Happy New Year! New years are always exciting and filled with the hope of change, editing, tweaking, and sending new sparks into the world.
I promise this blog will not spend 2023 writing solely about wine reviews. Late last year, we covered how ratings never occur in a vacuum and how past performance will impact future satisfaction. I wanted to explore one more impact that reviews and ratings can have and how the idea can improve your year.
After I have a wine, I will often sit down to rate it based on my gut reaction – maybe it was smooth, with distinct flavors, and is a clear 4.5 stars. Other times, I try a wine that is glorified grape juice, and I am likely to want to give it a 3-3.5 star rating. In either case, when I rate it, I want to leave specific tasting notes, so I know more about it when I buy in the future. When I sit down to leave these notes, my opinion is refined.
In particular, when I taste a wine that strikes me as a three-star affair but sit down to taste it and get specific, new notes and subtleties pop out. Slowing down to analyze the flavors improves my perception. The rating goes from three stars to 3.2.
We often use buckets that are too big to categorize our experiences, so when we slow down and take time to encounter, identify, and catalog, we find new ways to appreciate the subject of our analysis.
Ok, so what does this have to do with the new year? I want to encourage you to get specific this year. Don’t stay at the surface or your initial gut reaction; dive in and identify what you are experiencing. To use the analogy, sit down and name the flavors. You may find something that wasn’t apparent on the surface. Frequently this will increase your gratitude and bring a fresh perspective that will result in a greater connection and appreciation of the world around you.
It’s a new year; make a point of being present and refining your opinion with a second look at what you are experiencing.