Many in the wine industry, from wine writers to winemakers to sommeliers are often criticized for their very analytical, detailed, and even esoteric ways of talking about wine.
For example, it is not uncommon to read a wine review or label that says something like “Aromas of rich dark currants, nectarine skins, gushing blackberry, but lots of fragrant tobacco, rich soil white flowers, smashed minerals and metal …”
While the winemaker or wine writer might be very well-intentioned, the reality is that most people would read that description and feel either confused or intimidated. It smacks of elitism to some. The problem with talking about wine this way is that it often prevents many from finding the pleasure and joy of wine.
I recently was impressed by the book “How to love Wine” by Eric Asimov, the New York Times chief wine critic. I highly recommend this read as it gets to heart of why we love wine. He stated, “The key to unlocking wine is love, not appreciation.” He goes on to say wine is “a subject that must be embraced emotionally to be understood intellectually.”
For me the perfect analogy for the love and appreciation for wine comes other life experiences like our favorite sports or our favorite music or our soulmates. I fell in love with the Green Bay Packers and the sport of football before I learned about the history or the rules of the game. I love the musical piece Adagio for Strings without knowing how to read music or how to play an instrument. One can even say that we fall in love with our soulmate before we know much about all of the facets of their personality or character.
Unfortunately, in many tasting rooms and on many wine labels, we end up lecturing others on details, components, and sub-components of the product before we take the time to connect with the person’s capacity to first emotionally connect with the wine.
As we blog, we will delve into the mysteries of wine and learn about its amazing complexity, but first and foremost, our discussions with start and end with why we love wine and what it means to us. Don’t ever let the wine you love intimidate you.
Cheers to inspiring a purpose filled life!