To write sympathetically about a wine, I need to experience it as part of real life. I need to drink it, and more than just once.
I spend many meals in fine restaurants these days trying to play defense against every passing server topping off a glass I don't want refilled. Let my guard down for a second -- laugh at a friend's joke -- and suddenly I have a full glass I didn't want.
“How do you like the wine?” my husband asked me, after pouring a traditionally-styled 2001 Chianti Classico Riserva. “I find it blousy and a bit unfocused,” I replied. “Let’s try it in narrower glass.” Sure enough, the narrower glass reined the wine in, and some concentration became evident.