Veronica and her DH very kindly invited Tom and me to a wine tasting they had purchased at an auction. Lucky us! We got to taste twenty wines, learned a lot from the fast talking and charming wine man, and see a buncha people we like very much ... not least of which are Veronica and her DH who we count among some of our favorites.
I was hoping (hoping, hoping) that I wouldn't like any of the wines very much and got about 2/3 of the way through when my mouth was lit up by a sinful Zinfandel (mmm, mmm love Zinfandel - the proper red ones, not the travesty-filled white ones). So we took a case home, along with three extra bottles thrown in for lagniappe (brought the per bottle price down to $17 so it was a great deal overall).
We learned about French oak barrels, American oak barrels, and stainless steel ... and how to sniff them out in the glass. I now know that I am more of an American oak fan although the wines I liked most had done time in both American and French oak. What can I say? I'm complex!
(Tom learned that he truly is a beer guy ... but we knew that all along. Now if it had been a tasting between Mexican, Belgian, German, French, and Czech beer he would have been an especially enthusiastic student.)