An advantage of writing about wine for Forbes online is the feedback from readers, expressed through analytics and “clicks” on the articles that you as readers wanted to read.
So here, in sum, are the most popular themes that seemed to matter to you most last year: Deals and trends career moves; innovation and technology in the wine space; marijuana and its potential disruption of wine, from agricultural and labor points of view; emerging markets; and jockeying to get ahead on a movement, along with analysis after the fact to understand why it happened in the first place.
That’s the vibrancy and the momentum of business. It’s why you’re reading Forbes online, and they are the things you’re thinking about anyway. As a contributor here, I try to use them as bridges to talk about wine.
Which leads me to these eight wine ideas for 2017, tailored specifically to you.
Challenge your retailer.
To find something you’ve never tasted before, say, or to find a great value wine that overdelivers for its price point. Retailers (or sommeliers) worth their salt will take up the challenge with gusto.
Play in the digital space
Whether that’s more general platforms for chronicling the bottles you open or more wine-specific apps that are tailored to the tasting experience. Get to know them better, as each platform has its own personality. There is a community for your interests.
Sure, it’s fun to be open to wines from every region and to experiment broadly. But it’s more effective to choose a theme or topic that matters to you – anything from the environment to emerging markets to regions in conflict – and home in on tasting wines oriented around it.
Whether it’s a weeknight evening or a weekend afternoon, a shop or bar or restaurant near you has organized a window of time to open several bottles, and they’re welcoming the public to taste. Find those opportunities and join the crowd, because what’s almost bound to happen are conversations. Which is a very big part of what we’re after.
Whatever “confidence” means to you. Maybe it means getting to know the standard tasting/evaluation routine (color, aroma, palate, finish), or maybe it means learning some of the designations and properties in regions like Bordeaux or Piedmont or Western Australia. The point is to increase your familiarity and comfort level, while also assembling a foundation to build upon.
Reallocate your wine budget.
Maybe the same money will buy just one bottle instead of two, but that one bottle could bump up your exposure to smaller production or more unique wines that will expand your wine horizons.
Savor the wine. Try the old Kevin Zraly technique: take a sip of wine and quietly observe your experience of it for 30 seconds. Thirty seconds doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but watching your senses respond to a wine (and watching it evolve in your body) for even that half-minute opens your eyes to it, and somehow secures the experience in your memory.
They don’t have to be textbook-style books, and they don’t have to be intentionally “educational” articles though those certainly have their place and usefulness. The literature on wine is expanding, from fictional volumes that paint the picture of wine communities, to colorful and earnest non-fiction books about specific families and regions, all the way to irreverent commentators and tasting notes on crowd-sourced platforms. The “words of wine” are lively and multi-faceted, and far from the traditional pedagogy of years past.
By: Cathy Huyghe