Sometimes the Best Wine Advice is Your Own

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I’ve had some dubious wine recommendations in the past, but the funniest was offered by an eager waiter at a restaurant I visited recently. Extolling the virtues of his favorite by-the-glass Malbec, he added confidently, “and it’s organic, which means they add extra spices to it when they make it.” Even my 13 year old son, who’s more interested in skateboards and cute girls than winemaking procedures, looked confused. “Mom, what kind of spices do they add to wine?” he asked, after the waiter sailed off to get me a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Clearly, a little wine knowledge can be a dangerous thing, so my advice to you is: take your waiter’s recommendations with a grain of salt (unless, of course, you’re working with an experienced sommelier, who can often guide you to a wonderful selection), pay attention to the styles and varietals you enjoy, and seek these out in a restaurant. Most waiters will happily get you a taste of the wine in which you are interested, so you can make an informed decision (instead of blindly accepting his/her recommendation).  I work with a world-renowned wine sensory scientist who is asked all the time, “what is the best wine?” Her answer is always, “the wine you like.”  I like the idea that we can all be our own wine experts.