Attitudes about tasting wine

Many of us who love wine make it hard for others to share in our love for it. We do not do this intentionally, and in fact most of us intend to do just the opposite. Glowing descriptions of our favorite drink that highlight the complexity and intricacy of the wine might inspire fellow wine lovers to go buy a bottle, but frankly, it likely scares the shit out of a neophyte wine lover, or someone who would like to join our ranks.

Lets face it, tasting wine is not that much more difficult than tasting anything else. All food and drink possess subtleties and complexities that require discernment on the part of the partaker. Almost all of us are capable of this discernment, and in fact do it every day. Just because an item is the same thing as another does not prevent us from figuring out what makes it different.

Take the hamburger. A blindfolded child could probably identify which is from McDonalds, which one is from Burger King, which one is the heavenly White Castle slider, and which one just came off the grill in the backyard. How? Because his palate has been educated by repeated tastings of each. However, had he never have had any of them before he could probably discern the differences. He would also certainly be able to enjoy any one of them even if it were his first burger just because it tastes good.

How is wine any different? I would submit that it is not any different and the myth that it is keeps a lot of folks from enjoying one of the most wonderful experiences known to man; the interaction between food and wine. Magic truly can happen when those two meet, and we should try and see that no one is scared off from experiencing it.

People do not drink wine because they think that they do not know anything about it. They cannot know anything about it without trying it or thinking about it. Without thinking about wine they cannot really know anything about it. Which brings us back to not drinking wine because it is too difficult to know anything about it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Much of the allure of wine comes from the mystique of it, and that is both desirable and true. However, that mystique should be a drawing card for people to drink wine, not a barrier that denies entrance to anyone but the initiated.

Drinking wine is as easy as drinking a beer or even water. The physical act is identical, so we all have that part down. Once a person starts drinking wine with meals new worlds open up. Not only will that person begin to discover the nuances of the wine, but they will discover that there also nuances in their food that they had never tasted. Personally, I feel that food without wine is a wasted meal.

I did not get to this point by studying about wine, or by attending classes, although I have done both. My love for wine, and my ability to discern the differences along with my likes and dislikes, comes from drinking wine over a period of time.

Just like hamburgers.

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