I have a doctorate in clinical psychology and a strong passion for wine. Now I certainly can’t mix those two at work but they do come together as I engage in my favorite hobby – visiting wineries. I love to visit all kinds of wineries in all different areas from New Jersey where I live (there a lot of NJ wineries, which is often very surprising to those from out of state) to the Long Island and Finger Lakes wine regions of New York, across the country to Willamette Valley, Oregon, Walla Walla, Washington and to Napa and Sonoma.
I also really like discovering up and coming wine areas such as Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada. I’ve driven up wild hills in the middle of nowhere Vermont to get to a winery that makes blueberry wine and I’ve even been to a winery in Wisconsin. I have taken my hobby to the next level and obtained some wine education, so this blog is starting as my thesis project at the Wine School of Philadelphia (www.vinology.com).
It is hard to turn off my analytical mind that studies human interactions, which is where the psychology comes into play. No, I’m not constantly diagnosing people (a common question I am asked) but I do often take note of and think about the interactions between people. In the context of visiting a winery, I like to think about the “winery experience” – how the winery and staff have approached the interactions with the customers and what the customer takes away from this experience (besides possibly a bottle of wine). I definitely enjoy tasting wine but I actually enjoy the overall winery experience more.
When there is an excellent winery experience, I almost don’t care if the wine was that good (okay, I said almost). So in this blog I’m writing different stories related to my winery experiences – unique wine areas or excellent customer service or just a great background story. And I’m bringing this to you through my lens as a psychologist who wants to understand what makes a great winery experience.
I often think a visit to a liquor store is about buying a great bottle of wine (or perhaps a cheap bottle of wine or even a bottle of tequila, depending on your goal) but a visit to a tasting room is about the winery experience and then great wine is an excellent bonus. What makes a great winery experience and which wineries offer that experience? That is something we can discover together.
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