Quick thoughts on teachers, cheese & wine

I recently attended a wine & cheese tasting in Mexico City, which changed my opinion about these events and brought home some insights about the way we sense the world.

The truth is I had never attended a wine tasting before, but I was under the general impression (based on previous encounters with wine snobs) that people involved in wine tasting just enjoyed getting a buzz while pretending to know what “austere but flamboyant un-oaked refined aftertaste” means. I never knew there was a whole world around cheese tasting but, before coming to this event, I figured the attitude of those guys wouldn’t be that much different. I was proven wrong that night.

The wine and cheese experts were nothing like I expected. They talked about their subject matter with passion in unpretentious, straightforward, simple and helpful terms. The same way a teacher unpacks a complicated concept in terms students can fully understand. It’s that delicate balance between snobbingly dumbing things down and consciously explaining issues to human beings. I appreciated this human treatment, and therefore fully enjoyed the experience. We need people that can teach in this way about everything.

I think that this tasting experience was nothing more but a reminder of how numbed our senses can become that when presented with the real taste, the real smell, the real texture, it all seems out of this world. What in reality is the normal state of things becomes an extraordinary experience (and it’s sold that way too). Finding the normal and going back to basics appears to be today a revolutionary act.

That night of wine and cheese was a wake up call to the senses. A strong reminder to use them, to wake them up, because to truly feel, smell and taste is to be aware of the present moment, and that might just be the biggest lesson we can learn while alive.