Drink Magazine

Explaining Wine Enjoyment To Young Mormon Missionary Men

By Susiestraight

Ancient Wine Enjoyment

Yesterday, I was asked to explain wine enjoyment to a group of shiny young Mormon missionary men. (Try saying Mormon missionary men three times fast – bet ya can’t!). Like the tongue twister, quickly explaining the history of wine and why gazillions of people have loved it pretty much since time began was a bit challenging.

My landlord and good friend is a vineyard manager and he also happens to be Mormon. How me, a failed Jewish American Princess New Wave Cowgirl from the San Fernando Valley, and a quirky Mormon Surfer Dude Vineyard Manager became such good friends is a mystery to me, but I love the dude. He’s like my eccentric younger brother.

Anyway, he had the above referenced group of young men visiting him at the grape ranch where we live and he wanted to share his world with them and give them a bit of wine education as well. Even though he doesn’t drink, he is immersed in the world of wine because of his job. His expertise is in grape growing and pest control, but he isn’t well versed in the earthly delights of why people drink wine. That’s where I came in. My landlord friend gave me five minutes to explain – he probably figured I couldn’t corrupt them too much in that short a time.

It started off with a little history lesson. I mentioned how wine was found in ancient Greek amphorae and for centuries how wine was safer to drink than water. I then went on to briefly explain the sensual delights of wine enjoyment – how the amazing colors, scents, flavors, even the happy sounds of corks popping and wine gurgling into a glass are all a feast for the senses. I also explained how wine enhances food and conversation and how wine in moderation is part of a healthy lifestyle.

I then compared wine aromas and flavors to different varieties of apples. I explained how each apple has inherent aromas and flavors and that grapes, and subsequently, wine is basically the same. They listened to me with rapt attention, their white shirts gleaming in the warm fall sunshine, nodding as if they understood what I was talking about. I think they got it.

Mission accomplished. Maybe I can add “Wine Missionary” to my title now, eh?
Well, I have been gently educating all types of folks about wine for 36 years now, so this really wasn’t so different.

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