July 02, 2012

Mindful wine tasting

Now, in the middle of the summer, the number of regular wine tastings decreases significantly. There are on the other hand abundantly many occasions to just enjoy a glass of wine, as it is or paired with a summer meal. I love both, but if it is too long between the tastings, I really miss them.

I like to have many of my tastings blind or half-blind. The reason is that I concentrate so much better then. I have to be structured and register all the nuances to give the wine a fair review and to make an educated guess.  

I love the moment when everyone in the group has full focus on the wines. No one is speaking, the silence is total. Being here and now with the wines. All other thoughts excluded. It is a sort of exercise in mindfulness.

The routine is well rehearsed and needs no thinking. The focus is on the senses and the brainwork. Colour. Note. Sniff. Note. Swirl and sniff again. Note. Taste. The palate, the feeling in the mouth and the length. Note. Analysis. Guess! Pleasure!

My friends will be sitting around me. All behave the same. Concentration. Sniffing, swirling, noting. Smiling! Some knowing glances and nods across the table. It usually lasts for about half an hour. Then the silence is broken and converted into elated chatter.  A real joy!

Many people are doing different relaxation exercises.  Perhaps meditate, practice yoga or mindfulness. Different ways to slow down from the hectic life outside and inside the mind.

For me, the full focused wine tasting is an effective way to achieve something similar. A mindful wine tasting where the brain cannot be occupied with anything else than an enjoyable sensory training.  

My rules for mindful wine tasting:
1) Taste in silence.
2) Use 5-7 minutes per wine.
3) Taste half blind or blind.
4) Follow the routine and make notes.
5) Focus.

Isn’t it one the best ways to present, here and now? Anyone else who feels the same?

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