Wine – Is it really THAT intimidating?

I ran a private wine tasting last night.  It was in a couple’s apartment, and the husband hired me for his wife’s 50th B-day party.  There were 3 other couples there, so 8 people in total.

The guests were all great.  Very interested in wine, asking lots of questions, really giving the full evaluation of wine a chance – as opposed to wine tastings where the guests just want to get SLOSHED.  But I noticed something.  Several of the guests, both the men and women, felt the need to qualify many of their questions by first stating that “I know nothing about wine but how/why/what…etc…”.  Why the qualification?  You may not be a wine expert, but how many people really are.

One of the issues I constantly try to hammer home is the idea that people need to trust their palate with wine, just as they do with food.  How many people seek out scores when deciding what dish to order or how to have it prepared.  Sure we have all been EATING longer (and with greater regularity) than we have been drinking wine, but any time someone has a new food/beverage introduced to them they simply try it and decide if they like it or not.

I suppose that if/when people start trusting their palates TOO MUCH when it comes to wine I might not be “needed” anymore.  But at the same time I still think people are unjustifiably insecure when it comes to wine.  Yes, i am happy to answer any question, provide some VERY PARTIAL advice (drink Israeli wine!), or help you drink that special bottle of wine you purchased many years ago.

But what I guess am trying to say is wine should be fun.  Unless you are just drinking it to get a buzz, think about the wine, how it makes you feel, how it tastes with the food you are drinking it with, how long the flavor sits on your palate, what smells/tastes you are reminded of when you are drinking it.  Don’t worry about being wrong – there is no such thing.  Whether you are smelling berries, nuts, cats pee or sweaty socks, how can someone tell you “no you are not”?  They can’t!  Whatever the wine smells like, tastes like, reminds you of, etc – YOU ARE RIGHT.  Enjoy it.  Wine is a beautiful & special thing.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Happy Presidents weekend & drink a wine YOU love!


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