also help you drink more.

With a great deal of assistance, I purchased the following wines and set them on my counter for examination (see photographic proof): a 2010 LaCrema Chardonnay, a 2011 Toad Hollow Unoaked Chardonnay, a 2011 Four Vines Naked Unoaked Chardonnay and a 2010 William Fevre Chablis Champs-Royaux. Here are my extensive wine notes:

LaCrema Chardonnay: Vomit, sans chunks.

Four Vines Naked Unoaked Chardonnay: Not bad.

Toad Hollow Unoaked Chardonnay: Darn good.

William Fevre Chablis Champs-Royaux: This is Chardonnay? It’s amazing! I officially apologize to all the Chardonnay grapes I’ve bad-mouthed in the past. You’re delicious, and your parents should be proud of you.

The rest of 2013 proceeded much as you read above. I pestered an army of liquor store employees, swilled some splendid wine and pieced apart what I think tastes like sick and what tastes like singing. Here’s to 2014!