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Every Wine Tells a Story…Just Listen

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I love listening to my wine! What a great story every wine has to tell and I just dig listening to each story unfold. Give it a try!! I promise you it will dramatically enhance your enjoyment of wine.

As is the case with most aspects of life, it pays to be a good listener and wine is no different. As you sip your wine and enjoy it’s tastes and smells, “listen” to what you are experiencing. Listen as your wine expresses how the vines struggled to get water, how the minerals in the soil impart a particular something to the wine, how the angle at which the vineyard is pointed to the sun allowed the grapes to ripen in a certain way.

In short, listen to how the wine expresses the “terroir.” When we encounter something we really like we often say, “it speaks to me.” Same with wine, but sometimes we forget to listen. In fact, we often do the opposite of listening to the wine we drink by “telling” the wine what we want it to be. Let’s explore.

Here is an example what I mean by “telling” a wine what we want it to be. I love Cabernet based Bordeaux wines (these wines are typically found in the left bank of the Bordeaux region). And if I am drinking a Napa Cab and were to say, wow, this really doesn’t hold a candle to the incredibly complex, beautifully age worthy, earthy wines I love from Bordeaux, I am telling the Napa Cab that I want it to be a Bordeaux.

However, I would enjoy my Napa Cab much more if instead of telling it to be a Bordeaux, I listened to it tell the story of how the growing conditions in Napa make it the king of the plush, ripe deep dark fruited wines with enormous depth and power resulting in a wine that is second to none when enjoying a beautiful ribeye steak.

For a time, many winemakers were telling their wines what to be rather than letting them be themselves. Some called this “Parkerizing” their wines as they tried to produce wines that would please the fruit forward palate of famed wine critic Robert Parker. This of course was a fool’s errand and fortunately for all of us wine consumers, most serious wine makers have seen the light and are more focused than ever at allowing the wines they make to express themselves and tell their own story rather than trying to be something they’re not.

If you read a really good spy novel, you wouldn’t dismiss it as inferior because it wasn’t as romantic as your favorite love story. No, you enjoyed the spy novel for what it was. Same with wine. Don’t “tell” your Willamette Valley Pinot Noir to taste like a Pinot Noir from the Cote de Nuits in Burgundy. Instead, listen to what the Willamette Pinot Noir tells you about itself and enjoy it for what it is…not what it isn’t.

So, I encourage you to curl up with a good wine and listen. I guarantee you will enjoy your wine more than ever.

All for Wine and Wine for All!


CUVÉE Ray: Uncorked Wine Special of the Week: Mention that you read this article to your server and get 10% off this week’s Cuvée Ray: Uncorked Flight of the Week.

CUVÉE Ray Uncorked: Wine isn’t complicated!! And its enjoyment doesn’t belong to some elite club (even though some folks try to make it that way by employing incomprehensible jargon and let’s face it, an approach that is, well, snooty). First and foremost, wine is just a beverage and it’s a beverage that has been part of human culture for thousands of years. For our friends in say Italy, Spain or France, wine is just a part of everyday life…as it should be here! So each week, CUVÉE Ray: Uncorked will explore a new wine, wine region or topic and like Toto, we will pull back the curtain of wine mystery and share our love of this truly wonderful beverage.

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