Day 14: 30 Seconds is All It Takes


How many of you have heard of Kevin Zraly's 30-second practice?

I have no idea if Kevin himself would call it a "practice," but it feels like a practice and it's a neat thing to know about in any case.

You take a sip of wine and hold it in your mouth for five seconds so that it comes to body temperature. Then you swallow the wine and just observe -- without saying anything at all -- for the next 30 seconds. Just give the wine 30 seconds of your undivided attention, and watch what happens in your body. Watch how the wine evolves, and watch how your body responds to it.

It kind of blows me away every time I do it, whether I'm alone or leading a tasting for a group.

Why do I love it so much?

First, as someone in the tasting group inevitably points out, how often do we give ANYTHING 30 seconds of our undivided attention these days? It's actually *restful.*

Second, it's a fantastic way for newcomers to wine in particular to develop trust in their own opinions and their own responses to a wine. As someone in a tasting group said last week, "Oh. So THAT's chardonnay," despite his firm belief that all California chardonnay was one-dimensional. He needed the attention -- all of 30 seconds -- to give it half a chance to evolve and bloom.

Third, and most relevant to this 30-day mindfulness series, giving a new wine 30 seconds of your undivided attention is a lovely way to get into the practice of pausing. Pausing before you react. Pausing to consider a response. Pausing long enough to see if you even need to react at all. Pausing to give your kneejerk reaction some time to fade away.

Thirty seconds is all it takes to pause and say, Hmm. Let's see what's happening here.

You can see, I'm sure, how 30 seconds of undivided attention to a wine is applicable to 30 seconds of observing just about anything. Consider it 30 seconds of respite. Give yourself a chance.

And let us know how it goes.



PS This whole 30-day practice is up on the blog of Beck's website, A Balanced Glass. Enjoy!

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