Friday, December 5, 2008

Well, if you put it in front of me…

There is really only one thing that stops most people from becoming more knowledgeable about wine. It is not the amount of time they read articles about the regions or a particular winemaker or a particularly good vintage. When it comes down to it, the roadblock is accessibility.

In order to know about wine you need to taste a lot of wine. And I mean A LOT of wine. The last comprehensive wine tasting I helped coordinate had over 800 wines submitted (two bottles of each, that’s 1600 bottles of wine!!). If you have never been in an office with 1600 bottles of wine, I would suggest trying it. The feeling that you have enough alcohol to host the craziest frat party is quite a trip. That is as long as you do not break any of the bottles (another story for another time).

And then when these bottles are open it would seem a shame not to taste them to see what they are like. That’s my point, where do you have the opportunity to taste 800 wines? Do you think you’ve had 800 wines in your life? Any of the wine bloggers that I read regularly (for list, see sidebar) would say, “Yes, I did that Thursday” but for the vast majority of wine drinkers (and I mean SERIOUS wine drinkers) it would take over two years of drinking a different bottle of wine each night (don’t skip a night, otherwise you’ll have to drink two different bottles the next night).

And the crazy part is that 800 wines is just a drop in the bucket! As I posted in The good of wine ratings, there are over 7,000 different wine brands available, and more appearing DAILY!

So, I feel very lucky to be in a position to taste as many wines as I can get my hands on. It lets me explore the tastes I enjoy and the combinations that are possible. Hopefully my personal insights are also useful to my friends (who read this blog?).

However, as I said up front, the main problem is accessibility. My company only works with two (maybe three) wine country groups, so besides those I am limited in my knowledge. But slowly I taste more wines (and I encourage you to do the same) and continue my wine education.

If you are a wine marketer reading this, I accept wine samples (I’d be a fool not to). E-mail me here.


Fencing Bear said...

I think this goes along with my 10,000 hours post: it just takes lots and lots and lots of practice to learn anything, including wine tasting!

Rob Bralow said...

Very true. I read that post and it reminded me of the many hours I practiced in high school. I don't know if I hit 10,000 hours, but it was close.

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