This is, invariably, what I hear after telling people what I do for a living.
The truth is, I am passionate about wine. But there are times when ANY job becomes, well, work. Sure it's fun to sample wines, but imagine standing eye-to-eye with an enthusiastic winemaker (or their hungry representative), tasting their wine, and then telling him/her you won't be buying any. Now imagine doing that again. And again. In fact, you have to say that FAR more times than the much more enjoyable "I take it!", which happens all too infrequently. Add to this the paperwork and compliance and logistics and administrative tasks, throw in a pinch of partnership disputes, and pretty soon you have a high-stress, low-salary job on your hands.
So to keep my love alive, I feed my passion so I can share it with you. Sort of the wine equivalent of putting on my oxygen mask before assisting others (I can't be of much help if I'm unconscious, now can I?)
I am not much for New Year's resolutions, but I do find these to be an effective way to keep my wine love burning.
- First, Feed Your Curiosity. My wife and share wine almost every evening. We enjoy a wide variety of wines, from all over the world and at all different price points (well, after eliminating wines under $12, which we rarely find interesting). This exposure to the world's vinous bounty fuels an unending curiosity, and recharges one's batteries.
- Make Wine Part of Your Ritual. When we sit down to eat, our family tradition is to raise our glass and toast each other, being sure to make eye contact. This sort of intimacy makes many Americans uncomfortable, but is common in Europe, where it is considered rude NOT to look in the eye of your toast recipient. Don't look at your glass, look at the other person, even if they look at their glass. Your eye contact says "Of all the places I could be right now, I am happy to be here, sharing this meal with you".
- "Because it's Wednesday"(or Monday, or Sunday or...) My point here is that too many special bottles are being held in reserve for the perfect occasion, only to end up dying in wait. Auction houses are full of wine collections that outlived their collectors. Spontaneously opening a great bottle "just because" is rarely regretted, unless the decision was made under the influence. Which brings me to...
- Avoid Intoxication - The wine business attracts heavy drinkers. And it can make heavy drinkers out of moderate drinkers. This may sound counter-intuitive, but to maintain my passion I've found it essential to avoid intoxication. You see, I love wine, but I don't like being drunk, or the slowness of head it brings the next day.
How do you feed your wine passion? I hope you'll leave your own ideas in our comments section - it is newly redesigned to make commenting easier.
Dave the Wine Merchant
"Life is pretty simply. You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else."
~ Dolly Parton, Country singer and actress (1946 - ?)
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