Stop Playing It Safe

A couple in their mid-30’s walked into the winery one day to do a tasting. The man, who I’ll refer to as Guy, strode up to the bar with the woman, who I’ll refer to as Bibi, on his arm. He immediately asked me, before I even had a chance to say anything, if we had Italian-style wine. I replied calmly, “No, we specialize in Old World French style wines, especially with our dry reds.” He snorted and arrogantly stated he “only likes Italian wine.” Well, then why on earth are you here? But he decided to give the wines a try.

He checked off a few wines he wanted to try and asked if any of them compare to an Italian wine. I again stated, “Not really as we do more French style wines, not Italian. We do have a couple softer reds that might resemble a Chianti slightly, but nothing specifically Italian.” I proceeded with the tasting of all dry reds for Guy as he requested, and after each taste would assert, “This tastes nothing like Italian wine.”  I, the Queen of Sarcasm, struggled to stay silent.

After the fourth taste of a dry red wine, Guy declared the wines a bust and not to his liking as they taste nothing like Italian wine, and he LOVES Italian wine. Apparently, there’s nothing better. I raised an eyebrow (which happens involuntarily when I have certain thoughts) and gazed at him. My witty reply? “We don’t make Italian wine, hence, our wines don’t taste like Italian wine. I’m sorry they did not meet your taste.” Again, the biting of the tongue…I think I drew blood.

Guy and Bibi (who was more or less inconsequential and nodding at whatever he said) walked out of the winery arm in arm without purchasing a thing. Obviously, I wasn’t surprised. What I was surprised at was their unwillingness to try anything beyond their expectation and preference. They, or should I say Guy, came in with a preconceived idea of what they wanted and refused to budge. He wasn’t even willing to open his mind to something new. It wasn’t Italian wine which meant it wasn’t good enough for him.

That makes me sad. There is so much out there to explore, savor, and discover! To have someone limit themselves so much is disheartening, and short-sighted. Every bottle of wine is unique, with individual personalities. Sure, there are shared traits among styles, but within even those constraints, there are differences.

“You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy

“Safe” offers no challenge, no growth, and no newness. Without those things, we wither and die inside. Obviously, this applies to more than just wine (if you haven’t figured that out yet, smack yourself in the forehead with your open palm). Sure, we can stick with what we know all the time, but you’ll always have a voice in the back of your head questioning “why.”

Every Gewurztraminer wine I’ve tried, I haven’t liked. Yet, I keep trying them. Some would call me an idiot (go ahead…I don’t mind). The thing is, if I stopped trying something that I initially didn’t like, I might miss out on the wonders and appreciation for it. Maybe at some point, I’ll finally go “Aha! So that’s what I’ve been missing out on!” (Ham and lima beans have yet to prove that point, though).

Make this life count! Take a risk now and again.  As has been famously said before: “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

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