I love tasting wine. It's all I ever wanted to do - a good stem and notes in hand, glistening bottles ready to be poured. There's something magical about the whole process, this intense concentration when all you want to do is understand what's in the glass, calling on all your knowledge and experience. And of adventure too, when you come across something completely unexpected and wonderful.
I was never taught how to taste. So you just figure out what works, what doesn't. It's just about working at it methodically - taking notes, reading/learning how professionals write, and developing a routine. And of course, being patient, because it takes a long time (and many, many bottles) before you begin understanding why a wine tastes the way it does. I've been to enough tastings to understand how fallible the palate is, how you can easily be overwhelmed after tasting dozens of wines. It's always fun to sledgehammer through 70, 80, 90 wines in one go, but we have to be honest with ourselves, and admit that after the first 15-20 or so, our palate sensitivity and accuracy starts taking a steep dive.
It's been so, so long since I've had the opportunity to just taste. Was in Niagara in the spring, and it was great to look at the new vintage - need to go down sometime soon to check out how the 2012's are showing, and this time, with the right tasting companion. Want to share in all this with my friends, but for the most part, have to temper my enthusiasm, because not everyone gives a shit about the swirl, nose, and spit. Another weekend at home, working on finishing my Berkeley Haas application. Still waiting for that breakthrough, that moment of inspiration ...