The Emotion We Want When Buying Wine - Part Two
Last week, I was discussing my time at TEXSOM and how I’m personally attempting to open up my emotions more when reviewing beverages. As I get older, I’m finding more comfort in enjoying time with family and friends but focusing on the little things that make life special. Case in point – BV Tapestry that I mentioned in last week’s article.
There are thousands of great wines out in the marketplace. For me right now, if I Had to choose one wine to drink for the rest of my life, it probably would be Tapestry. Hopefully, I can explain why. This is a wine that has a personality or a soul if you will. I can show this to anyone who does not study wine. It presents 15 distinctive aromas in the glass when you pour it. It shows a minimum of 10 distinctive flavors on the palate. THAT’s TO START!!! Then it keeps changing every five minutes for the next 30-45 minutes showing new aromas and flavors. Just a remarkable product.
When I first discovered it, I was teaching in Austin. Back then, the cheapest bottle I could find was $60 which I was willing to pay (just for that experience). I would use it every chance I could for teaching as it was easy for people to learn from. I moved to South Carolina and found it for $18-26. Every time it was released, I purchased as much as possible (DUH). Did I mention how emotionally happy that made me?
It’s Importance to my Career
My role as a Chef is to make the best food possible to serve in a timely manner. After becoming certified as a Sommelier, I went through a major transition in my life. Now, I’ve always understood the Front of the House having worked the position several times prior. However, as a quiet person, I like to not be in the forefront and would rather hide in the kitchen.
Now I’m a Sommelier and I have to deal with clientele (only 1 percent are bad BTW). Notice the key word in the previous sentence is ‘deal’. Being an introvert, I didn’t really want to watch people eat or talk with them about meals, etc. Well, that is what I thought the role was. I forgot one important aspect of the role of the sommelier:
- That is to have fun while entertaining and educating. Tapestry taught me to have fun.
How? I’m serving this wine to be able to play with you. With all wines I serve, I map the profile. I open a bottle, taste it initially and write notes. Then I will taste it every five minutes after to see how the wine changes in the glass and take notes. By doing this, I’ve mapped the wine’s profile so I know how it will develop, what to serve with it, etc. I have Tapestry’s profile figured out. I can now use it as entertainment:
- I pour you a glass of Tapestry. I wait a given amount of time and I come back to check on the table on how it’s proceeding. Before leaving, I would say ‘Do you remember each Christmas they have that chocolate orange wrapped in foil that you can hit on the counter, and it breaks apart into sections? If you smell your glass, that chocolate orange aroma is now there.’
Low and behold, the wine had that essence for a few minutes as it changed. HOW COOL IS THAT?? Now, I’m having fun educating along with ensuring you are having a great experience. Tapestry opened that door for me to look at the experience and how wine influences this.
We Need to Show Emotions More
Once I understood the experience / emotional connection, I strived to teach this to everyone how important beverages are to our moods. Here are a few examples.
- As kids, we would play outside all day long until the streetlights came on (which was our sign to go home). It didn’t matter who’s yard you were in but if you were thirsty, you grabbed the hose, turned it on and drank. Now for us old-timers, you were smart to wait for the hose to run a few seconds to get rid of the hot water (heated by the sun) and the rubber taste. Once the fresh cool water was flowing, I can’t imagine that anything tasted better. The emotion – refreshed and relaxed.
- It’s getting exceptionally close to Fall. I know a bunch of my friends are now running to get their Pumpkin Spiced everything beverage because they love it. I myself do not care for it but the season brings fresh apple cider which I crave. The emotion – excitement, anticipation, and satisfaction on the first sip.
- I just watched a video on how to make French Hot Chocolate. I swear it has to be the richest beverage I’ve ever seen since it’s mostly cream and tons of 70% dark chocolate melted in. It’s thicker than pancake syrup sitting in ice. I plan to drink some in the next few weeks and then sleep right after. No, I’m not putting marshmallows on it either like some crave. The emotion – can gluttony be considered an emotion?
- Even though I’m lactose intolerant to a degree, I have to have a glass of freezing cold milk when I have a slice of the richest chocolate cake that I can find (with an extra serving of icing). My take is ‘go big or go home’ if you are going to eat cake and the fudge slice from Cake Boss is incredible. The emotion – pure bliss and happiness.
- I’ve been lucky to try wines from over 40-60 years old that are full of life with aromas and flavors that are still evolving. The emotion – empathy for all who made it, luck and blessed that I was able to try it.
- The first time I cut my grass in the Spring, it’s tradition that I have a wheat beer chilled ready for me to sit out front, look over the lawn and the neighborhood and relax. The emotion – job well done, pleased at the yard and how it looks.
- When I’ve had a stressful day, I will pour a glass of homemade lemoncello and sit out front just looking at the world pass by. It doesn’t matter the time of year. It helps me to reset, breathe deep and let everything go. The emotion – let everything go to relax, realize that the stress/ problem is temporary.
While reading these, I know you had your own thoughts and emotions regarding each statement. While you may agree with mine or find different words to describe what you thought of, you still had an emotion.
Why am I focusing so much time on this? For me, I never show emotions enough when I drink something. More importantly, I don’t let the emotions out. I’m always worried about what people will think. I guess I do it in small ways. If I see a bottle on the shelf, I’ll touch it (OK…I actually pet the label) and smile thinking about the experience the last time I tried it. Having a glass of wine this weekend, I stopped after the first sip and savored it.
Frankly, I want to be like some of my friends who perform a dance when they eat and drink. We need more of that freedom daily just to be ………happy.