Here at Bottle Service, we’ve been talking for some time about getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to wine. If you’re a lot like the typical New Zealander, you’ll be used to picking the same few bottles off the shelf at your local. Mind you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but we’re firm believers in giving people the ability to learn more about the world of wine, if they want to, in the comfort of their own home - meaning monocle and coattails are entirely optional.
So, what are some of the reasons it's a good idea to get out of your wine rut?
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer for salespeople, or people who regularly entertain clients or partners in business. You don’t ever want to be charged with the responsibility of ordering the wine at a long lunch, without really knowing anything about what it is you’re selecting from (just in case Jim does know more about reds than he’s letting on). Imagine someone handing you the wine list, and all cool and collected, you order the Pinot Noir because you know the brand is a pretty good one. Now that’s the kind of confidence in decision making likely to get the deal over the line!
Dating and love interests
Assuming you want to impress a date (or your better half!), it’s always a nice look not to be confused when walking into a bottle store or ordering a wine at a nice little restaurant. Unless your partner is a wine lover and has taken the time to learn the ins and outs of the winey world, chances are they are like a lot of other Kiwis, and have only the briefest understanding of wine and food pairings. Show them how easy it is, and as a bonus, you’ll get to share a nicer bottle of wine over dinner and look like the expert. *wink*
We’re not talking about trivia. Although, if the right question came up, it’d also be nice to know the answer! No, we’re talking about heading to a backyard barbecue with a few great friends or family, and knowing the Rosé will match nicely with the light salad and seafood fare on offer. There are infinite things to learn in life, but wine is one of those things that’s made harder than it needs to be by the pomp and elitism the industry is widely infamous for. The best part is though, that learning about wine doesn’t need to be hard at all! We believe that the more people know about wine, the more they’ll be enjoyed. After all, those grapes didn’t get squished for nothin’.
This one might feed into a few New Year’s resolutions out there, but it’s a good idea to once in a while challenge yourself. Us humans, we’re wired to seek out comfort, which is why it’s so hard to get out of ‘autopilot’ mode, but it’s been well proven that stepping outside of this cushy comfort zone is a critical factor in personal growth of any kind. Trying something new or doing regular things differently - such as learning a new language, or working harder towards that promotion - can help open you up to new experiences, passions, people and even opportunities. Certainly not something to sniff at. The bottom line? If you’re looking to make 2018 your best year ever, chances are you have to do a few things differently, experience new things and push for that kind of growth - so you may as well start here!
Appreciation of the deliciousness
In a blind taste test, would you know the difference between a $40 wine, and a wine that costs $150 a bottle? Although learning the different grapes and which regions produce that type best is not everyone’s cup of tea (glass of wine?), there is something satisfying in developing your palate to appreciate finer, more subtle flavours. The best part is, it’s not just limited to wine. Once you start learning and appreciating the smaller differences, you might find you start liking a wider variety of foods. as well. Great news for the fussier ones amongst us!
All in all, drinking wine is like listening to music. There are flavours called ‘notes’, infinite information to absorb, and everyone’s tastes are subjective - so no wine is ever definitively ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Once you start understanding your tastes and preferences, you can use that knowledge to find other wines that you’ll also enjoy. And like most things, the only way to get better at describing and tasting wines is to practice - definitely the best part, we reckon.
Just in case you aren’t a Champagne pro, we’ve compiled a handy list of hints to up your game – with plenty of time before the festive season kicks off this year to get you into the groove!
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