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Inga Varney

Inga Varney

Sommelier at Wine Star Services
Inga Varney is a Certified Sommelier and owner of Wine Star Services. She plans and facilitates educational wine experiences for businesses and for wine-lovers and offers wine consulting services for restaurants and retailers in the greater Phoenix area. www.WineStarServices.com
Inga Varney

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Since I create wine tasting experiences, I spend a good deal of time around two of my favorite things: wine and wine-lovers! So often people ask me, “What’s your favorite wine?”. And nearly every time, I stumble over my words and mutter something along the lines of “it depends…” followed by a string of vague and indistinguishable words. I really struggle to answer for a number of reasons.

So many variables are at play when it comes to narrowing it down and identifying a “favorite” wine. The wines I enjoy and sample are from all over the world – from the South Pacific to all over Europe, from Africa to South America, and across all 50 states (yes, even Arizona!). I love to explore the aromas, flavors, and characteristics of each and every wine I sample. And I love to learn about a winemaker’s intention when setting out to make the wine. I love to taste the impact of the terroir in a particular bottle. And I especially love how every bottle is preparing to be opened and enjoyed at just the right moment. And even once opened, I love to taste how it changes from the first glass to the last.

There are so many things that I love about wine. But do I love a wine enough to call it my favorite? Yes, yes I do. But it isn’t one that you go and grab off a shelf. It is the wine that accompanies a moment. That makes that moment more enjoyable or more vulnerable. That makes it sweeter or softer. My favorite bottle of wine is…

…the one I share with a friend who talks me through a rough day.

…the one I pour for someone whose eyes light up with delight upon their first sip.

…the one I share with my husband on an impromptu date night that draws out that giddy happy lovey feeling.

…the one that tastes oh-so-good with that meal.

…the one I enjoy while meeting people at mixers who share about the amazing work they are doing in our community.

…the one I pour after a super busy and scatter-brained day that allows me to pause, slow down, and savor a few quiet moments.

…the one I enjoy while exclaiming “Cheers!” over some number of years together or on this earth.

…the one I enjoy to commemorate the closing one of life’s chapters.

…the one I enjoy to celebrate opening one of life’s chapters.

…the one that turned into an unexpected bottle night. Or bottles night.

…the one I enjoy during a visit with my family who lives too far away and with whom I share too few glasses of wine.

My favorite wine is the one that accompanies the important moments in life. That brings out a story, celebrates an event, or just encourages the conversation to go on for one more glass. I love the wine that helps create connections.

[For more information about creating connections via wine, contact Inga at inga@winestarservices.com.]

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