For some people, choosing a wine feels like going to a high school dance. Everyone else seems to be having a great time, but you don’t really know what you are doing, so you hide on the bleachers. You sit back, foot tapping, picking up pointers, hoping someone will drag you out with them. How many times did you REALLY want to shake it, but didn’t want to make a fool of yourself? Ok, maybe that was just me. But, I missed out on a lot of fun.
That is kind of why I started this blog. It isn’t that I have a fantastic knowledge of wine or any formal training. It was just that I kept talking with friends who enjoyed wine, but were intimidated by it. They were unsure of how to pick the “right” wine or pair it “correctly.” So they just didn’t drink much wine; they chose the bleachers.
As with many “rules,” self-imposed or otherwise, the rules of wine are changing. There is a lot more grace in the discovery process. The focus is back on ENJOYING the wine. Imagine that? So, when I talk with friends about wine, it has nothing to do with showing any expertise. I HAVE NONE. I just enjoy the guessing, the puzzle, the discovery. One dear friend gave me a huge compliment by saying that I made wine more approachable. I hope so. It should be.
It’s okay if you don’t really know what you are doing. What do you have to lose? Pick the pretty bottle, or the one with the clever name. Ask for help with a pairing. Chat about it if you want. “You get grape Smarties on the nose? Oh, yeah, I can get that! It tastes like hay at the end? I don’t get that.” You won’t find that dialogue in Wine Spectator but, who cares?
I enjoyed this article on GQ.com. The New Rules of Wine Wine + Cocktails. It is funny how with some maturity and perspective you realize that it didn’t really matter if you made a fool of yourself to Salt N Peppa, if you were having fun. And the people who judge, well, it is really more about them, isn’t it? Don’t let your uncertainty stop you from trying something new. Step out of your comfort zone and ask that cute wine steward if he’d like to “dance.” You may just find a new love.