All of us have a ‘comfort zone’ in many aspects of our lives. For some, it’s with our finances, avoiding ‘risky’ ventures at all costs. For some, it’s their clothes, knowing what they like and avoiding ‘new’ or ‘trendy’ pants or shirts. And many of these ‘issues’ have to do with generalizations we build up in our own minds – THAT’s too risky because the TYPE of investment has been shown to be too risky in the past, not necessarily this specific investment, for instance.
The same could be said about wine drinkers and what they like to drink. There are always exceptions to any rule, but in general, people tend to like to drink what they are familiar with OR what others have told them they will like OR what a reviewer has ‘recommended’ they would like based on their ratings. ‘I only drink red wines’ is a common phrase I hear at tastings, with the person in front of me initially refusing to even TRY the white wines I am trying to pour . . . Or ‘I don’t drink roses’ because the person had tried one some time ago, found it sweet, and does not want to relive that experience!
On a wine board that I frequent, some readers took offense to a reviewer who said that some may not try a wine because they were ‘incapable of thinking outside the box’ . . .The wine in question is one that is barrel aged for a number of years – and sports an alcohol level north of 18%. Now this is certainly not a ‘wine for everyone’, but my read of the reviewer was that he was simply saying that this wine, because of its stated alcohol level, was outside most wine drinkers’ comfort zones . . .
I readily admit that I have my ‘go to’ wines depending upon my mood and the situation, At specific times, if someone offers me something else, I may not want to try it . . . simply because it’s outside my ‘comfort zone’ at that time . . .
That said, I really try my hardest to keep my eyes, ears, and mind wide open when it comes to wine. I tend to try things many others choose not to. For instance, I attended a wine dinner recently where someone opened up a bottle of pinot that had experienced a secondary fermentation in the bottle. It did not smell pretty – band aid, vinyl siding . . . not the type of descriptors I want in a wine. That said, I HAD to try it – when else might I ever experience such a wine??!??!?!
What’s my point here? I guess it’s that we should all strive to ‘maximize’ our comfort zone from time to time, venturing outside of its normal boundaries to explore things we might not otherwise. Try not to ‘predict’ that you will not like a wine because of what is printed on the label – alcohol levels, variety. where the grapes came from, etc . . . My bet is that with wine, as with most other things in life, our comfort zones might be wider than we think they are . . .
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well . . .