Sometimes I approach the world of wine in a light and fluffy manner. I try desperately to engage everyone and to not alienate anyone. This is inherently impossible given the diverse nature of the human race, and the fact that I toe the line of what is dignified with my verbose, sometimes crass, and neurotic babbling. That said, please note that if you do not like one post that I put up the next may very well be as different as a tabby cat is to my Aunt Thelma (who more closely resembles a honey badger in temperament).

    This post is about a topic that will stretch your brain if you let it.

    I was asked the other day, “What do you mean by awareness?” There are some people that go through life without really participating in it or understanding what is happening around them. There are others who seemingly know everything about people and their surroundings within moments. I say these people have a high level of awareness.


    The following are six different parts of what makes up awareness (there are others, but these are the main ones):

    Empathic awareness– “is understanding how others feel through your ability to read, sense and accurately interpret their non-verbal and verbal cues as well as having an ability to relate and respond to where others are at; their emotional state, their situation, their views, concerns and needs etc.”

    Interpersonal sensitivity “refers to the accuracy and/or appropriateness of perceptions, judgments, and responses we have with respect to one another.”

    Personal sensitivity- ability to understand the inter-working of one’s own self. Being able to self-evaluate and diagnose what goes on inside your own body.

    Mental awareness- someone who knows what is taking place in their mind. Someone who knows when there is a mental imbalance, progression of cycles, ability to understand what you are feeling and the ability to predict what you will feel.

    Self-regulation- Self-regulation refers to the self’s capacity to alter its behaviors… These behaviors are changed in accordance to some standards, ideals or goals either stemming from internal or societal expectations (Baumeister & Vohs, 2007).

    Foresight– foreknowledge of what is to come based on hints received in prior and current interactions.



    What does it mean to be wine aware? In the same vein of discourse, some people drink wine with no understanding of the differences. This is the least expensive way to enjoy wine. If you are on a budget, by all means do not pursue too deep a knowledge of wine.  However, if you wish to have a high level of awareness about wine you need to be familiar with these concepts:

    Nose– the aromatics of a wine often translate to the palate (that is to say, what you smell is what you taste).  If the wine is truly remarkable and you are aware of the aromas it puts forth; you will be delighted by its ever changing story.

    Side note from author: I have done the master cleanse juice-fast a couple of times. The most interesting benefit/curse from participating is that at around day four every smell is magnified by ten. My guess is that your body is so starved for food that it eats aromas with a voracious appetite. Just don’t get stuck behind the bar with a stinky bartender. Eck.

    Palate– what types of flavors do you experience? This is the earthy, fruity, industrial and vegetal components of the wine on the tongue.

    Body– fullness is the main proponent of body. The weight a wine has on your tongue is the largest factor on what body a wine has.

    Finish– the finish is one of the more important aspects of a wine. If you can sit with your eyes closed for close to a minute, and still experience the wine in a positive light… then by god you are in the presence of an exceptional wine.

    Balance– the harmony a wine has expressing a combination of acid, tannin, body, nose and palate.

    Complexity– when you notice the subtle differences in wine, and let them take you on a journey through a forest, a beach, or an orchard. Complexity is when the intricate variances of a wine lead you from place to place through varying tastes and aromatics.

    Intrigue– when a wine is different and you have to concentrate on what it is that sets it apart from other wines.

    Foresight– being able to predict what a wine’s characteristics will be based only on the information provided on the label.

    Awareness comes with a cost. Sometimes you don’t want to know that a person is disdainfully observing you, or that you may have made poor choices and they cost you. Sometimes as they say ‘ignorance is bliss’, but with wine I hope you enjoy an awakening that will thrill you to your very core.



    Only for those who want to geek out with me:

    (My mother would probably chastise me for getting too ‘out there’ with this, but I am merely stating what was discussed in a couple of my classes. I am neither confirming nor denying its validity so please do not work yourself into a tizzy over this.)


    In the Existential Model of Psychotherapy one has to be at peace in your own world in order to have a healthy existence in nature and society.

    It is necessary to dwell in your own world, face your mortality, put aside the threat of a meaningless existence and embrace the necessity to act. If you are able to come to terms with these concepts, then you will be able to pursue a course of becoming aware.


    In Behavior Analysis, the path to becoming aware would start with the understanding that all behavior is determined by its consequences. When you are able to view the consequences that reinforce any particular behavior you have truly become aware.