Trust the Process

Trust The Process

I’ve listened to this phrase faithfully repeated, like a mantra, by Sixers fans for nearly half a decade. I’ve never seen myself as one to “trust the process”.  Five years ago I know I would’ve lost sleep over my team (the Lakers) missing the playoffs. When once, I watched a friend weeping publicly over the Yankees missing the playoffs,though I didn't personally sympathize(go Dodgers), his reaction didn’t seem all that weird to me. Yet, today, with the Warriors and the Cavaliers battling for the title, and the Lakers nowhere in site,  I don’t feel nearly so bothered.

Why is that? Where has this new found maturity come from? Many of my close friends would probably attribute any personal growth to Geena’s loving influence (and they’d probably be right).  For the sake of this blog post however, I’d like to entertain the idea that this maturation is just part of my natural evolution.

As it is in life, so it is in wine

A maturing palette is a great analogy for interpersonal growth, because they come about in much the same way. We all start at the beginning, struggling to get our bearings. It took me until well into my 20’s to really discover my love of the vine. Part of that discovery came from exposure to better wines, but part of it also came from a deeper understanding of viticulture, and wine production. Though living in Santa Barbara,  on the American Riviera, and having easy access to superior wines, certainly helped jumpstart my explorations,  my process of discovery was likely no different than anyone else’s. First I wanted the red or the white one. Then I grew into wanting the red blend. After that, it was a single-varietal, warm-weather Syrah. Now, at this point in my evolution, I’ve become particularly choosy about the vineyard where the grapes in use were sourced from. Anyone who spends enough time exploring wine culture will go through this same maturation process. Some do it quicker or take it further than others, but we all start at the beginning.  

10,000 shots in the offseason

So how do we undertake this maturation process? Drink! Don’t be shy and don’t be conservative. Explore new varietals. Pair those new varietals with food. If you haven’t had Stolpman’s 2011 Sangio Degli ANGELI alongside a jalapeño and pineapple pizza, you’re in for a treat. As Kobe Bryant famously demonstrated, and is indicated by the subhead to this section, greatness requires 10,000 shots in the offseason (Disclaimer: Neither the author of this piece nor any other representative of Riviera Wine Group is encouraging you to drink 10,000 shots during the offseason. The above statement is to be understood as a metaphor. If you have recently consumed 10,000 shots, please contact your local emergency services immediately). The point is, if you want to develop your palate it requires exploration.

Funny anecdote: My first sip of wine was merlot, conspiratorially slipped to me by my grandmother at Christmas. It had probably been stored upright for the last decade (don’t do that) and tasted like prunes soaked in chlorine. 

Good things need time to mature

Last thing to ruminate on: what do a world class basketball player, a 95 point Cabernet and a partially grown up Aaron Lober have in common? They all need ample time to mature. Some might say at least one of those is still maturing. But why should that surprise anybody?

I’ll share with you one of the deeper beauties of wine, and wine culture, that I’ve discovered. It’s a process. Buds break and grapes mature on the vine. It’s a process. Winemakers harvest and the juice matures in barrel. It’s a process. The wine is shared with friends and lasting relationships are created. It’s a process. We grow and mature in our appreciation of life, time, and each other. Trust the process.

Happy Sipping,
Aaron Lober

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