Let’s get started on the right foot by saying that enjoying wine does not require expertise. The wine industry has done a disservice to itself by making us believe that we’re not worthy of enjoying wine if we don’t know very much.
At my wine tastings, I often have people say to me, “I don’t know anything about wine. I just know what I like.” My response to these people is, “Then you know the most important thing.”
Why Are We So Intimidated by Wine?
For some reason, we’ve all been led to believe that wine is this big mysterious beast and that we know less about wine than anybody else. We’re scared to tell people what we like and don’t like. We’re scared to ask questions. We’re scared to look like a fool.
A key goal of mine when I lead wine tastings is to demystify the wine tasting experience – to turn off the intimidation. I often start out my tastings by saying, “Okay, guys, let’s start with the basics. We are tasting fermented grape juice. There’s not a lot intimidating about that, is there?” I also let people know that there are no stupid questions. When I say that a wine tastes like lemon, your asking me if lemon was added to the wine is perfectly acceptable.
It’s Okay to Be a Wine Novice
It is perfectly okay to be a wine novice. Recognize that the best way to learn about wine is to drink it. Every time you taste a wine, it’s a learning experience, and you really want to relish that. Even if you’re tasting the same wine day in and day out, you’re having a different experience each day. Perhaps one day you have it on its own at your home. Another day, you have it with a salad at a restaurant. Another day, you have it with a sandwich at a picnic. Each experience is different, and each experience will teach you a little bit more about that wine and wine in general.
Enjoying Wine by Hosting a Wine Tasting
The best way to learn about wine is to drink more different wines. At the end of the day, it’s about knowing what you like and tasting what you like. My wine tastings are a great way to be exposed to new wines. If you’re interested in learning more about what’s involved with hosting a tasting, please visit my Wine Tastings page.
So here’s to enjoying many wonderful new wines.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, would like to host a tasting, seek a special gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
Betty Kaufman, WineShop At Home
I agree with you completely. I love how you make wine fun at your tastings!
Thanks Heidi! I can’t wait for next weekend!
I totally agree that it is all about what you like. And the more you try the more you will be able to discern what you like and what you don’t like. A wine could be $200 a bottle and a one of a kind, but if you don’t like the way it tastes, what good is that? I like the way you approach wine from a non-snob vantage point!
Donna, that is so well said. If you like a $200 bottle of wine, great. If you don’t, great. If you like a 92-point wine, great. If you don’t, great. Thank you for commenting on my non-snobby attitude. I think there are many more important things to be concerned about 🙂
Agree with you Betty! Everyone’s palate is different, so what may taste great to one person may be average to another. For all those years where people talked tannin and accentuated acidity, I could never wrap my head around recommendations, but ultimately find out what tastes good to oneself.
Amen brother! 🙂
It’s fun to learn about wine and that can contribute to understanding what you like and don’t like. And as Lee says, it’s all about what you tastes good to you & that can differ greatly among people.
I just wish I was a little better at using common “wine terms” when trying to describe what I like!
Steve, I’m working on a blog article right now having to do with the topic you brought up a few weeks ago, about being able to recognize the taste of cherry or blueberry or chocolate in your wine. Now I’m going to add a wine terms article to my list. Thanks!
I agree! Wine is for enjoyment, what else matters?
I couldn’t agree with you more!