5 Unexpected Commonalities Between Wine and Meditation
Learning about wine. And learning to meditate.
This week I’ve been thinking about all the ways those two things share some common ground. Wine and meditation make for a compelling parallel, not least because we’ve “been there, done that” on the wine front, so we’re already halfway there. Why not let that process inspire the one for meditation?
Let me tease out a few commonalities between these two seemingly incongruous things that both resonate with this ABG community.
1. All the rules. And then all the joy.
Think back for a moment, to when you first decided that wine was worth knowing something about. It was a little daunting, wasn’t it? For me, it seemed like there were all these rules and how you’re “supposed” to taste and talk about wine. We’re taught to LEARN about it and then eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) we simply come to enjoy it.
Meditation is like that, I think. At first, we think that there are rules we need to follow and certain ways we’re supposed to do it. We think there’s something to LEARN there too, and the sooner we get to the simply-enjoy-it part, the better.
Neither wine nor meditation needs to be as precious as all that learning and all those rules seem to imply.
Are there well-hewn strategies, both for how to taste wine and how to meditate? Certainly, and it’s good to know about them. But that doesn’t mean we’re bound to them forever.
You know how helpful it is when some concept in wine is visualized? Maps of Burgundy’s classifications, say, or the shapes of different grape leaves. It’s the same with meditation. Some of the most effective meditations are actually guided visualizations, spoken by a gifted teacher.
Eventually, yes, it would be cool to also imagine the landscape of Burgundy without looking at a map, and it’s also cool to sit in silent meditation for a period of time without audio prompts. But visualizations, in both cases, are so helpful in the meantime, and always something to come back to whenever we need it.
3. Baby steps!
When we explore wine, we take sips, a little at a time. When we explore meditation, we can do the same thing. A few minutes more often, rather than a magnum session.
Maybe it’s in a class you take, either in wine tasting or in meditation, and maybe they’re other students of a teacher you happen to gravitate toward. Whoever they are, you’ll find your people, the ones who get you. They’re there; we’re here.
5. Let yourself enjoy it
That’s the bottom line, always, whether it’s wine or meditation or both. Take a break from taking it so seriously. Get it wrong. Fall off, then get back on. Remember that both wine and meditation can be pleasurable and even symbiotic building blocks of a healthy lifestyle.
There’s no perfect way, no “supposed to” that matters, really, except the one that’s right for you.
I hope it helps.
What We're Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
Five Ways for Workplaces to Help Support Employee Happiness – GreaterGoodScience.com
The latest research on well-being at work can help your organization thrive.
Why Women in the Wine Industry Stay Silent About Abuse – Amy Bess Cook for SevenFiftyDaily.com
WOW Sonoma Founder Amy Bess Cook tackles a topic too often ignored, and offers insightful ways to move the conversation forward.
Meet the Tribe!
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Michael Metzger, Key Accounts Manager, New York, Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners (USA)
Years in the Industry:
My life in hospitality began at university where tip money would pay for my rent, books, and maybe a couple of beers for my housemates and me. Moving to New York City in 2005 for music production school, I found myself inspired by bottles of wine and bought a one-way ticket to Australia, landing at Yarra Yering in the Yarra Valley.
After a year volunteering, I spent two months in Mendoza, and a year in the Caribbean continuing to develop my understanding of biodynamic wine growing and the higher proof theory of cocktail culture. Returning to Manhattan, I became a sommelier, managing a million dollar wine cellar for a Landry’s property. Then in the midst of multiple 60+ hour work weeks, I began to question what it meant to take care of my mind, body, and soul and knew I needed a change.
In 2013 I accepted a job with Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, and haven’t looked back.
My Biggest Challenge to Wellness:
My constant challenge is, how do I maintain my health and a regiment of moderation, when a source of joy, enlightenment, and income come from alcohol? After all, I work in the wine business. I love drinking wine. I love selling wine. I love everything about sharing wine and the discussions that follow. It's a fine line.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Eating well is the most important for me - portion control, deliberate hydration, and an ability to resist processed foods are at the top of my list. When I open a bottle of wine, I share that bottle - which I consider a type of portion control.
Selling wine on the streets of New York is like being on a treadmill, so for detox, it's steam room > plunge pool > steam room > plunge pool to sweat out that wine life!
Finally, travel, reading and daydreaming provides me with a welcome escape from the daily grind.
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.
Attendee at TEXSOM Sommelier Conference in Dallas, August 18 to 20 (Beck)
Speaker at Dream Big Darling in Paso Robles, September 15 to 17 (Cathy)
Finalist at Louis Roederer Wine Writers' Awards, London, September 18 (Cathy)
Emcee at Australia Decanted in Lake Tahoe, Oct. 6 to 9 (Cathy)
Presenter at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, February 25 to 29 (Cathy)
Presenter at the Future Wine Expo in Santa Rosa, May 12 and 13 (Cathy)