Wine Pages

Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist


My Wine POV

I have been working with consumers for many years now, and there are a few statements I encounter at almost every event I host or class I teach. It come in slightly different variations, but the sentiment is always the same. Sometimes it goes "I don't really know much anything about wine... why don't you just tell me what I'd like." Other times it's "I can't taste more than one, just pour me the BEST." Perhaps my favorite one, though, is "I don't really care what type it is... I love all wine."

Why don't people give themselves more credit? They certainly seem to have opinions about almost everything else in life: preferred movie genres, favorite sports teams, people they choose to spend time with... but with wine, it's too difficult to form an opinion. For some, their interest level on the topic is too low for it to really matter - that's okay, but others - professed wine lovers - have no excuse!

A wine point of view takes little effort, and can a) help broaden one's wine exposure and b) ensure that they are finding wines they enjoy drinking - as opposed to those they will simply tolerate. I started developing my wine POV many years ago. After college, I decided to join a couple of wine-of-the-month clubs to explore the world of wine. As we started drinking through the wines we had amassed, my then girlfriend (now wife) commented how dull most of them were. I began thinking the all wines must be flat, fruit-filled, and more interesting alone, than with food (which often made them taste even less interesting than they were on their own). BUT THEN... I started to take wine classes and participate in tasting groups. Something clicked. I started to discover that there were MANY different styles and flavors and experiences to be had with wine. Furthermore - and this was most important - I realized that there were certain aspects of some that I liked more than others. A door had opened for me into a whole new world of wine discovery.

Over time, my wine POV continues to be tweaked. I've added some things to the repertoire, and dropped others. But, simply stated, my wine POV attracts me to elegant wines, that are noticeably balanced with acidity, and don't feel to heavy or thick. Wine, for me, is part of a meal... and food friendlyness is a big part of what makes wines interesting to me. I love the classic, food-friendly wine of Germany, the Loire Valley, Burgundy, and Piedmont, but I've allowed my curiousity and willingness to experiment lead me to many new discoveries - yes, even to new world producers. I continue to experiment, and look forward to finding MY next big thing. I'm proud to say that I have a wine POV.