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The Art of Tasting Artfully: Taste Wine Like a Pro

I advise you to taste wine like a Pro - a Pro at living, that is.

I was reading a nice little article about the Art of Living, by lifehack.org's Dustin Wax, and it struck me that two of Dustin's guidelines ("Pay Attention" and "Be Appreciative") are applicable to wine appreciation as well as being a useful as a general approach to living.

Too many people that I meet either a) don't give a sh*t about how to taste wine (i.e., they guzzle it) or b) are petrified that they are tasting wine the "wrong" way.

Neither approach will give you much
true enjoyment when it comes to tasting wine.

These approaches both misuse the mechanics of wine tasting. You know the ones I'm talking about - Look, Swirl, Sniff, Sip, Spit - they're available all over the 'net.

The mechanics are important, but they will no more help you to taste artfully than knowing how to hold a paintbrush will teach you how to express yourself through painting
.

Really tasting wine is a bit of an art that is built upon the fundamentals of those mechanics. And it's really no more difficult to taste artfully than it is to live artfully. The art of tasting really does come down to tasting with Attention and Gratitude.

  • Attention is simply being mindful of the wine in the glass. Every wine, even total plonk, is trying to tell you something. You need only "listen" to it, giving it as much natural concentration and focus as you can (even if this is only a few good seconds of real concentration). Connect with that glass of wine. Merge with it, give it a moment where it's just the two of you in all the universe.

  • Gratitude is just that - be grateful for the moment you have with that wine. If it helps, tell it "thank you" (I'm not kidding). If you thank everything in your day to day life (even red lights!), you will be amazed at how your outlook starts to shift.
Attention & Gratitude - two great tastes that taste great together, at least when it comes to tasting wine. Try them out, and put a little art into your next wine & cheese party this holiday.

Cheers!
(images: flickr.com: jimmy-joe, cryptography.org )

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4 comments:

john witherspoon said...

great post Joe, good points that even the wine novice can employ in order to have a better experience.

i am a buddha collector so I loved the pics. I think the budhist message of "finding/making heaven on earth" fits nicely with your message here.

Joe Roberts, CSW said...

thanks, bro. if you're into buddha images, check out http://flickr.com/groups/buddha_images/. Cheers!

simona said...

I am a professional sommelier and work in wine tourism, so I have to master perfectly the mechanics of wine tasting, but you are completely right: without attention and gratitude, it doesn't work at all!
http://www.cellartours.com/blog/

Joe Roberts, CSW said...

Hi Simona - thanks and I always appreciate a professional chiming in to keep me honest!

Having said that, I'm trying not to jealously hate you for providing wine tours in gorgeous parts of Italy. ;-)