It occurred to me that a Zen experience can be created through appreciating and enjoying a nice bottle of wine. Designing all of the parts that come together (time, environment, wine, company (or not)) to savor wine and fully embody the time and space.
*Zen emphasizes experiential Wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment.*
How to get into the Zen of Tasting Wine… Even if you are not a wine connoisseur; let your intuition lead you in choosing wines. First, choose a bottle: mostly based on the overall vibe, including: label, grape, region, bottle shape, year and price. Then, look at the back & read the summary. I know it is silly; but if you “feel it“ or “get into” there is a better chance you should buy it. Try to envision the wine and its experience before you even taste it! Imagine a wine expert evaluating this statement, no don’t. Also, look to see if it is has Sulfates =not good (headache). Be a little adventuresome and travel to different parts of the world & get to know them through tasting the qualities of their wine.
The terms and knowledge are useful to deepen the experience of drinking it but not a requirement. How would some one find the Zen in Tasting WINE?
It is like anything you savor, recognize and bring your awareness to in the moment. Completely appreciating all it has to offer you.
Once you have the “right” bottle, take it to the “right” place and put it in the “right” glass. Open it in a mindful way. You can straighten your spine, open your chest, put your hand on the base of the glass swirling it around to “open the bouquet”, lift the glass, take a few deep breaths absorbing all the wonderful aromas, then sip enough that you can still swish it around your mouth. Think about what is happening to your taste buds. Finally, swallow and enjoy!! If the bottle is good and to your liking; you are in Heaven and should Repeat Responsibly!
Whatever works for you and your company, menu & atmosphere is the “right” bottle. There are so many different types of wines that you can become overwhelmed. Read, ask or simply go with your educated guess until you have “mastered” buying the “right wine” and it becomes a simple and satisfying process.
*As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct realization through meditation and dharma practice. *
If you want a little direction on how some of the wine experts base their experience use these four stages to wine tasting:
The appearance of the wine ? How it looks in color. After you swirl a major change means the wine is more complex wine. No changes mean it is a simpler wine.
How does it smell in the glass? Detect hints of familiar smells. You want to note the things you smell for the next step.
What sensations does it produce when held in your mouth? Try to note the full flavor of the wine and see if you pick up the hints of flavor that you smelled!
What finish – or aftertaste – does it have? Was it light, medium, or full-bodied? What is the flavor impression – fruit, butter, oak? How long did the taste last?
These four things combine to establish the properties of a wine, such as the complexity, character and suitability for drinking.
* The more wines you taste, the better you will become with this entire sensory process. The Ahhhhhhh moments are what it’s all about in the end! Not being an expert can add mystery and suspense to the art of buying and tasting wine. Remember it is all an opportunity for growth. If you have any wine wisdom and care to share it would be wickedly intoxicating to hear your take on the Zen of wine tasting!!