Wine Time

Taste Wine, Hook Up at Houston Wine Tastings This Month and Beyond

The most important thing my mother ever taught me is that every wine tasting is a singles event. It's not the only wisdom she imparted to me. But especially in the light of what I do for a living (writing and talking about wine), it's the most important.

Even back in the 1980s, when my mom was working as an adult ed programmer in San Diego, long before the wine mania of the late 1990s and the 2000s, wine tastings and wine classes provided ideal cover for singles events. Back then, when personal ads were just beginning to appear in magazines like New York (my mom was too modest to advertise but she did consider it at the time), the thought of meeting a future spouse or partner through a dating service was still taboo in this country. But those employed by the continuing education sector were one step ahead of the game: They knew that wine tastings were the perfect lure for folks who wanted to meet like-minded, "sophisticated" singles with expendable income. After all, would you attend a wine class if you weren't single?

Today, online dating, singles events and romantic connections through social media are part of the fabric of our workaday lives (I moved to Texas to be with my future wife after she and I met through blogging).

So there's no need to be coy, Roy: Wine tastings, wine classes and wine events are great places to hook up. And Houston has a healthy dose of them.

Houston wine legend Bear Dalton (sorry, ladies and gents, he's already taken) will be leading a Monday-night series of intro-to-wine seminars beginning this week at the Alliance Française de Houston.

I'm not sure why Bear doesn't have a Web site where he posts this info or why he doesn't post it himself on his blog. But Houston wine-mommy-Christian blogger Amy Gross has posted the details and registration boilerplate here.

I am very geeked about the 2010 Cru Classé Bordeaux Tasting that Bear is hosting at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel on January 17.

Forty Bordeaux owners and winemakers are coming in for the swank event, which only costs $75 a head.

Man, if I weren't happily married, I'd be there in a heartbeat!

Again, no online info, but here's registration info from Bear:

The 2010 Cru Classé Bordeaux Tasting will cost $75.00 total per person cash ($78.95 regular). The event will start at 4:30 and run through 8:30 p.m. on Thursday January 17. To reserve your spot for this unique Bordeaux Event, please call Marlo at 832-660-0250 or email [email protected]. The Crystal Ballroom is located in downtown Houston at 909 Texas Avenue between Travis and Main. Valet Parking will be available.

And, wait, there's more...

The Texas Wine School isn't the cheapest place in town to taste wine but then again, if you're trying to hook up, you want to make sure that your potential lover has got the goods.

Too-cool-for-school, one-man-show, and school president James King has an ambitious program lined up for winter-spring 2013 and the number of juicy classes and seminars are too many to list here (here's the current calendar).

As I mentioned, I'm no longer playing the field but if I were, my money would be on the sparkling wine series of tastings. Any lover of mine has got to know Champagne (for the record, my wife insisted on Billecart-Salmon this year for our New Year's celebration, although we traditionally drink Bolly on festive occasions).

So, if you're single in Houston, here's my advice...

Put down the knitting alone in your room, come hear the music play, life is a wine tasting, old chum...

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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen