Yup the “M” word again.
There are mindfulness courses and talks, books and apps on mindfulness. Your boss advice you to sign up for the mindful seminar at the office. Netflix suggests you watch their serie on mindfulness. Marie Kondo tells you to tidy up your wardrobe mindfully.
If you haven’t heard of mindfulness yet… first, you are a sore thumb; second, let me walk you through the salient points.
Mindfulness is the practice of living in the now. No lingering in the past nor fantasising about the future.
The tradition of mindfulness started in the East.
Recently it conquered the West.
That was thanks to hard data and countless research papers. In fact, scientific evidence suggests that mindfulness helps the practitioner coping with other hype words… stress, anxiety, depression.
Living in London I was bound to stumble upon mindfulness at some point. And I did. As many, I signed up for a mindfulness course. Every week I would leave the office, battle against rush-hour crowds to get to the Buddhist centre. There I would practice spiritual enlightenment and pursue inner peace.
And mindfulness delivered. Living in the present is real hard work but it feels great! The idea is not to worry. No overthinking- or thinking at all for all it matters- about the past or future. They are irrelevant. Just mind the present. And the present is by definition gone already. So, don’t mind at all.
Simple but incredibly hard.
I soon started incorporating mindfulness in my daily routine. I mindfulnessly jogged, minfulnessly chewed on my lunch, mindfulnessly touched things.
So… what about jazzing up mindfulness and wine tasting?
BEST IDEA EVER.
Tasting wine, it turns out, is all about mindfulness. Being in the moment. Relish each sniff. Taking the time to note the nuances of that wine, that bottle, that sip… that is wine tasting. Being in the present.
Hands up if you ever thought that a wine tasted just like, say, red wine. Tough, if someone had prompted you with a note or two of that wine, chances are you’d agree. But felt a bit silly for not getting there by yourself.
Now, imagine that you take the time to sniff your glass. You stay in the present moment and you succeed in recalling those notes on your own. Feels wonderful, doesn’t it? It’s a bit like suddenly remembering a dream you had. Or finally placing a familiar face. Very satisfying indeed.
A profile aroma is tingling your mind. Then, just like that, you are able to name it. Niceeee!
And here goes a mindful wine tasting.
You pour the wine. 🍾
You listen to the sound the liquid makes falling onto the glass. 👂
You look at your wine, in the light, in the shadow, against a white surface. 🍷
You take a mental note of the tones and hues of the liquid in your glass.
You approach your nose to the wine. You take a sniff. And another. 👃
You take in what is there.
You search among your memory archive for an aroma that matches what you are smelling. You take in the sensation that that smell triggers. The name of an aroma comes to mind. It suits what you are sniffing. 🧠
You notice another smell nuance. Again, an appropriate name comes to mind. And repeat.
Eventually, without rush, your lips touch the brim of the glass. You tilt it and sip on some wine. 👄
Is it fresh? Pétillant? Is it full and “big”? Is it crispy? Chewy? 👅
And after sipping, what sensation are you left with? Is the taste of the wine persistent in the palate? Is it warm and swathing? Is it light and moreish? Is it pleasant? Or disappointing?
And so goes the meditation…
Is wine a perfect excuse to focus in the present? To be mindful? To take care of oneself? It is to me.
And there you have it. Vice turns into virtue again 😆!