The Mindfulness of Wine Tasting

I love to talk about and practice mindfulness, and with the 2014 Los Gatos Fall Wine Walk right around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to talk about how wine tasting can truly be a mindfulness activity. :)

I mean, think about it, when we are out wine tasting we use all of our senses to determine if we like a wine or not. We start by seeing the color, visually taking it in, then swirling the wine around the glass and observing it again, followed by smelling it, allowing the aromas to permeate our noses, and finally, taking a sip and tasting each flavor as it swirls around our mouth and our tongue. Tell me that’s not a practice in mindfulness!

It might seem odd to some of you that a therapist is promoting something alcohol related, but let’s get real, wine tasting is truly an art form. Wine tasting isn’t about going out and getting drunk. It is about indulging our senses in the craftsmanship of each winemaker and viticulturist. It is like walking in to The Tech Museum in downtown San Jose and playing with all the cool tech stuff they have on display. It is there for us to engage with, responsibly. 

Now, back to the idea of wine tasting as a mindfulness activity. Mindfulness is all about being present in the here and now, and experiencing each experience fully. It is about taking in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations happening all around us. For instance, if you were walking around Vasona Park mindfully, you would be looking at the trees and the bushes, possibly watching a butterfly as it flutters by, listening to the birds chirping in the trees, smelling the dirt and the freshness, feeling the crisp air on your skin, and feeling each footstep as your foot touches the ground. While doing all of those things, you would only have your attention on one task at a time. That’s exactly how it works with wine tasting as a mindfulness activity. 

While you are out at the Wine Walk in downtown Los Gatos next weekend (or out wine tasting anywhere else for that matter), I challenge you to engage in the experience as mindfully as you can. As you stand before one of the winery tables, take a deep breath and allow yourself to be fully present. Take your time to look at the color of each wine as it is poured. See the way it swirls around the glass and the legs that it leaves behind in your wine glass. Take a long, slow, deep breath in to inhale all of the aromas, and allow the smells to permeate through your entire body. As you take a sip, be sure to do so slowly, allowing all of the different flavors to swish around your palette. And finally, be sure to spit it out and not swallow so that you don’t end up getting drunk on all of the great wines you’ll be trying out! ;)

Just a note, if your goal is to get drunk while out at the Wine Walk, if you find that you have trouble knowing when to stop when you do engage in the consumption of alcohol, or if others tell you that your drinking may be problematic, perhaps it is time to seek help. Professional help and peer support such as Alcoholics Anonymous are available to you if you need. 

If you would like to learn more about how to use mindfulness in your life, contact us today for your free initial consultation. Or, feel free to check out this MeetUp Group dedicated to Mindfulness and Meditation for Women