Winos Like Us… Experience Fear of the Unknown Wine (#4)

Today is day 4 of the #RuckusMakersChallenge and an 8-day series on how Winos like us connect with the world over a glass of wine… 

I know the feeling well.  Standing there in a long aisle of wine… perhaps in a warehouse with lots of long aisles of wine.  And you feel completely overwhelmed by the options available in front of you. While you want to explore and taste something new, you don’t want any wine store peeps to stop and ask you what they can help you find. Because, quite frankly, you have no idea. That and you don’t want to spend your $10 or $15 or $30 on a wine that you end up disliking. So, you resort to that bottle that you’ve had a dozen times before.  It’s a safe choice – in your price range and you know you like it. So you pick it up and walk to the checkout to get out of there so you can stop feeling like such a ninny.

Yes… I know this feeling well.  So well that I started a blog to help me (and all my favorite Winos) make more informed choices! (One might say, choices based on a little extra Wine Know.) When people learn that I’m “into wine”, they typically comment on their own lack of Wine Know – “I love wine, but I just don’t know what to get!” or, “I love wine, but I don’t really know much about it.” Hell, I do that when I meet people who I perceive as having more knowledge on the topic than I do.  I’m realizing that’s what we do to ourselves with most things in our lives. We minimize what we bring to the table – we minimize what we know and what we do.

During the workshop I attended with Seth Godin and 80 Ruckusmakers, we talked a lot about fear and how fear holds us back from leaping and doing the things we really want to do. That might be fear based on not knowing enough; not having enough money; not knowing if you’ll succeed or any number of reasons we create in our own minds about how we are not enough. The crazy thing though is that most (all?) people don’t know enough, have enough money, or know that they’re going to succeed with something. But some people leap anyway. They’re the ones who go in knowing “this might not work.” They face the fear and create experiences. They live the life they want to live. They drink new wines they may not like. And in that process, they are making connections with others in moments of vulnerability that they’d otherwise not experience. I’m guessing they learn a lot more along the way than those of us who always play it safe.

I realize this is a bit of a stretch. Talking about selecting wines and making leaps in life.  But I’d like to think it is a small example of how we can practice doing something that makes us feel the discomfort. The discomfort of doing something that might not work or choosing something you might not like. Selecting a wine we’re unfamiliar with may not seem like a big deal, but it’s practice. Practice for trying new things. For setting ourselves up for new experiences and for new opportunities to connect with the world around us…

So let’s take this little wine leap together. I hereby challenge you this week to try a wine you’ve never had before! Especially if you’ve been drinking the same type of wine over and over again for the past few months. Pick up a bottle of the one with the label you don’t understand, or the one that makes you wonder whether its noting the grape or the region, or the one that you can’t tell from the bottle if it is a white or red wine. Accept this challenge knowing “I might not like this wine, but I’m going to try it anyway”.  Why? Because it will help you refine your palate – to learn more about what you do or don’t like. And you might just find a wine that you fall in love with! And maybe it will become a practice that helps you make other leaps in life…

Here’s a few steps to help:

  1. Go to your local wine store (not the grocery store). Here in the Valley of the Sun, I recommend AZ Wine, Tarbell’s Wine Store, Brix, Wedge & Bottle, Wine Warehouse. (Disclaimer: I sell wine as a distributor to most of these wine shops, but not all. They all have knowledgable Wine Knows on staff!)
  2. Talk to the associate and don’t worry about sounding stupid. You don’t.
  3. Tell them how much you’re willing to spend. Don’t feel the need to bump up your budget just because you’re talking to the wine store associate. Be honest! They’re happy you’re buying wine!
  4. Tell them about a wine you recently had and enjoyed (grape or region), but that you’re looking to try something new.
  5. OR tell them what you’re going to eat with this bottle of wine and that you want a pairing suggestion.
  6. Tell us what you tried!! Comment here, or post on Twitter or Facebook #NoWineFear

Final comment: I put all this out there knowing that I struggle immensely with taking leaps. Every day. Even when selecting wines. So to me, this isn’t silly at all.

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