Fear of Wine — simple steps to make it go away

Many women I know suffer from what I have finally diagnosed as Fear of Wine. It’s mostly caused by a lack of confidence, despite their decades of buying wine for dinners and parties – and even ordering themselves a glass at a restaurant.
This is OK with me, because it means I have a purpose in my group of friends — more than simply choosing the wine when we go out to dinner. I spend a certain amount of time gently trying to empower my friends.
I don’t expect people to remember everything I tell them about a particular wine or even a wine region I have visited. Instead, I want them to learn what they like, and what they don’t, and feel a little more comfortable in their own skins, in the world of wine.
My group is not unusual among women of our age – say, over 40 – in their wine concerns. And I think most wine writers play on this anxiety by talking about “de-mystifying” wine. If wine is that complex, can a non-professional really hope to learn enough that in an article or a book? If a writer thinks wine is “mystifying” I believe they secretly want it to stay that way. No non-professionals allowed behind the magic curtain!
But that’s not me.
I like to give people a few tools. I have even taught my very young nieces and nephews to look at wine in a glass, to swirl and sniff, to slurp and spit wine. And most importantly, to tell me what they think. What is this color – red, orange or purple? What does this smell or taste like – any fruit they can think of? Do they want to spit it out or swallow it?
Yeah, pretty much it’s that simple.
First Step: Do you like the wine that’s in your mouth?
Next step: When you find a wine you like, take a picture of the label with your phone. Next time you’re ordering wine, ask a waiter or wine clerk for another glass or bottle from that region. How do you like it?
If yes, keep trying others from that region.
If no, try another region.
Wine is about enjoyment, after all.
Step by step, we’re banishing that Fear of Wine.

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