Being Anonymous

By / Magazine / September 10th, 2013 / 1

I don’t like to make myself known. Well I prefer to be anonymous.  But let me back up. You see, usually I end up visiting a winery on a press junket. While always pleasant, I sometimes feel as if we’re being carted around on a cloud. Things are too perfect.  The best, most informed staff are placed in front of us.

We’re presented the twice cleaned glasses, while someone slowly massages our feet … that last bit might be a bit of a stretch but you get where I am going. Things are too primped up.  So in order to get a truer sense of what the average wine lover is looking for, I decide to visit wine country incognito, at least once every two years. I stop just short of donning a moustache and a fake accent. I simply walk into a number of tasting rooms over one or two days and taste away.

I listen intently to what the staff have to say. They talk brix and wind machines while I ask about philosophy in the vineyard and beyond. It’s great fun.  And what I’ve come to realize over the years is that things aren’t that different if I’m driven on a junket or if I come in on my own steam. Staff is knowledgeable. The vineyards impart a feeling of calm and beauty. Those who visit are like explorers, eager to learn more about these lands. Now there may be a glass or two out of place and not every grape varietal in the blend is remembered but that imperfection is what makes it even better — and human. And it’s that human element we sometimes forget about when we think of wine country.

So as you visit some wineries close to you this summer — and you know there are several — think about this: The bottle isn’t the only thing you’ve come to see.


Aldo Parise is the publisher of Quench Magazine. After running 4 magazines, including Riot and men's magazine Under Pressure, he's settled nicely into his role as top drinker and food yummer guy. You can see him in the pages of Quench, Food and Drink Magazine.

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