Let’s set a New Year’s resolution this year that we can all stick to: Enjoy wine!
You might be saying, Betty, that’s so easy. Of course I enjoy wine. That’s what wine is all about. But truth be told, many of us stress out a little about wine. Do we know enough? Did we order appropriately? Are we serving the right wine with our fantastic meal? Did we sound stupid when we said we liked that wine? Did we sound stupid when we said we didn’t like that wine?
Getting Over Our Intimidation of Wine
I think you get the picture. A lot of us are worried about how we look when it comes to wine. That’s in part because the wine industry has been telling us for a long time that we aren’t worthy of fully enjoying wine unless we’re experts. To that I say, “I’m not buying in.” The best way to learn about wine is to drink more wine. So it’s time to start enjoying. Instead of focusing on using the right descriptors, and showing how much we know about wine, we needed to concentrate on finding which wines appeal to us. After all, if you know what wines you like, do you really need to know much more?
Keep a Wine Journal
I recommended keeping a wine journal where you write down the wines you love, making sure to include notes that answer these questions.
- Sweet or dry? If the only wines you like are sweet, you narrow down your likely favorites to a handful of popular varieties, including Muscat/Moscato, Riesling and White Zinfandel. If you prefer dry wines, you have a much broader range of possible favorites.
- Crisp or smooth? Do the crisp wines make you jump for joy or cry in agony? If the former, drink all the Sauvignon Blancs you can find and figure out which ones you like best. If the latter, steer clear of Sauvignon Blanc and head towards Chardonnay or other smoother wines.
- High tannins or low tannins? Tannins are vital for red wine character and quality. But they give you a puckering sensation that can be very unpleasant for some wine drinkers. If you are one such person, you will be better served by drinking lower tannin wines such as Pinot Noirs or older high-tannin wines. Tannins are most pronounced in young wines made from thick-skinned grapes such as Cabernet and Syrah. If you drink an older vintage of these wines, you’re less likely to get hit over the head with the puckering sensation.
This information will come in handy every time you select wine, whether you’re at a winery, the grocery store or a friend’s house.
At the end of the day, it’s about finding the wines you like and enjoying them. Have no fear if you are enjoying your White Zinfandel as everybody else is enjoying their Cabernet. In fact, Wine Master Tim Hanni threw the notion out the window that sweet wine drinkers are unsophisticated and big, bad red drinkers are sophisticated. According to the article I wrote about his VinoType system, “He said that sweet wine drinkers tend to have more taste buds and are therefore more sensitive, while big, bad red drinkers tend to have far fewer taste buds and are less sensitive.”
Please join me in a New Year’s resolution that is achievable: Enjoy wine!
Cheers to a WINEderful 2017!
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, seek a special personalized wine 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