Life, Wine

Wine’s Ever-Changing World View

As I sat beneath the dryer at the hair salon this morning, waiting for my color to set, I read through my Twitter feed. Many of my followers are wine people, and someone had shared an interesting Wine Spectator article about memorable moments of world-renowned sommeliers. Richard Matuszczak, wine director at La Toque in Napa, said:

“Wine is very dependent on everything around it – time of day, the lighting, the weather, the person you’re with, your mood, anything. Sometimes, we’ll enjoy a wine and we’ll buy some bottles, and we’ll open it six months later and it won’t taste like we remember it. Not only has it change a little bit, but now you’re in a different place and it’s not the same wine.”

Those words really spoke to me. I re-read them over and over before taking a screen shot to save his quote. So many times, my husband and I have joked about the fact that we would go tasting and buy wine we liked only to open it later at home and completely hate it. We always thought our taste buds must have gotten fried from all the tasting, but maybe that isn’t the case. Maybe Matuszczak is right. Wine reflects its environment. And, if that’s the case, no wonder it’s so fascinating. The complexities of the taste, the intricacies of the nose, the bold color and, now, the environment in which it is being drunk.

It explains why some summer wines feel so fun in the backyard by the pool but so boring and a little too sweet by the nighttime fire pit, or maybe why we remember moments based on the wine we were drinking. I will never forget time spent with special people, and can normally tell you what we were drinking when. So, as the mother of a toddler, I have some life advice for wine drinkers, the same advice parenting experts give for parents of picky-eating toddlers. If at first you don’t enjoy a wine, try it again in a new environment, during a new time or with a new person. You may be surprised to learn that you like it after all.

2 thoughts on “Wine’s Ever-Changing World View”

  1. When I was in Las Vegas, I saw a billboard that said “Wine is like poetry in a bottle” and this post just felt perfect for that. Wine always has something to say (and sometimes if you have enough of it, it can make you say something)! Sometimes wine says something beautiful at the vineyard, but when it is opened in a less beautiful or special environment, it is less delicious and doesn’t have as much to say.

    1. You know, I think I have heard that quote before! So true! I’m always amazed at the way it can taste different depending on the “timing.” I’m sure it also might have to do with the bottle, too. Not every bottle is perfect, after all! Lots of variables!

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