Monday, September 22, 2014

Wine Tip of the Week: Taste the Wine, But Don't Forget to Experience the Wine

While perusing the Fall 2014 edition of Wine & Spirits magazine I came across a quote that I really liked and decided I needed to share it.  On the cover of this issue is "Nose, Tongue, & Cheek, The Art and Science of Wine Tasting," and the magazine is chock full of articles about various aspects of wine tasting. One article "Learning to Taste" consisted of wine professionals sharing their experiences of learning to taste wine.  The quote that most caught my eye came from Talia Baiocchi, editor-in-chief of Punch, an online wine and spirits magazine.  She shared her story of staring to learn more about wine and shifting from collecting her impression of wine for the more structured analysis that is typically taught when you learn to evaluate wine.  In the article she says "In a way, approaching wine from a purely evaluative standpoint is like wandering through a neighborhood with your face buried in a GPS, never looking up to experience where you are."

What a great analogy! It is necessary to learn about the components that make up a wines aroma, taste, and structure, so it is important to understand the role of acid, sugar, and tannins as well as the different aromas of different wines. All these elements help us in selecting food and wine pairings,  and help us in suggesting wines for others based on their personal preferences.  But knowledge of these elements are just the GPS of the wine world - they will help you along the way, but your goal should not only to be to arrive at the final destination,  but to enjoy the ride and truly experience the destination once you arrive.  For different people the destination may be different things - finding a great wine, buying a great wine for a gift for a picky drinker, creating a great food and wine pairing... the list goes on.  So, taste the wine - but please, please don't forget to also experience the wine.  On your next vacation would you ever dream of driving for hours under the guidance of your trusty GPS, only to arrive, and immediately head back home? No way! The same for wine, don't forget the element more important that acid or tannin levels or if the wine smells more  like red apples or green pure enjoyment! 

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