You’d love for your friends to appreciate wine as much as you do? Jeriann Watkins has the tips you’ll need!
If you ask me, the best thing about summer is the opportunity to sit outside chatting with friends, sharing a bottle of wine and a plate of cheese, crackers, and summer sausage. In fact, if you asked my fiancé, he would probably say the same thing, even though when we first started dating three years ago, he didn’t think he liked wine. It turns out he just hadn’t found the wine he liked yet.
Wine, like beer, is one of those beverages that people tend to write off after one negative experience. If your only experience with beer is Bud Light, you can’t really say you don’t like beer. You can just say you don’t like crappy beer.
The same goes for wine. One of my good friends has always hated wine, or so she thought. It turns out she hated the wine her Grandma let her sip as a kid. There are three very important factors to keep in mind here:
- Old ladies and children have very different tastes.
- Your taste changes as you age.
- Not every wine tastes the same.
I have tried for years to get Sarah (my friend) to try wine with me. “Just give it a shot,” I beg. No dice. She won’t even take a sip. Then, last summer, we were at a Farmer’s market, sampling great local foods, and I saw a booth for a local winery. Since we were already in sample-mode, she decided to give it a shot. She liked the first wine! She also hated two of them. But she realized that there are in fact wines out there that she enjoys! Now I’m building her up by introducing her to similar wines and expanding from there. So far, we’ve stuck to semi-dry whites, but I think I’ll be able to work her up to some red blends soon.
So if you’re like me, a wine lover surrounded by skeptics, I have a couple of tips for introducing your friends to wine.
Find some fun, affordable events with wine and friends
If you’re not a wine drinker, you’re probably not going to want to go on a bunch of winery tours or pay an exorbitant amount to taste wines you don’t even think you’ll like. But you may want to hang out in a park with live music where there also happens to be wine tastings. If you’ve been convinced that there are at least a couple of wines out there that you like, you might be open to a dinner with wine pairings determined by chefs who know what they’re talking about. Get in your friends’ minds, find out where they are in their acceptance of wine, and then find fun events to further their journey.
If you’d rather stay home, here are some great tips for hosting a wine tasting party of your own! This is a great chance to pick out wines and pairings that suit your friends’ tastes, which leads us too…
Think about their tastes
You know that all wine is not the same, but your friend who has only tasted malt-liquor masquerading as wine does not. Think about things they like. Are they a chocolate fan? Do they love seafood? Do they have a sweet tooth or really enjoy bitter notes? If you’re having them over for dinner, pick out wine that pairs with the food they enjoy most. Then, learn from their response. Maybe they want something sweeter, dryer, or just with a different flavor. Once you find a wine they really enjoy, you can help them branch out.
Remember to be open
Everyone has different tastes. The worst thing to hear is “oh, you just haven’t learned to like it yet.” Or “Well, this is a really good wine, you just don’t appreciate it.” Comments like these are not going to encourage your friends to try more wine. So if you want someone to sit out in the sun with and have a classy wine-centered picnic, be open to their preferences and don’t pressure them. And some people just aren’t wine people at all. You can always enjoy half the bottle while they sip on a beer, soda, or cold mixed beverage of their choice and save the rest for later!
Have you turned any of your friends into wine lovers? Share your stories in the comments!
Jeriann Watkins blogs at dairyairhead.com. She recently vowed to having a mimosa-centric brunch with girlfriends about once a month and has seen drastic improvements to her life because of it. Feel free to check her out on Twitter!
Cheers! ~ Cindy