It’s the weekend, you’ve had a long week and you decide to open a bottle of wine. Do I have your attention yet? Good! You end up loving the wine. It hits all the right places in your mouth and makes you the happiest person on earth. A week goes by and it’s the weekend, again. You remember about this terrific wine and decide to open another bottle… Big disappointment! It does not taste like it did last week but it is the same wine, kept under the same conditions. Why is that?! What happened?!
Wine perception can be tricky. A big part of wine tasting is done with your emotions, not just your taste buds. It’s how it makes you feel, based on your current emotional condition. I’m not saying that you need deep concentration or meditation before each sip of wine, just be mindful of your state of mind when drinking or tasting. Your mood does influence your sense of taste and smell, therefore affecting your appreciation for any given wine.
If you need to, close your eyes and make total abstraction of the surroundings and other distractions. This will create some sort of intimate and special bond that is sometimes necessary to get the true taste of a wine.
If I could be uncharacteristically serious for just a moment: During the Nazi occupation of France in WWII, Germans would often dine at famous restaurants and demand outstanding vintages. I doubt they even paid for them, but that’s another story. It was a fairly common trick for the French to collect dust from carpet cleaning shops and old barns, and blow it all over the racks of bottles of the worst (unlabeled) wine they had. They’d bring it up from the cellars, and show it at the dinner party before wiping it off and opening it up. Almost no one ever complained.
Once again, it’s not always about the wine; it’s also about the ambiance, the atmosphere and everything around it. It’s all these tiny details that end up contributing to how much you may like or dislike a wine. I guess you could say there’s a time and a place for everything, and wine is no exception.