Who is Nicolette?

I'm a late 30-something who loves wine. It took me forever though to start drinking it, because it would break my mother's heart if I did and I wasn't sure how my father would react- I'd always been a goody-two-shoes child. I'd seen people drinking wine and it seemed like a refined thing to do, so never being a person to try anything halfheartedly, I read up on wine, how the grapes are grown and turned from juice into liquid heaven and then I was ready to jump in head first!

About 10-ish years ago...

I decided to buy my first bottle of wine. It was a rosé named after a saint and made by a vineyard that had a bunch of moderately priced wines. I was mildly amused that a company could make a range of wines and name them after holy people. And hell, I didn't know what to start with, but I'm glad I started with that St Claire.

I thought it would be sweeter...

It wasn't what I thought wine should taste like, but it grew onto me and by the time I bought the second bottle of wine- a Moscato, I knew that I was in love with wine. From the days of the light and simple pink rosé, to celebrating the bold and deep Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons, wine has become a companion to my joy and my sorrows.

I was supposed to be studying...

The idea for this book came to me while I was studying for my final MBA exams. I was tired and bored (because studying is of course- boring) my mind began to wander off in every direction that was not related to project management or the other stuff I was supposed to be cramming and it landed on wine!

So you were really thinking about wine instead of studying?

Yes! You would be too! I thought of the bottle my best friend had recently bought me for my birthday and how he absolutely insisted that I drink it immediately and I became annoyed that he was telling what to do with my wine! Didn't he understand that some bottles should be aged? Or at the very least should be saved for a special occasion or meal? Then I shrugged, concluding that he didn't appreciate wine as much as I did- even though he made me give my wine talk to anyone who happened to come over to his house while I was there. The wine talk that compared different types of wines to different kinds of people you might date.

"I should write a book about that," I thought to myself. A beginner's guide to wine! I started scribbling notes on it immediately (because remember I didn't want to study.) During study breaks I'd add a note or two about how I wanted it to sound and look like and then the weekend after those awful exams, I sat down and started hammering away at it. I was finished in no time at all, sent it to a few people to read and waited.

How did people respond?

The response was amazing! My friends actually liked it! They actually learnt about wine from reading it! They actually started using it to buy wine! Well, well, well! Who knew Nicolette could actually write a book on wine that was worth reading! Half of them didn't think I drank enough to write a book on wine, the others said I was funny and sarcastic in the book- but didn't they already know that I was funny and sarcastic? They did however try to hold and intervention for just because I used the word "infidel." Apparently it's not appropriate- then again when have I ever been an appropriate person?

What’s your funniest wine story?

So a few years back I was visiting family in another country and I thought to myself, “This coming Sunday I’m going to church!” I hadn’t been to church in a loooooong time and in the city center I had seen this beautiful Anglican cathedral and I’m all about great architecture, so I made up my mind to go to that church for the service. My mother is Catholic and I thought- “what the heck, should be just about the same thing, right?" Uh-huh…

So during the service the priest called people forward for communion and since I’d never been to an Anglican church before- I did what the rest of the congregation did and we knelt in front of the altar and the priest came to each person and gave us the bread and then poured the wine into our mouths… seemed to be simple and I didn’t think too much about it- heck I was being so pious I didn’t even wonder why we were all drinking from the same cup! I was last in line to get communion and when he put the goblet to my lips, my nose was engulfed with alcoholic fumes! Well! Who knew! The Anglicans use real wine! Ok!

He went on to empty all that was left in the goblet into my mouth… I remember taking quite a few gulps and well… the goblet wasn’t being taken away- so gulp I did! I hadn’t had breakfast that morning because I was late for church and needless to say, I don’t remember the sermon at all… I don’t remember how I got home, I do remember being very happy though.