“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What are You Afraid of?

I wouldn’t say that I have too many vices. Coffee, chocolate, and wine are what immediately come to mind and not much else. And actually in moderation, I would argue that they are not vices at all. Coffee is an everyday thing, while chocolate and wine I indulge in less frequently. So what is it about entering a wine shop, though, that makes many people uncomfortable? Is it the atmosphere or a perception that wine drinking is an elite sport and unless one knows what to look for, it can’t be appreciated? Years ago, I had a fear of wine shops : ) In truth, they were intimidating to me because of my own ignorance. But several things changed that. For one, I began to read about the basics of grapes and wine making, then I took a couple of classes and began to visit vineyards to taste wine whenever I had the opportunity. This helped tremendously and allowed me to learn exactly what I like in wine. In addition, I realized that wine really is an art and for many, a profession, and those passionate about wine were more than likely working with it on a daily basis and those authentically passionate souls were also teaching it to others. In class one night, the instructor made the statement, “Good wine is wine that you like.” True, many high priced wines are far superior to less expensive wines, but I’ve tried high-end wines in the past that I wasn’t crazy about while I’ve fallen in love with some inexpensive bottles. It truly is what you like. One particular wine shop that I’ve come to adore is the Wine Thief in New Haven, CT. The staff is knowledgeable, they make picking out wine fun, and they have a mission:

…”to ensure that every bottle of wine we sell is savored and enjoyed. If your wine selection fails to meet your expectations, simply return the unused portion for a complete refund.”

This takes the risk out of buying wine and keeps me coming back. With most visits to the Wine Thief, I’ll know the type of wine I’ll looking for, but not sure exactly which bottle to buy. Other times, I’ll walk in just start asking questions and they’re happy to walk me around some of the options. I visited the Wine Thief to buy wine for a 4th of July barbecue. You can meet Robert Jordan in the video below who once again made my experience at their shop enjoyable and who recommended two wines that worked well that day.

So what’s the message in gratitude here? There are several. The most obvious is my appreciation of a nice glass of wine with dinner and to celebrate with friends. Second, we all have the choice to alleviate our fears by running towards them. Sometimes a fear originates from nothing more than a lack of understanding or knowledge. I’m grateful that I took the opportunity to learn something about wine. It eliminated the fear of entering wine shops, which I now see as fun and sometimes even an adventure. And I've met lots of people in the process. Third, people generally want to help and be of service and I found that to be true with the Wine Thief. They are leaders within this community, truly committed to their customers and I’m grateful to have them here in my back yard to provide an invaluable service to us all.

What are you grateful for?

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