Wine Pages

Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist


The Right Way To Enjoy Wine?

I hosted a tasting not too long ago, where participants were more concerned with "getting it right," than with simply enjoying themselves. Where they drinking from the right kind of glass; did they buy the right vintage of XYZ Wine; was it the right time to drink the wine; Where they eating the right food for that wine?

It seems that, in recent years, while consumers have caught the wine bug, they haven't noticed that wine professionals have been trending in the less-snooty, more geeky direction. Today's twenty-something, hipster sommeliers, for example, would never be caught with a tastevin, but would most certainly try to talk you into their latest "cool" discovery from Kremstal, Austria. Consumers should take this cue and relax about their wine experiences... er, enjoyment. The problem is, too many people don't recognize it as enjoyment, but rather as the development of a technical skill or proficiency in an academic subject. This needs to stop.

Another problem is that in my capacity as wine "educator," my "students" expect to learn the rights and wrongs, the dos and don'ts of wine. My advice to them is that there is only one rule in my book: THERE ARE NO RULES. To best enjoy wine, they need to think outside the box, experiment, explore, discover, and withhold prejudice. You don't need to be an expert in order to know if you like a wine. So relax, drink from a paper cup, and ENJOY!