Friday, March 12, 2010

Memorable Experiences Drive Our Decisions

Memorable refers to the depth of understanding that comes by allowing experiences to speak to one another: familiar and exotic, new and old, or side by side.

I find my expectations around the taste and quality of wine vary depending on my surroundings or the location. Location can mean any number of places: countries, regions, large or small wineries, family-owned wineries, in a restaurant or at home. Some of my favorite and most memorable experiences are those visits to small family-owned wineries in the middle of nowhere.

While driving through Franconia, Germany, and we saw a small sign near a driveway that read “Wein.” We made a right turn and parked in front of a simple house with a typical wooden swing set near the house and a heavy wooden door with a doorbell, which we pushed. An old woman (OMA or Grandma) opened the door. Her face and hands were weathered from years in the fields. Her hands looked strong, a finger was missing and there was plenty of earth under her nails. She spoke German with a regional accent so strong we could hardly understand her. However we all spoke “WINEeese” without strain.

When we asked if we could taste her wine her face lit up! She was cute as she wobbled back inside gesturing for us to follow her. She opened a little refrigerator and pulled out bottle after bottle of wine, all sorts of wine. If I remember correctly the bottles were already open and few had labels. She poured wine for each of us including herself.

Our expectation for the wine’s taste and quality was low. We were CORRECT; it was mostly undrinkable and nothing we would buy in a store. BUT we were having a fabulous time just soaking up the old woman’s joy of sharing wine with strangers. We stayed for at least an hour. She doted over our daughter pouring her glasses of varying grape juices: red, purple, white. Hayden eventually went to play on the swing and we bought wine.

I can’t say whether or not we ever drank the bottles we bought. It doesn’t matter – it was a memorable experience. It drove our decision to buy undrinkable wine.

Memorable refers to the depth of understanding that comes by allowing experiences to speak to one another:  familiar and exotic, new and old, or side by side.  Can you create an experience so wonderfully memorable that you could drive another to buy even the undrinkable?

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the wine we bought in paint buckets! It was the adventure that made it good.


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