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Drinking Widely to Drink Well

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There are no rules to wine so drink what you like though a rounded drinker will learn to drink widely. Knowing the wines of the world is the idea and really the only wine to reject is a faulty wine and these are uncommon. View the world as yours to conquer.

When we set off on a buying trip the rules are quite simple. Seek out good wine of any type and offer a fair price. We do not have preferences, as we do not see wine as a popularity contest, the reason I have never been comfortable with the common view that the journey of wine is to discover what you like.

I think it is sad having narrow tastes and to reject any well-made wine because you do not like it confuses me. I make exceptions for those craving sweetness as such drinkers are what they are though I feel sorrow that we will never share a carafe of the finest Manzanilla.

Huge search sites like Wine Searcher, Vivino, and many commentators, businesses and marketers promote one idea which is the journey of the wine drinker is to discover what they like and presumably they believe you dig in till you die. The AI machines will work out what you prefer from your buying patterns and the business model is to promote wines with a similar taste.

The founder of Vivino, Heini Zachariassen explains his motive; ‘You’re sitting in a restaurant and browsing the wine menu or staring at a crowded shelf in a wine store. For myself, I think I likely searched for something like ‘wine recommendation app’ and found Vivino via the App Store, installed it and was snapping photos of labels or menus within minutes. The recommendations provided somewhere to start, and since then the app has grown more personalized as I’ve provided input about my tastes’. Vivino have 50 million users so its big deal when they recently announced ‘it is set to launch a new feature that will show users how likely a wine will match their preferences’.

The winecurmudgeon.com appraised a few curated wine clubs that promise to take the confusion out of buying wine by using science and AI behind their highly personalised wine recommendations, only to find the selection was no better than asking the woman at your local wine shop for a recommendation, and this bit is important, compared to what’s on sale.

I don’t much like either approach, personalised or the local, and I detest the word curated. For me wine means the World of wine and this treasure chest is yours to open. For goodness’s sake wine preferences in Australia are narrow enough without reinforcing it further. Why not instead have a site which recommend a wine you might never try which may just alter your outlook. When I sign of my Monday letters to customers it reads, ‘drink widely drink well’ as that is the goal.

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