I was scheduled to graduate college in December of 2006, but was told if I took one more class I could have a double concentration. This was right around the time when I learned that I really did enjoy learning things, so I postponed graduation and decided to add printmaking to my degree. A few short months later someone came into one of my printmaking classes and talked about the summer study abroad trip to Italy. A month of living in an old Italian monastery, drinking wine, learning art… Sign me up! School extended another semester.

Then I had a crushing revelation – I’m going to Italy and I don’t drink wine! I was living in Mexicantown at the time and just around the corner from my house was an Argentinian restaurant. My roommate loved the food and had taken me there a few times. I was friends with the owner so I would go up there on quiet nights, sit at the bar, eat my steak and baked potato and learn about wines. We drank a lot of wine. And while I learned that I could drink it. I didn’t really learn to appreciate it. But it would do. All I wanted was to drink wine in Italy and not make a fool of myself.

That summer I spent a month in Italy, generally enjoying everything. The wine, the food, the sights, the people, the booze. All of it. I realized that drinking coffee was more important than drinking wine, but at that point I didn’t want to drink coffee. And people told me that Italian coffee was the strongest it gets, so to drink it there would be foolish and I’d never drink it again. So I refrained.

I spent 10 days after Italy in Germany drinking my weight in beer nightly. And it was also great. But that’s a different story. This story is about wine.

I came back to Detroit, went to my favorite brewery – Motor City Brewing Works, are pizza and enjoyed their delicious beers. Learned that my favorite bar tender no longer worked there. A total bummer. But the beer is still amazing.

A few weeks later I went to my favorite Argentinian restaurant to tell them about my new found love of crappy red table wine…….. Sadly for me, they had gone out of business! Maybe I was the only one keeping them open. I’ll never know. No one left a note

“Dear Erika,
You were our only patron. We loved feeding you red meat and potatoes. Call us sometime ___-___-____.”


Nope. So every once and a while, these days, I’ll see a bottle of Argentina wine and buy it. Thinking of delicious steaks and a baked potato with one slab of butter on it. And it’s always a nice thought. But nothing to brag about.

Until the other day. The other day while on Facebook, I saw a photo for a wine tasting at the Fountain Bistro in Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit. But this wasn’t any wine tasting. This was an Argentinian wine tasting! I posted it to Martin’s Facebook wall and said we should go. He agreed. Invited his parents and we 4 days later we all went. For whatever reason I assumed the dinner was outside, so we all dressed for a chilly Michigan evening, but we were seated inside.



The food was amazing. We had a lot of different small plates that actually changed in flavor as we drank the wines. The sommelier was amazing and his passion for Argentina and wine was thrilling. It was great to be around someone who loved Argentinean wine as much as the owner of the Argentinean restaurant I used to go to in 2007. Plus I loved trying a lot of different wines all at once. Instead of drinking a bottle one night and trying to tell the difference in a different bottle a week later.


Moral of the story – try new things. Try things you wouldn’t normally try.


Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold – That was embroidered on a pillow I used to own. It applies. 🙂

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