On September 23rd, 2019 my friend Todd Marston and I will be hosting the second edition of 'Tasting Notes: A Mindful Wine and Jazz Pairing’ at Vino Veritas Winebar down in the Montavilla neighborhood of SE Portland.
The event was inspired by evenings sitting around discussing the intricacies of wine and jazz. He would help me understand jazz and I would give him some tips about drinking wine.
Jazz for me has always been a bit intimidating. I felt like the soul of it was mysterious, the compositions were out of my understanding, and unless I studied it I wouldn’t get it.
Todd told me that he felt the same way about wine: the names, the places, the esoteric scents that people identified that he didn’t quite get. He felt that if he didn’t do the homework, he wouldn’t be able to appreciate wine.
Just before those conversations I had learned about a mindfulness practice and meditation that someone had applied to wine tasting. It involved directing the focus to the body in order to rest the mind, and eventually bringing the focus to the wine by utilizing each of our senses one by one. I found that by the time I guided someone to focus on their senses, the mind had been quieted enough to get rid of these narratives. There was no space or energy being given to these ideas that wine was something out of reach, or too cerebral, or too high class for someone. They were simply able to perceive what their senses were telling them. There was no room for judgment, just enjoyment. The understanding was not on an intellectual level, but an emotional level.
After guided Todd through several of these meditations, we applied the same theory to jazz. Instead of beginning a piece of music thinking, “I won’t understand this, I am not educated enough about jazz to enjoy it”, I simply listened to the piece and enjoyed it. I felt the music, I let it enter through my senses without the need to understand it intellectually. I was calm, I was curious, and I was blissful.
After such a pleasant experience, it was only natural to want to bring these two elements together.
I select the wine. I guide Todd through a meditation so that he can feel the wine. He composes the music based upon those feelings.
That is how we get ’Tasting Notes’.
So come and join us for an opportunity to relax the mind, engage the senses, and feel the wine and music.