What is a wine experience?
There are probably as many experiences as the number of people that take part. Each experience is different from the curiosity, motivation, preparation we have towards our expectations and, obviously, also in relation to the people who propose it and with whom we share it. An appetizer with friends can still be an experience, where the convivial aspect has priority over the drinking, vice versa during a wine experience the focus is on what we drink instead of who we are doing it with… however, this latter aspect is not secondary because those who take part in a wine experience normally have an expectation to gratify
The world of wine offers many interesting ideas to create engaging experiences: for example a guided tasting experience is already, in itself, an engaging experience. The expert guides the participant in a sensory experience that makes him attentive and aware, our senses that in normal conditions act through automatisms and habits are suddenly “slowed down” and put under observation and we realize that we see, smell and enjoy wine at a different level. In a word, “we feel” at a deeper level, because we give our actions full attention.
This experience changes once again if we transfer it into the context and the territory where wine is produced: it is no longer just a matter of tasting one or more wines and grasping their characteristics, but rather of being prepared to “get to know” and open up to others, not only to the drink, but to the environment and to the people who produce it, in a word: to that “terroir” so rich and so difficult to relate in a short time, so much that we Italians who usually have words for everything, have not yet managed to create the correct translation.
I find it very amusing and pleasant, when at the end of an event, that contemplates tasting, the explanation of the territory and of the wine, the guest tells me “Do you know that once explained, is more valued?” And often I answer “yes, I know because the same thing happens, for example, when we undergo an experience of knowledge towards art or music”.
Quando l’esperienza si fa in cantina, l’ospite “tocca con mano” la realtà produttiva e incrocia lo sguardo del produttore, riconosce il suo impegno e quando si passa alla degustazione, l’importanza non è più solo sul vino, bensì tra la relazione tra la bevanda e le persone, in un rito che si ripete uguale, da decine di secoli, che celebra il “benvenuto” verso l’ospite e lo fa accostando i calici: è il gesto dell’accoglienza in sé, che supera le barriere emotive e linguistiche e che predispone la condivisione.
When the experience is done in a cellar, the guest “touches” the production environment and meets the producer’s gaze, he recognizes his commitment and once he passes to the tasting stage, the importance is no longer only on the wine, but on the relationship between the drink and the people, in a ritual that is repeated the same, for tens of centuries, that celebrates the guest’s “welcome” by bringing the glasses together: it is itself a gesture of acceptance, which exceeds emotional and linguistic barriers that creates the ground for sharing
It is this concept of magic in meeting, that led me, after so many years, into merging my knowledge of wine and my vocation for communication into a wine tourism proposal: listening, welcoming the request for knowledge, gratifying it, without trespassing on technicalities , reducing the awe towards the world of wine and increasing awareness, even towards consumption.
One last thing: an authentic wine experience, does not end with the tasting, if the wine lover wants it, it can continue over time, increase, renew itself, as much as the number of harvest in front of us.