Its time to conquer our wine insecurities!
We trust our senses when it comes to judging whether our laundry is dirty or clean, the pork roast in the fridge has gone off, the food over salted, or if the guy sitting next to us on the subway OD’d on Brut that morning. But why is it that most people do not trust their own sense of smell and taste when it comes to wine?
So many people out there are afraid to trust their own senses as to what wine is good, bad and down right ugly. They instead choose to follow the wine pundits, reviewers, and the numerical ratings that in my opinion will give you no more indication as to whether or not you will ultimately enjoy the wine, than the weather report will give you an indication as to what color socks to wear. What written reviews will give you is information about one person’s impression of a wine on a given day under certain circumstances. They will not make something you disliked good or something you liked bad. Wine is about so much more than what is in the bottle; it is about your state of mind, the company you have surrounded yourself with, the food you have chosen to eat with it, the glassware (or lack thereof), and where you are drinking it etc. You don’t build your own wine expertise when you rely solely on scores, reviews, and journalistic editorials. I am not saying that you should never choose based on a recommendation, but make sure it is from someone you trust, someone who knows what you like, and someone you can ask questions to and get interactive information from.
Trust yourself! Whether you are new to wine or an enthusiast with 10,000 bottles in your climatized man-cave (the latter by the way seem to lack the most amount of wine self-esteem and stake their whole collection on numerical scores), you don’t need to know fancy terms, poetic descriptors and esoteric fruit references (hello, what is a bilberry?). All you need to know is yumm, yuck, and give me more. Here is the prescription that should cure your insecurities; swirl, smell, taste, experiment with new wines (drink outside your comfort zone. YES you can break your CAB addiction), build your sensory memory banks, and remember it is a journey of discovery whose destination holds your wine self-esteem in its hands. Approach it like a child does eating new foods for the first time; look at it (does it look ok?), smell it (does this smell like something I want to put in my mouth?), taste it (does it taste good?), and evaluate (do I want more?) It is that simple. Just think you will be able to break the ties that bound you for far too long to those numerical scores and less than personal reviews.
Trust me, I am an expert!! ☺