woman-tasting-bad-wineEver wonder why some wines taste really good and others not so much? Or why you can’t stand a wine and the person next to you can’t stop talking about the bouquet, the layers of flavors, the mouthfeel, and on and on? Do they know something you don’t? Something only revealed to those who know the secret handshake of the “inner circle” of wine geekdom?

The video below by American Chemical Society (ACS) “Reactions”, explains the chemical process that determines what makes a wine taste good or bad, and will give you some insights into these probing questions. Here’s a hint, it’s not the same for everyone.

Regardless of how much or how little you know about wine, the bottom line is if you like it, then it’s good. If you don’t, it’s not. That may sound simplistic, but when you get right down to it, that is the determing factor of whether or not you think a wine is good or bad.

How much do you want to know about wine? It may effect your perception of a wine’s deliciousness factor!

Being in the wine business, all those details are interesting to me. Discovering the story behind the wine helps me appreciate and understand the final product and convey to my customers why that magical elixir swirling round in their glass is special. I enjoy researching, tasting, discovering, and talking to people about all those details.

The entire process matters and involves people at different levels of production. Things like the vineyards and soils, appellations, sustainable farming techniques, the growing season, the oak regimen, the heavy-handedness or minimalist approach of the winemaker, all of that and much more removes the curtain of mystique behind the wine and helps us appreciate the final product.

At the same time, talking about all those details may create an atmosphere some might find intimidating, especially novices or those just getting started with wine. However, just like anything else, the more you delve into it and discover new details and new wines, you can’t help but become captivated and more knowledgable about wine in general.

Friends toasting with red wine

Knowing the details…not necessarily a requirement to love that wine in your glass!

Knowing the details behind the wine is certainly not a requirement to enjoy it. And in fact, most people are casual wine consumers that simply want to kick back and have a nice glass of wine or two. They don’t need, or want to know everything that goes into that glass.

Over the years, what I have discovered in talking with wine enthusiast from those just getting started to the most devout collectors and connoisseurs, is that they typically like hearing the stories about the people who grow the grapes, that make the wine, and why it’s something special they might want to try.

Drinking alone…or with that special someone? It makes a difference!

Your environment, the setting, the occasion, the people all play a part in how much or how little you enjoy a wine. There is no formula that determines how much your surrounding influences your enjoyment, or how memorable a wine will be. If you’re happy, celebrating with friends and family on a joyous occasion, you will probably have a more favorable impression of a wine than if you’re alone at home, doing your taxes.

You have a limited amount of influence on and control over your surroundings and environment. But just being aware of them and that they may have an impact on your perception of a wine, may shed some light on why you like it, or not.

In the final analysis…

You like what you like, and don’t like what you don’t like. But the next time you open a bottle, think about where the grapes were grown and who grew them. Think about the winemaker and what they were trying to create and convey in this magical elixir. It’s not essential to enjoy it, but placing a human connection to that wine and its connection to the earth (farming), may make it a little more special.



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