Weekend Workout: Wine Tasting Poem

Gwendolyn Alley and I developed this exercise for our “Message in a Bottle” writing workshop last month. Half of the workshop took place at the Channel Islands Visitor Center, the other half at Old Creek Ranch Winery.

The idea is to taste a particular glass of wine and answer the questions below in the form of a poem. Take your time with the lines if they lead you somewhere. Feel free to change, discard, or add your own questions. We planned the questions to go from “logical” questions when tasting wine to more abstract.

We recommend tasting and writing it as a group (using the same wine) and then sharing the poems. And, of course, feel free to edit it into whatever you want it to be.

You can certainly do this exercise with any other alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. Wine is a good choice because of its complexity. If you don’t drink, try the exercise using chocolate or any other item of food that will inspire your senses.

This particular poem was inspired by the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon by Old Creek Ranch Winery. I actually loved this wine so much I bought a bottle. Get it while you can as this is the last vintage of it they plan to make!

My poem below. Gwendolyn Alley’s poem here.


What fruit/s does it taste like?
What kind of flower?
What kind of spice?
What mineral is it like?
What sound does it have?
What music is it?
What animal?
What memory?
What type of weather?
What regret?

The End of the Bottle: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Drink me plum cherries, smoky roses, sweet spice

quartz in a quarry echoing the laughter

of children on a Sunday spree

Like Eddie Reader, that soft space between

deciding to do something    and

not doing anything

The cats current pleasure is in thighs rich in memories

of driving

San Diego on the highway

Peter Gabriel convertible

The boyfriend freshman year I was proud of because

of his sexy-factor

Sunshine befell his optimistic dental career

he WAS baseball, apple pie, mother nature

light rain reflecting rainbows

happily ever after and all that

A swiftly tilting 18-year-old life

Where summer vacation meant a pause of labour

Where the routine as a melody

repeated in gold-mine futures

everything before us

the years stretched true

1 Comment

  1. I love where you went with this prompt! What a great day! We must do it again!


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