I love pouring tastings. Of course it’s important to be able to sell the wines at the tastings, but what I really love is having the opportunity to talk to people about wine, and share the experience of what it is that I happen to be pouring that day.
What makes it most fun for me is when people attending a tasting are open minded and willing to try anything on the table, and are interested in the wines and want to hear more about the grapes, the regions, the producers, etc. It’s also a learning experience for me - it’s important to me to learn from the people what they like and what they don’t like, and why. Do they prefer dry or sweet? Lighter or full bodied? Fruity, or spicy, or earthy? Do they want to pair the wines with food, or are the wines intended for sipping?
If somebody’s really interested in what they’re tasting, I feel more comfortable going into a deeper explanation of the wine - how Petite Sirah is actually Durif and not Syrah, or how Malbec is originally from Cahors and not Mendoza and what makes them different, or why someone may think they don’t like Chardonnay, until they taste a Chardonnay has that little or no oak. The better the reception, the more enthusiastic I get, and the more enthusiastic I get, the better the wines show, and consequently the better they sell. If I failed to get behind the products and lacked inspiration, I don’t think the wines would appear so exciting. And if I’ve got some fun recipes in mind to suggest with the wines I’m pouring, it makes them even more appealing.
Pouring tastings is probably my favorite part of being in the wine industry. After deciding I no longer wanted to be an attorney and instead wanted to be in the wine industry, I thought about why I felt this way. I thought back to my first day in court, working alongside another attorney, and I looked at the people waiting their turn. One man was so stressed from his appearance in court, that he actually collapsed right there in the courtroom. I realized that a lot of people aren’t happy when they go to their attorney. The most entertaining thing I was doing was researching and writing on tax exemptions. Most times, the law isn’t bringing people together. But being in the wine industry, things are just different. And the people coming to tastings remind me of that, when I see how happy they are when they find a wine that’s right for them, or they realize that they actually do like Chardonnay, or that they share my love of offbeat wines - the wine helps me connect with people, and that’s one of the reasons why I love pouring tastings.