Last Thursday the Tax/Trusts & Estates Group hosted the final practice group-specific event of the summer—a wine tasting at Vinya. As a relative newcomer into the wine scene, this was an event that I was particularly looking forward to, and upon reflection, the experience shared many similarities with the summer associate journey.

Coming into the wine tasting I had a general idea about the types of wines I like, but I really had not dedicated much time—if at all—to think through and identify the specific flavors and characteristics that I enjoy in a wine. Hence, much like with the summer associate experience, I figured a lot of this event would be about embracing the unknown and putting forth an honest best effort.

You can imagine I was glad to hear when the event started that we would not be “put on the spot” to identify the different flavor profiles of each wine—because then I truly would have been navigating rather blindly. We instead worked together as a group to decipher where the wines we were tasting came from: the “old world”—think Europe—or the “new”—think the Americas. Each Pinot Noir had a very distinct flavor profile, which I thought presented a great platform to learn how differences temperature and location might change the taste and appearance of wines, even when dealing with wines in the same category.

Throughout the tasting I found that expressing my initial gut feeling on taste, no matter how crazy, at the very least sparked a conversation, but on a deeper level also allowed me to adjust the way I was thinking about each flavor profile. The sommelier constantly corrected my attempts at describing the wines with “wine-lingo” that more accurately described what I was trying to express, an experience that reminded me of my learning process with corporate drafting this summer.

Ultimately, as with the work I have been doing at Bilzin this summer, I found that by giving an honest best effort, asking questions, and listening to the experts, I was able to learn much more than I had originally expected. Some of my first attempts at deciphering the subtle notes and nuances in the wines might not have been on point—and some people even considered them silly (though I would never single them out), but in the end I truly felt like I learned something valuable throughout the wine tasting—and the same can be said of my experience at Bilzin this summer!