Monday, April 28, 2014

Rant: A Vacation With Wine

As Spring proceeds, and the weather continues to improve, you are probably making plans for a summer vacation, whether it is a two week trip or simply a weekend getaway. I strongly recommend that you make wine part of your plans, such as visiting a winery or sampling different wines at dinner. There are wineries in all fifty states, and if you travel internationally, you'll find plenty of wineries too in many different countries. When you dine at restaurants during your vacation, you'll find a diverse selection of available wines, including wines you might not find at home.

Sipping a glass of wine while viewing the vineyards where the grapes came from can be a superb experience. The same can be said for drinking wine with the wine maker, or sipping some while deep within a wine cellar. These are special experiences which you will long treasure, and it might cause you to purchase wines to take home with you. I encourage you to buy wine on vacation, however I must provide a caveat, a warning that you might not otherwise hear.

If you find an impressive wine on your vacation, a wine that thrills your senses, which makes everything seem better, you need to understand that it might not taste the same when you get it home. It may not be as impressive or taste as good. Yes, it will be the exact same wine that you drank on vacation, but the taste may differ. Many people have eventually come to this truth, though they often don't fully understand the reason behind the transformation.

It is actually simple. Your experience of a wine depends in large part on the circumstances surrounding your tasting of that wine. When you are on vacation, awed by your surroundings, thrilled by new experiences, wine may tend to taste better. You are already in a great mood, with a thrilling ambiance, so you elevate all of the elements of that experience, including the wine. Wine also tastes better with the presence of good friends, or even new acquaintances who assist in making your trip even better. You might be at dinner, sitting on a patio overlooking majestic mountains, and your wine might taste wonderful because you love the setting so much. Conversely, a bad vacation experience can make wine taste worse.

So, if you buy wine while on vacation and bring it home, you will have a different set of circumstances when you eventually drink it, which will affect your perceived taste of that wine. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy wine on vacation. You just need to understand how your surroundings affect the taste of your wine, and maybe lower your expectations of how that wine might taste at home. It will likely still taste delicious, but it may not seem as transcendent as it did on vacation. Or you can provide a better set of circumstances when you finally drink that wine at home, trying to elevate everything. For example, share the bottle with some great friends, and reminisce about your vacation experience.

1 comment:

Kate Burton said...

There’s no better way to spend your vacation than having a sweet glass of good wine at the end of the day. Especially if you are in Barcelona or places that are known for their excellent vintages. As you already know, wine taste really varies on the environment you are in or mood you have. So if you bought a good wine from your vacation, it’s best to share it with family members or have some friends come over for a small get-together. Cheers!

Kate Burton @ Ziryab