Wine is more than just wine. It is an experience and each wine should hopefully tell you a story about it’s journey from a blossom to a grape to a bottle of wine. As it is an experience, I think the best ways to enjoy wines are through experiences. Here are 4 experiences that I recommend:
- Visit a wine region on your holidays
- Attend a wine tasting through a wine society
- Visit wineries that are near to where you live
- Share your wines with friends and family
Visit a Wine Region on Your Holidays
There are lots of experiences for you in this option. Firstly you are on vacation enjoying your life with others who have gone on the trip with you (even if you are on your own, you could take a singles vacation to a wine region). I have found that when I go to a wine region on vacation, I get to see the vines, walk the terrain, see the surrounding vegetation (some people say that what grows around the grapes affect them, such as sage brush or eucalyptus trees), talk to the wine maker and find out their stories about planting the grapes, which grapes were planted, why those were chosen, and about the latest vintage(s). I find when I go to the wineries on vacation, I really feel that I better understand the wines, and I really enjoy them more, even when I’m back home in Vancouver. The other aspect of this point, is to buy the wines you like from the wineries and bring them back home with you to share.
Lastly find out what dishes they like to eat with their wines. There are certain regions of the world where there are classic pairings, such as a Burgundian Pinot Noir with Coq au Vin. You may want to try this back home.
Attend a Wine Tasting Through a Wine Society
Yes there are many “free” samples you can try at a wine shop, but you really don’t get the time to compare the wines, talk to others about the wines, compare and contrast them, and figure out which styles of wine you prefer. By attending a structured, sit-down tasting through a wine society, you get that chance. I was the president of the South World Wine Society(SWWS) (now closed) for several years, and on the executive for many more years. I learned so much from attending these tastings. We had a theme for each tasting, such as “Cabernets from Chile vs Australia“, or “Signature Grapes of Argentina“, for example. In addition to the tasting there would always be a knowledgeable speaker to lead us through the tasting, telling us about each wine, and leading us through a discussion of the wines. I highly recommend wine tastings.
Visit Wineries that are Near to You
You may not know it, but there has been a rapid growth in the number of wineries, with many wineries being close to major cities, like Vancouver, where I live. But these wineries may not yet be too well-known. Try going to Google and typing “wineries near” + <your city> and see what results. Then go and visit them. Make it a Saturday mini-vacation for you and your friends/family, or on your own. Follow my recommendations from above about visiting a wine region. And buy the wines you like.
Share Your Wines with Family and Friends
As I mentioned earlier, wine is an experience, and experiences are best shared. When I buy wines, I buy them to enjoy with others. Sometimes I even think about a particular person and knowing what kind of wines, they like, I will buy a wine to enjoy with them when I am back home. When you buy wines from wineries, then open them with friends and family, you can tell them about the wine, your experience at the winery, what the wine maker told you, what the landscape was like, etc. People always appreciate a good story about a wine.
Those are my thoughts on the topic. Do you have other ways that you like to get more enjoyment out of your wines. Leave a comment below. Enjoy!