Us wine geeks are forever waxing lyrical about something strange, exotic and unusual. We love discovering new things, rare grape varieties and quirky wines. Yet most wine drinkers pop a bottle or two of their usual in the supermarket trolley without really thinking about it. Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc, something inoffensive. For us wine geeks most of it is dull stuff but I often wonder why people do it.
The people I know don’t eat the same thing every single day, so why would you drink the same wine every single day? The answer is probably fear; of making a mistake, as if that were possible with wine. Fear of wasting money. Or perhaps it is just laziness and a lack of inquisitiveness. Perhaps it’s the feeling of being overwhelmed by choice and having no idea where to even start.
When I came across a very thoughtfully written blog post by one of my Glasgow running buddies, who calls himself “The German”, I felt he was reading my mind. He writes about being lost, not in the world of wine but in the mountains. He’s an endurance runner (unlike me) and, it appears, a very good navigator. The post isn’t about wine and he’s using his piece as a metaphor, but I bet a lot of people who don’t know much or anything about wine would feel like they were lost in the mountains without a map, unsure what to do and afraid to make a mistake. Now you can do two things. Panic!! And then retrace your steps to see if you can find your way back to Pinot Grigio, or you can open your mind, breathe in deeply, push on and see what’s round the next corner.
So many of you go to farmers’ markets or local shops and care about what you eat, yet when it comes to wine it’s the same old faceless big supermarket brands you buy. So if you have even a small sense of adventure, why not extend that to the wines you discover. Search out the real wines, the real stories, the real people. Let someone guide you to places you haven’t been before. You don’t need to know your Chardonnay from your Chablis or your Tempranillo from your Rioja to discover something new, you just need a glass.
The world of wine is a lot safer to navigate than the rugged Scottish mountains anyway … and you can do it from the comfort of your armchair.