Flying Blind

September 3, 2018

I am a wine person. I have spent hours drinking wine and talking about wine with other wine people. It’s a natural impulse for people to try to describe the delicious new things they consume. All men and women, by nature, desire to know. When wine is involved, this natural pursuit can get weird. The occasion usually begins harmlessly enough, with folks tossing around words like rich, bold, or crisp. Easy enough, and “yeah, this wine is a little smoky!”


Then someone says tannic grip. Oh boy, here we go.


The gates of winespeak have opened, and everyone has something different to say about each sip. I have heard (and uttered) any number of strange notes. Among the highlights: stemmy, mineralic, freshly dried lavender (how is this possible?), diesel fuel, horse poop, and, my all time favorite:  freshly cut garden hose.


How fun is that! Before you roll your eyes, give up, and settle for a house chardonnay, try and have some fun with it. They aren’t out of your league. You don’t have to be an expert in what you’re talking about to enjoy what you’re talking about! Trying to describe a wine, hearing what other people taste, and making memories can be a good time.  There shouldn’t be any pressure to be perfect or sound like an expert. Wine should be enjoyable.


Don’t get me wrong, being a serious appreciator of wine is a skill that can only be acquired by training the memory and exercising the senses. Master sommeliers are hardworking, degreed professionals. But, just because someone doesn’t get drafted to the NBA doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a pickup game every week. Expertise should only enhance your enjoyment, not get in the way.


This month, we’ve put together a little blind tasting each week. We’ve picked out some typical words used to describe wine, and chosen a word for each week. Each week, we will taste three wines that explore the keyword of that day, and then make our best guesses at what that word is. Come have fun!


Michael Malpiedi



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