Sunday, March 20, 2011

Power of Words

Terry post:

This past weekend my wife I and visited another Maryland winery and purchased several more bottles. It was an interesting visit for a number of reasons: beautiful hillside location, sunny day, mild temperature, good wine and the words carefully selected by the woman hosting the tasting.

The woman presented each bottle in a practiced manner first pointing out the label, providing the source of the grapes and then a description of the varietal characteristics. It was the description of the varietal characteristics which I found most telling.

I didn't take notes at the time, and as I drove away I wished that I had. Working from memory, her description of their Chardonnay was something like this: " is a beautiful straw'll taste pronounced fruit in this year's vintage with substantial hints of apple and is a medium bodied wine and you'll notice the aggressive acidity at the finish..."

It was like this with each wine: as though she'd prepared a detailed listing of the grapes varietal characteristics and recited them for each potential wine buyer.

Of course, as the tasters sipped the wines she'd nod knowingly and re-affirm the characteristics, "Taste the fruit?", as we worked our collective way thorough the pour. Her actions reflected her earlier description and made the tasters co-conspirators in her vineyard propaganda.

When I disagreed with her description of their Shiraz offering as, "...huge and powerful..." she dismissed my comment with the wave of her hand.

The power of recently heard words is significant and their carefully crafted use in the tasting room was impressive to behold. I have never been so smitten during a wine tasting.

Bottom line: I am not certain that I made the purchases because I liked the wine or because I liked the words that she used to describe the wine. Time will tell.

~ Terry

1 comment:

  1. Your tasting room attendant was doing what I am referring to as going "auto wine spiel" on you! Frankly, I find it one of the most annoying of the tasting room tactics. Was at a local winery yesterday just me an a wine industry colleague and the attendant. Other than that the winery was empty..the area was still mostly closed for the winter. Still she went on auto-pilot, speaking quickly as though we were lined up around the corner. We weren't. and to top it off...she gave us samples (in this very quiet and empty tasting room) in tiny, 1 ounce clear plastic sippy cups. Advice: get off script and slow down...and please use real wine glasses.