Do You Prefer the Destination (Great Wines) or the Journey (Interesting Wines)?

Do You Prefer Destination (Great Wines) or the Journey (Interesting Wines)?

  • Destination
  • Journey
  • Aaron Rodgers

0 voters

Do you prefer drinking great wines (the destination) or drinking interesting wines (the journey)?

Certainly I can appreciate that great wines can be interesting and interesting wines can be great. But as you drink wines now, are you seeking out greatness or wines that are interesting?

Perhaps it’s because I have not been “serious” about wine for a terribly long time, I prefer the journey. I love finding out about new grapes, regions, styles, etc. That’s not to say that I don’t like great wines, but I get a different sense of excitement when I find something novel – and hopefully very good – than I do when I find a wine that is of exceptional quality.

Of course, ideally I’d have both great wines and interesting wines, but sitting on the fence is lame (hence no option for “both” – feel free to choose the current Packers QB if you must).


Destination. Interesting wines are always fun but I know what I like now and I want great bottles of the world’s sweet wines and spirits to fill my collection. Funny enough, I just traded in a whole bunch of interesting wines in (Banyuls, Vin Santo, Marsala, Tokaji) for some great spirits (Hine Homage, DeLuze XO, Tomintoul 21, Century Reserve 21 and Danfield’s 21) which accentuates your point.

All the wines I traded in were interesting but I already have and will acquire greater examples of them and so traded these ones in. The journey has served its purpose, now it’s on to greatness!


Roberto Flemingo beat me to the punch.



I like BT’s answer too, but if I had to pick, definitely the journey. But that’s a reflection of my life approach anyway—I kind of say, “Live each day not like it’s your last, but like it’s your first—with something new and exciting to discover that day”. Hell, who knows…someday I might even find a younger Chateauneuf, a Priorat or a Pinotage that I like. I am willing to keep trying, and the more unusual, the more likely I am to want to have a sip.

We had a thread kind of like this not too long ago, I’m trying to remember, but wasn’t put exactly this way, so I like having this to comment on—thanks Corey! (I’m hoping to get there sometime within a year’s timespan to break bread and share wine with you and others again).


Seems like everyone agrees that it’s impossible to generalize, but if forced to generalize, I’ll take a glass of gamay (or poulsard or whatever) from some weirdo appellation in the middle of nowhere France that I’m not familiar with over a top flight Napa Cab 9 x out of 10.
I have a pretty good idea of what the latter will taste like (and it will be very good) but the former is a whole new experience.

Both, but I’m more of a diversity / exploration / journey guy than I am a “the wines I like best are X, Y and Z so that’s almost all I buy and drink” guy.


Very well said!

You can do both.

I find the idea of an endless tream of only “great” (by what definition by the way) wines to be oddly boring. Most of my favorite moments in wine have been finding a tasty wine that took some measure of discovery.

You know there was a time when nobody cared about Donnhoff. The first time I tried one it was just an amazaing experience.

But as you drink wines now, are you seeking > our > greatness or wines that are interesting?

I don’t know about your greatness, but I think your underlying assumption is wrong. A great wine should be interesting. If not, how can it be great? The reverse isn’t true of course, as you’ll find if you try wines from India, New Jersey, or some guy with halitosis in Bordeaux.

Greg – twas a typo “our” = “out”.

That said, I disagree that a great wine is necessarily interesting. Sometimes a great is simply wine – technically perfect (or close) and delicious, but nothing more. Also, if you’ve had the same wine multiple times (especially in a relatively short timeframe – not 20 years apart), is it necessarily interesting? I don’t think it is anymore interesting than reading the same book more than once. The writing is no less great, but it is no longer as captivating to read.

Just my 2¢.

Mike – look forward to drinking some interesting wines with you on your return visit. [cheers.gif]

It’s a really good question, Greg. Does it, perhaps, depend on your definition of “interesting” in this context? If “interesting” means you are excited to drink it—every time—then I think yes. If “interesting” means you must discover something new and unexpected–every time–then maybe not.


I’m pretty sure this is the thread I was thinking about—different enough, but some of the same thought process maybe.


I agree that it is a good question. Like Mike says, it depends on the definitions. What is the definition of a great wine? One that everyone already agrees is great? High priced and consistently good quality for an extended number of vintages? If we start talking about what is in the bottle, it gets harder. If it is excellent balance, structure, length, nuance, complexity etc., then some of the interesting wines might be great, if we only consider the individual bottle.

I’d suggest that there are some great wines out there that people consider interesting now. In a few years (maybe 30?) lots of people will have tasted them, described them and discussed them. If they are consistently high quality over time, then, they will be considered great.

Or, what is greatness, in this context?


I was trying not to over think it, but if we put in in numeric terms (allowing for the obvious shortcomings of numeric ratings), a 95-pointer can be great but not necessarily interesting, especially if you’ve had the same wine recently. OTOH, many wines that wouldn’t score as high might be more interesting.

Of course great wines can be interesting and interesting wines can be great and in a perfect world you’d get an intersection of the two. But just as an example, I remember that the first time I tried a Muscadet, it blew my mind. It was interesting to me - not great - yet I remember being giddy at the first taste. (With all that said, the more I explore, the more it reinforces my love for my favorite grapes, particularly Pinot Noir.)

A bit of an aside, but is wine all that different than food? I’d rather go to a variety of restaurants, allowing that some simply will not be as good but getting some pleasant surprises along the way, than eat in 2 and 3 Michelin star establishments all the time.

I enjoy the destination when it’s my money I’m spending, and the journey when it’s on someone else’s dime. [stirthepothal.gif]

Journey. Not sure I’ll ever reach the destination. And that’s okay.

Since we’re talking about the journey versus the destination, let’s use the obvious analogy of travel. I’m sure all of us have had the experience of planning a trip to somewhere famous, like Paris. You read the guidebooks, look at websites, talk to your friends, etc. So you compile a list of “must see” places to visit in Paris. Of course, it’s largely the same “must see” places on everyone else’s lists.

Then you get there and work through your list. Perhaps you’re blown away by the Louvre, or perhaps you’re frustrated by lots of people and very long lines. You finally get to see the Mona Lisa, and while you recognize it’s a masterpiece, it ultimately doesn’t do that much for you.

But in between items on your checklist, you walk down some random street and discover something completely unexpected. Or you find some lovely neighborhood bistro where you have a really good lunch on a beautiful summer day without tons of tourists jostling each other. You didn’t have any huge expectations to meet, and you can just spend a delicious lunch outside in a pretty setting and soak in the experience.

I think wine can be like that.


Well stated, Bruce.