One of the things I loved about owning the wine shop was learning something new just about everyday. Over the course of six years, I tasted thousands of wines and became a fanatic for not only unique blends (Hárslevelű and Lledoner Pelut two name just two) but also the unique language of wine.
One of the biggest barriers in helping a novice select wine was their of understanding how to describe accurately what they liked and disliked about certain varietals. I prioritized teaching people the correct words that would help them find what they truly wanted. Wine isn’t sour (and if it is, buy better wine.) Fruit forward doesn’t mean sweet. Smash mouth is a super big, bold and flavorful wine, etc. Through tasting and conversation, I brought a deeper understanding of the qualities of wine and hopefully a better tasting experience for my guests.
Now that I am working as a part-time barista at a hip coffee shop in the UP (Contrast Coffee -look it up!), I am noticing many similarities in how we talk about the drinks we pour to help educate our customers.
We roast our own beans and they all have tasting notes much like wine. Honey, lemon, chocolate are just a few of the notes that have some people thinking the coffee actually contains those items.
I am a total rookie but enjoy learning about coffee and am slowly picking up on the Barista Lingo. There is a lot of science and precision to getting the perfect pull of Spro. A real macchiato has just a stain of milk foam and no sugar. Crema is the part of the espresso that is the sweetest and most flavorful. Mastering the steam wand and latte art are tough!