Lose Your Sense of Decency…for only $19.95
"How to Sound Like a Wine Expert – In 10 Minutes Or Less"
I think this is a great one line value proposition, especially if aimed at people who have decided they want to learn more about wine. But it also strikes me as indicative of the overblown expectations too many people have adopted when it comes to learning a new skill or talent.
But the problem is that this offer isn’t aimed at people who want to learn more about wine. It’s aimed at people who believe that if you can fool someone into believing you are an expert, you are, by default, an expert. There are some pretty deep philosophical implications to this idea having to do with reality vs. perception, language as a constructive path to the creation of reality, and the maleability of morals and ethics.
This offer of becoming an "instant Wine Expert" by sounding like one comes from Stephen Reiss,Ph.D, author of WineEducation.com and a Certified Wine Educator. Reiss is the author of "Juice Jargon: How to Sound Like a Wine Expert."
In a press release he offers this opportunity to fool people if you only purchase his book for $19.95 plus shipping and handling.
Based on Dr. Reiss’ website, there is every indication that he has a very deep understanding of wine. And though I’ve not read his book, his description of its contents and what it can teach indicate he understands how to communicate, write and educate.
What bothers me, and should bother anyone who values the time they’ve taken to understand wine or any other discipline, are two things: 1) His willingness to support and encourage the idea of shortcuts to success and 2) his apparent belief that success is achieved by fooling people into believing something that just isn’t true.
Reiss understands that there are significant barriers to being comfortable talking about wine. He understands that these barriers can be intimidating. What he doesn’t understand is that by going around a barrier, rather than over it, you simple leave more barriers behind for the next person to have to overcome.