Like a lot of people, I’ve had quite a lot of time to think and reflect over the last year on any number of topics. But for me, wine has been front of mind. Maybe it’s the shared camaraderie that wine brings, maybe it's just that Irpinia wines are so delicious, but it's got me thinking about how we drink wine.
When you try a wine you love, the first words that come out of your mouths generally isn't about the bouquet or whether there are hints of green peppers and tobacco. The words that fly out of our mouths are “che buono questo vino!” (this wine is great!) or “mi piace tanto” (I like it a lot) and every so often“ho piaciuto l’altra bottiglia meglio” (I liked the other bottle better).
I’ve become convinced the world of wine has too many people feeling like outsiders. People tell me all the time they don’t know anything about wine, they just know how to drink it. "I only know if I like the wine, so I really comment on the wine." But isn’t this the fundamental key - to know whether you like the wine or not?
You hear about all the rules for wine tasting that are supposed to help you know if you’re enjoying a wine or not, but it’s started to seem like these very rules have taken the fun out of the very thing we all like the most: actually drinking wine!
But shouldn’t the most important question be if I actually like the wine instead of going through a detailed laundry list of tasting questions that the “experts” have devised? Because at the end of the day, if you don’t like the wine, does it matter if you can taste the faint hints of elderberry or smell rubber garden hose?
We drink wine to be happy, to relax and enjoy the work of art in a bottle that the winemakers have painstakingly created for us. Which is why I’ve reworked my routine for wine tasting to prioritize one thing above all else: my enjoyment of the wine.
Wine Tasting for Enjoyment
What follows are my steps to help keep the focus on the wine and keep things fun. Hope you’ll enjoy - and if you don’t - throw it all out the window and do what makes YOU happy. That’s what this post is all about.
Open the bottle: smell the cork to make sure the bottle hasn’t gone bad. If the bottle is corked (oxygen has seeped passed the cork's barriers), you’d notice an acidic smell. If you’re bottle is good, pour the wine into your glass.
Smells: Stick your nose deep in the glass and inhale the aromas of the wine. If that's not your thing, go straight to tasting.
Tasting & Drinking: Either let the wine sit in your mouth and examine the flavors, or drink the wine and think, “Do I like this wine?” Do you need a second sip? I usually do. Take it. If you like the wine, keep drinking it! If not, try another bottle. Or share the bottle you’re not crazy about with neighbors who might want to try it out. Everyone’s palate is different after all. And at this point, if you want to think through some tasting notes and flavors, go for it.
But don't overthink wine. It shouldn’t be a chore, which is the tragedy I started experiencing with my overly detailed approach to tasting. Do what makes YOU feel best and make that how you approach this joyful thing we call drinking wine.
You don’t have to follow any set of rules to enjoy wine, just do what makes you happy. We’ll cheers to that!
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Try out these steps to drinking for enjoyment with a great bottle of Irpinia wine. So if you still haven't, pick up a bottle of one of these amazing wines or join the wine club to try some of our favorite selections from Irpinia regularly delivered to your door.
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