Many people are afraid to give me their opinion about a wine. Uncertainty, insecurity, fear – I know these feelings well. They are my constant companions when I travel around the world; they are there every day when I wake up to my kids and the unknowable world of parenting or when I have to deal with multi-country tax regulations. I feel like a dope. Like I’ll never ‘get it.’
Most people don’t give much consideration to what they’re drinking beyond its functionality as an alcoholic beverage (remarkable, when you consider that the world consumes around 24 billion litres of wine a year) but for those who do want to know more, the world of wine can feel like an impenetrable bubble, rigged with booby traps waiting to expose you as the imposter you believe you are. Varieties, vintages, domaines, VDLP, IGT, AOP, DOC DOCG. BA, TBA. Even once you’re ushered inside the wine world’s hallowed halls there’s still something Hogwarts School about its moving staircases and vanishing doors.
Take, for example, the lexicon of the wine elite. In my opinion, wine descriptors and wine ‘speak’ can be a serious barrier, leaving many consumers feeling disempowered and afraid to comment. When we hear people bleating on about typicity, terroir and ‘brett’ (no, not Murray’s brother) our ego’s leap to the rescue, telling us that it’s all just nonsense (but to zip our lips nonetheless!) … Read more >