The Truth About Advice
Ever since I found my way into the wine business, I've tried to fully understand the significance and meaning of advice. Not the meaning of how advise from experts on wine affects the marketplace. This was all too clear. This was and is formulaic. What I've tried to understand is the meaning of either accepting advice or dismissing it or, worse yet, wanting to embrace and follow the advice of an expert but seemingly not being able to.
I always was willing and able to accept the advice of experts, including wine experts. I figured experience is that which separates good advice from average advice. So, where wine is concerned, I've always been more inclined to trust the advice of those who have been at it longer than others.
Experience seems important because, I believe, the world works in very specific ways. There are things that are right. Things that are wrong. Things that are good. Things that are bad. It's that simple, I think. And this applies to wine as well as to work, family and love. The problem is discovering the specific ways things work, what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong. That's the hard part. Experience seems the only sure fire way to obtain this information.
I've been very lucky.
People have given me advice. Experienced people. My problem is that I've not always taken the advice to heart when I should have. I often ignored it for the very same reason most people ignore advice from voices of experience: I was prepared to go it alone and figure it out alone.
By the time I entered the wine industry I had at least realized that my knowledge of wine paled before those with experience. All you had to do was listen to them and talk to them to know they were in another league. I was smart enough to know my choices were to listen and take their advice about wine or, in the alternative, look incredibly stupid working it all out on my own or, worse, talking out my ass about things I did not know.
Recently I came across a piece of advice given to me very early in my life. It was wasted on me at the time because I did not then know the value of experience and so ignored this valuable offering.
This advice was meant specifically for me. Among the advisories was this: "Die in love with a woman."
At the time this advice was given to me, at the time I first read this advice, I didn't understand that in that simple suggestion "die" was the operating idea. I thought that simply be "in love with a woman" was the most important. I didn't understand that the verb "die" was meant to suggest that I find the right woman with whom to live an entire life in love.
Today my entire life is half way over. I wonder how it would have been different had I read this piece of advice correctly early on. So, it occurs to me that while this advice I got was good and sound and worthy of embracing, today it must mean something different. It must mean that more than ever, the chore is to be 100% sure about my choices, lest possibility of rendering the advise meaningless and its truth unobtainable.
Embracing the sound advice of wine experts shouldn't be too difficult. The fact they know more than you should be obvious. So take their advice. And have the good sense to look to the most experienced of them first. They probably know more than others. More importantly, seeking the advice of those more experienced than you where wine, love, life, and family is concerned reveals those hard-to-nail-down truths.