Wine is a simple beverage. It rarely demands much of us. The unconditional love of wine is not one that can be matched by even a cat or a dog; wine requires way less cleaning up after. But that is why we often end up taking wine for granted.
This is when wine seems like a chore, or worse yet, like a wife of ten years. Complacency is the worst way to punish a wine habit which is why I am listing a few Dos and Don’ts to help you get through the daily wining and dining with a level of excitement higher than you afford for politics but less than what you reserve for golf.
- At wine events, do not discuss lawn furniture, past or present vacations or similar all through the evening. Take some time out with your senses devoted to the wines in front of you.
- Spend on wine. By this I don’t mean blowing your child’s college funds to fund your Petrus passions. My suggestion is to invest in the subject and learn more about it. From wine accessories to wine bottles, paid wine tastings and dinners to wine vacations, try and see how it can be incorporated into the scheme of things without being a diversion that leads to your family abandoning you.
- Mark the bad wine. Don’t make lists of wines you like; chances are you will try more wines you like than you don’t like in any given day/week/year. By knowing what doesn’t work for you, the sommelier can always suggest a better option to suit your tastes.
- Avoid connoisseurs. Also stay clear of snobs and vinos and anybody who generally comes across as a wine poser. They are easy to tell – they have no formal wine education and are in it for the money before all else. They talk about everything that lacks true passion. Instead, spend some time discussing with a sommelier and you will learn a lot more.
- Experiment. Wine is all about personal tastes and preferences. By trying different styles or even with different foods, you will find that often something that seemed odd at first becomes more intriguing and perhaps even enjoyable.
- Accessorise. If your dog is good enough to be toted around in a Gucci carrier, then surely wine deserves a not completely ostracised treatment. Get a good wine opener, some nice glasses, thermometers, wine preservation caps and anything else that takes your vinous fancy. Here too, as with cricket, golf and sex, a good kit is essential for thorough enjoyment of the exercise.
On the whole, wine is still pure unadulterated fun and enjoyment. If you aren’t having fun, then you are obviously doing it wrong. But like all things fun, wine too comes with a responsibility tag. We often take wine for granted but as I am trying to highlight, wine is more fun when you actually make the time to learn about it. Judging by the price we are made to pay for it at most outlets, I think it is only fair and fitting that we try and educate ourselves with basic wine etiquettes.