Wine Gladdens The Heart Of Man.

(The Liver … Not So Much)

Chapter One, Part Five.
Wine Gladdens The Hearts Of Men Don Carter Winesnark

A couple of weeks ago I asked, “What is it about wine that has stirred the human spirit for so many centuries?” There are those who say wine is like a religious experience because, much like sitting in church, it can make you drowsy. There’s something else that draws us to wine that seldom gets mentioned in magazines or newspapers unless Lindsay Lohan is involved.

Early man discovered that grape juice, when exposed to yeast, ferments into alcohol. Now let me hear you say hallelujah brothers and sisters because to my mind the discovery of fermentation ranks right up there with the wheel, the lever, and squeeze bottle catsup.

Alcohol stimulates the accumbens nucleus, which is the part of your brain responsible for pleasure, laughter, aggression and fear, or as I like to call it, a typical weekend with the in-laws.

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I Laughed, I Cried, I Danced.

Chapter One, Part Four.
Winesnark Don Carter, I laughed, I cried, I danced Gangnam stlye.What is it about wine that has stirred the human spirit for so many centuries? Mountain Dew doesn’t make you laugh and cry or move you to photocopy your keister at the office Christmas party. Critics don’t rate tea on a 100 point scale and Starbucks doesn’t age its coffee in a musty cellar for years. It only tastes that way.

Wine affects people differently because, unlike most beverages, it strikes an emotional chord in our psyche. When your brain memorizes an aroma, the memory gets entangled in the part of the brain that manages your emotions.

Perhaps you’ve experienced a warm, glowing feeling when aromas of cinnamon or vanilla remind you of your grandmother’s kitchen. I could be way off base here. Your grandmother’s kitchen may have smelled like cheap gin and cigarettes. 

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How Do You Find The Wine?

Chapter One, Part Two.
Snobby Sommelier was created to improve the human condition through a thought provoking exploration of wine appreciation. That, and it will teach you how to deal with asshole waiters.

Has this ever happened to you? The sommelier pours a sample of the wine you ordered and asks, “How do you find the wine?”

You reply, “Why’re you asking me how to find the wine? Why don’t you look in the wine cellar?”

“No sir, I mean what do you think of the wine in your glass?”

You look at the sample in your glass and say, “I think that’s a pretty small pour. Why don’t you give me a full glass, I’m gonna pay for it.”

The waiter rolls his eyes, fills your glass and asks, “Will you be requiring club soda in your wine tonight sir?”

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Shelf Talker Stupor.

Chapter One, Part One.
Shelf Talker Stupor 1The ink was still wet on my Wine & Spirit Education Trust final exam when I opened the doors to my new wine store so you can imagine my frustration when the first customers didn’t march in and ask me about trellis systems or microclimates.

It didn’t bother me that my customers didn’t care about things like yeast autolysis (the removal of unsightly facial hair from yeast organisms). What bothered me was that I had just spent a small fortune on a superfluous wine education.

I soon learned that most people are only marginally interested in wine. The average wine drinker doesn’t age or decant wine before they drink it. When they buy a bottle of wine, it ages on the way home and breathes on the way down.

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Grape Expectations.

Chapter One, Part Three.

Grapes in Glass Look, I know the drill. I’ve been there myself. You’re in a wine store reading those little signs in front of each wine when you start to feel out of place, kind of like one of those Duck Dynasty guys who mistakenly wandered into a gay pride parade.

Shelf talkers tout the virtues of the wine at hand, and usually contain a wine review from a magazine or newspaper. As you read how a wine “displays aromas of agave curd caressed by nuances of Louisiana road tar,” you find yourself thinking, “I never smell and taste these things in my wine.” You may have wondered, “What’s wrong with me? Am I perceptually challenged?”

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