Tasting in the Home: How Your Five Senses Bring Pleasure to the Wine You Drink

When I was young and growing up in Colorado, the really spectacular flowers would bloom only in the small space of time between late spring freezes and the hot, dry summer months. When they did, my mom and I would walk up and down the streets of our neighborhood looking at the flower beds people had planted, but I knew that we were really looking for one flower in particular: lilac. When my mom spotted a full bush of lilacs in bloom, her eyes would light up and she would bee-line straight for them. Eyes closed, face raised to the hanging blooms, she would say simply: “this is my favorite smell in the entire world.” To this day, if I smell a lilac bush, I can see her face, smiling up as she breathed them in. To me, lilacs mean one thing: my mother.

One of the reasons that wine is so enjoyable is that it captures all of your senses and pulls once-lost memories, feelings, and people back to us. Wine grapes are so special because they can encompass, in one single berry, smells and flavors that we have been enjoying our entire lives. We do not put chocolate-covered cherries in our Essere Mi Red Blend, yet every time I raise a glass of it to my nose I see my stepfather, munching happily on bonbons every Christmas. When we take the time to move through a wine step-by-step, using each of our senses in turn, we can connect with ourselves more deeply, as well as with those whom we share it. By following a few easy steps, you can turn wine drinking into wine savoring, wine sniffing into aromatherapy, and wine pairing into a work of art.

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