I work in a trendy upscale bar in downtown Boston. The other day a women came in and asked me for a “smooth” red wine. I asked her what she usually likes to drink, and she said “Barolo.” I smiled, picked up a bottle, and said something along the lines of “Ok, I think you’ll enjoy this one, let me pour you a taste.” And just like what happens 99% of the time, she tried it, liked it, and ordered a glass.
Now here’s the secret: I don’t know anything about wine. And honestly, hardly anybody else does either. I couldn’t describe to you what a “Barolo” tastes like. And I doubt the lady who claimed that’s all she likes really could either. I’ve sold the same glass of red wine to people who have asked me for any of the following: big, bold, dry, spicy, full bodied, medium bodied, crisp, light bodied, heavy; and not to mention smooth. And probably many more “characteristics” as well. What the wine actually is barely matters. All people really care about is the presentation. They’re pleased that I’ve taken an interest in trying to pick something I think they’ll enjoy, and their natural instinct is to want to like whatever the bartender suggests.
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