Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Drinking with Intention in a Medi-Tasting

So often there are two approaches when drinking wine. We order a glass and just drink it, not thinking much about it but enjoying it as we eat a meal or talk with friends. Or we sit and analyze a wine, assessing its aromas and tasting notes. But have you ever tasted wine with intention? Have you ever meditated and drank wine? This past week I attended a Medi-Tasting Experience and tasted wine in a new way. That is why Tasting with Intention is the Please The Palate Pick of the Week.

Sitting at the Malibu Beach Inn, overlooking the ocean and listening to the sound of the waves crashing, chef, author and meditation teacher Cassandra Bodzak guided us through a meditation following by a tasting of the wines of Champagne Henriot. Through meditation, the goal was to be more in tune with our bodies. Our senses are optimized which leads to a deeper tasting experience.

Cassandra believes in eating with intention, and thereby drinking with intention. Instead of feeling pressure to describe a wine with the correct terms, she encourages people to experience the wine and allow one to have a personal experience.

We sat down with three glasses of Champagne in front of us. We closed our eyes and sat still, taking deep breathes while listing to the sounds of the ocean. Cassandra led us through a meditation, calming our minds and helping us to focus on where we were.

After some soothing breathing and keeping our eyes closed, we were encouraged to pick up the glasses, one by one, and smell them. What did we smell? What images did the wine conjure in our minds?

We then listened to the wines. Holding the glasses to our ears, with our eyes closed, it sounds a bit odd. But there was a soothing sound to the wines.

We then looked at each wine, one at a time, taking in the color, the bubbles, whatever came to mind.

And last we tasted the wines, looking for the texture and body. And, then we re-tasted the wines, enjoying each one.

Tasting through three Champagne Henriot wines, I felt different experiences. The Henriot Blanc de Blancs NV with its chalky notes made me think of the ocean. The Henriot Souverain NV with its richer notes made me think of a large open sunflower field with the wind blowing. The Henriot Rose NV made me think of a colorful floral garden.

While I cannot remove the wine tasting techniques or descriptors that I have studied and learned over the years, it was a true sensory experience to taste Champagne while meditating. To be able to sit back and relax and be present within myself, I was able to enjoy each Champagne. After all, Champagne is all about enjoyment.

Taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and center ones self before enjoying wine will enable one to drink with intention. And that is why a medi-tasting is the Please The Palate pick of the week.