Sunday, March 23, 2014

Heart and soul

I walked a tightrope during our last day of Operations Management class last week, and was rewarded for it. That thin line between honesty and stupidity. A fool I remain. But at least a brave one, to the end. At the beginning of the term, we were given the option of submitting a 'Show and Tell'. Something, anything we came across, experienced, whatever, that was applicable as an operations case. And so I submitted something about wine, to the surprise of no one. I know what I'm about son. 

I talked about sherry - specifically, the complexities of the solera system, and the scale of the number of botas these bodegas manage. The night before, I get an email from the professors asking me to prepare a short presentation for the class. Right. I had to make a choice. And I decided to go in a direction opposite of where I was probably supposed to go. At a fork in the road, and I went left instead of right. But hey, always be true to yourself, right. I went up there, in front of all my classmates and professors, and proclaimed that for sherry bodegas, operational efficiency was not important, and would destroy its heart and soul. Bold statements. Maybe not the best thing to say before the final exam. No, definitely not the best thing to say. But I said it, the class voted The Cask of Fino as the best out of the 3 'Show and Tells', and I walked out with a bottle of Cava. A good final day of classes.

I'm reminded of why I love wine. In a word, honesty. Because to begin understanding and truly appreciating wine, we have to first find that honesty. In wine, and also in ourselves. A wine will never lie to you - all the marketing, all the nonsense critics come up with - it's all for naught, because what is in the glass cannot hide. But to be able to see through the smoke and mirrors requires honesty from ourselves too. To put aside egos, to know that there's far more that we don't know than what we do ... to always be curious, to always have a sense of excitement, of mystery. To still be able to be stunned speechless in wonder by a glass.

In front of an MBA class, talking about heart and soul is, well, pointless. But if I can get one person ... just one person to see what I'm trying to get at, to feel instead of analyze ... I will be very happy indeed.

Heart and soul baby. Heart and soul. 


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