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February 29, 2024

Why is Wine Important

In December 20222 I completed my application to be a fellow at the Wine Writers Symposium. It felt like a long shot. I had an international trip planned at the same time as the conference, which shows you my lack of confidence in applying. Fast forward: I was accepted as a fellow at the symposium, I adjusted my schedule, and had an incredible time participating. This was one of the essays I wrote for my application. 

The prompt: Why is wine important?

Wine isn’t important. It really isn’t. It is colored liquid in a glass, that is quite uninteresting to look at. The world is overstimulating and difficult. You will not find wine in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s hard to carry the torch of the importance of wine when many are stuck trying to meet the needs at their physiological and safety levels. 

The wine communication business cares A LOT about wine. Every last detail of the wine. Spoiler alert: the general population does not. They care LESS about esoteric facts and MORE about what’s the wine going to do for them. How is it going to taste? How will it make them feel? Will it evoke a memory? Or make them want to tell a story? Or will it simply be a pleasant-tasting liquid that makes you feel warm after a couple of glasses?

To wine communicators, wine is the main event, to others, it is not. To others it fills a space in your hand, makes you feel warm and fuzzy, and is something to enjoy once the sun goes down. 

Imagine this tableau: You sitting on a chair at a bare table staring at a solitary glass of wine. Zoom in to the glass of wine. Pretty boring to look at, right? Remember, THIS is our main event. Now let’s think about that same glass of wine and zoom out into a different scenario. You are in a different place, sitting at a different table. On the table is a cornucopia of colors, food, flavors, and textures; some familiar, some new. Much more interesting than the lone glass. 

Let’s zoom out even more. We have the wine glass and the table full of all the things. Who are you with at this table? Are you there with people you have not seen in a while? Old friends? New friends? Are you all of the same culture/background? Each of these things will affect your experience of wine.

Let’s Zoom out even more. Where are you: in your backyard, at a friend’s house, or dining outdoors on the river in Bangkok? When you’re talking about wine, all of these things are important: the table, the food, the company, and where you are. Not just the juice in the glass. 

As a writer, I also try to tell the story, and not just check the box of sharing a wine and giving standard tasting notes. People want more and they value authenticity. As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  

Think outside the glass. How can we make wine important? By sharing about wine in a way that is interesting, different, and personal. 

Zoom back into that lone wine glass on a table. Pretty boring, right? This is a reminder that the wine, the liquid in the glass, is just the tip of the iceberg. Wine is a shared sensory experience, and that sensory ecosystem includes memories, senses, smells, tastes, and experiences. Those are all that make wine important. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re looking to Up Your Wine Game and Drink Better, consider booking a private in-person or virtual wine tasting experience.
Brianne Cohen Wine Educator
Brianne Cohen is a Los Angeles-based certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant, and writer.

Brianne has educated and entertained over 10,000 people through her in-person and virtual wine tasting experiences.

Brianne holds the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma certificate, one of the most coveted wine certifications in the world. When she’s not helping people Up Their Wine Game, she can be found judging at international wine competitions

Brianne aims to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine in their everyday lives.

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Sample Policy

As a wine writer, I frequently accept samples for review on my  website and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions.

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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