Because I am divorcing someone at fault, I have been on the receiving end of revisionist history, even when it seeks to conform to a false, self-serving narrative of cognitive dissonance.
It turns out, however, that revisionism towards an agenda of mollifying cognitive dissonance (“yeah, I did that nasty sh*t, but I am different and it’s ok because…”) is actually one of the core elements of a properly functioning human memory.
As strange as this may sound initially, revisionist memory is the reason why I am always carrying around pen and notebook when tasting wine, my friends, and why I think that any budding wine nerd needs to do the same (or an equivalent) when they are getting serious about appreciating wine (let alone criticizing it). Because if you’re anything like the majority of the human population (and, trust me, you are), then your memory is… well… crap.
Not only is your memory poor at capturing actual details as they happened (this includes about wine), it is an ever-changing, malleable storytelling machine, constantly revising and rewriting history, filling in the blanks between factual details in order to preserve whatever narrative best reduces any dissonance between what actually went down, and your (most likely overly-inflated) internal view of your self…
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1WD reader Robert has written in to yours truly, with an interesting double-barreled challenge. I think that we need the collective wisdom of the insanely-intelligent, hyper-attractive, overly-inebriated, and mega-hyphenated 1WD readership to help this guy. Also, I’m in Champagne this week collecting vinous memories that will make you all jealous, so I could use a little help here as I can’t effectively type with one hand while the other is busy raising glasses of amazing bubbly to my face.
Here’s Robert’s request:
I am brand new to the world of wine, sure I drank my share but now want to get serious in the industry of selling, sampling and the tastings of all types of wine. I just took on a sales rep position with a small fine wine importer/distributor and want to learn on best ways to succeed. Any advice on what baby steps to take or where to begin as a sales rep would be very much appreciated.
Notice that Robert has a dual challenge here, in that he simultaneously needs to learn the fine wine ropes (primarily, I’m guessing, through tasting, which – lucky for him – has already been touched on in Reader Mailbag form here), and in learning the fine wine sales rep ropes.
Now, I know that there is no shortage of the wine sales rep populace reading 1WD, so I’m asking you folks to help brother Robert!
Shout it out loud in the comments, people: what advice would you give to a newly-minted wine sales rep?