Tasting Wine to Remember

At some point, something happened to me. I used to drink wine and just enjoy it. End of story. But now….now it’s become a bit obsessive. I can’t just sip wine without analyzing it in one way or another. I hear myself saying things like, “Oooh a hint of banana aroma! How interesting.”  Each glass of wine is a new journey; a new challenge to figure out it’s story. And each story told I find fascinating. Much more fascinating than my friends and family find me now. I think they’d use the term “pain in the ass” more than fascinating.

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A while back, a group of us were asked “Why do we taste wine?” At first, I thought it was a rather remedial question. Until I tried to answer it. This actually took me a bit to think about. At first, my mind was blank. It stopped me in my obsessive tracks and made me think why it had become so important to me. And here’s what I figured out.

We taste so we remember. Conscious tasting allows me to remember not only the wine, but the moment, the place, and the people I am with. For me, wine is meant to be enjoyed with others and is part of the great times we enjoy. Sometimes an aroma will bring someone back to a place and put a smile on their face as they recall the first date they had with their now spouse at the fancy steakhouse where he showed off and bought a big California Cabernet that was way out of his budget just to impress her. Others will have a sip, and all of a sudden crave the clam linguine they had at that restaurant on the cliffs of Positano with their best friend, laughing at the funny waiter who brought fake cappuccino to tease them.

We enjoy wine during special occasions and often keep the cork to remember - not so much the wine, but the moment and the celebration among friends. But if you do find that wine again, all the memories of the people, place and laughs rush back and you get to relive it just a little.

So the next time you uncork a bottle and pour your friend their glass, take a moment and look, inhale the aromas, and savor not only the flavor but the moment you will now never forget.

Amanda Wilsontasting, memories