Writing And Wine

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New generation of wine lovers shatter sterotypes

Lilith Saintcrow doesn't look like a wine maven. The bespectacled writer of urban fiction giggles at the thought of calling herself a wine snob. "I pretty much just drink what I like," she says. "It doesn't matter if it's cheap or expensive, if I like the way it tastes."

Wine heresy? Hardly. Saintcrow is one of a growing number of people who are breaking down the myth that wine is for snobbish socialites. A mother of two and a busy writer, Saintcrow fell in love with wine during a visit to the Napa Valley with her mother. "We went to the Beringer winery. The staff were incredibly helpful; we had my first wine tasting there at the counter. It was wonderful," Saintcrow remembers. "A real conversion experience. Before, I thought wine was only for stuck-up people." She returned determined to seek out more vino, and found a winery less than two miles from her small, cluttered Vancouver, WA home. "English Estates is built on an old gravel pit, and they do nothing but red wine. It's fantastic. You can go out there and see the people that are making the wine, you can buy a local product- I'm raving, I know. But it's great."

The author loved the winery so much she's doing a booksigning during their upcoming (March 18-20) annual Wine Sale.

Saintcrow couldn't be happier. "The great thing is, you can go in there in jeans and a T-shirt and buy some great wine and you don't have to spend a fortune or deal with someone who lets you know you're a plebe for knowing what kind of wine you like."

Wine consumption in the US is on the rise, and West Coast wineries and vineyards are quietly producing award-winning bottles of everything from Chardonnay to Shiraz. This is good news for wine people, especially ones without deep pockets. Local vineyards are also wonderful places for wine neophytes to learn about the process of fermentation.

All of this adds up to one very happy writer. "I get to sign a few books and taste a few new wines, and go home with a bottle or two. What could be better?"

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