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Closed Minded – Not Black and White

by Adam Zack — May 8, 2019

Adam Zack

I have long been a wine aficionado.

It sounds so simple. Either you’re open minded or your closed minded. Open minded people are pro-change. They welcome new ideas. They don’t take criticism personally and they are the leaders and innovators. They empower their people and are not threatened by the success of their colleagues. There is no ego in open mindedness. Closed minded people are, well, just the opposite.

It all sounds so easy. You choose to be open minded or you don’t, right? As much as I like to think I am open minded, I’m not nearly as much as I’d like to be. I realized the other day that being closed minded comes not from being stubborn, which I am very well versed in, but from past experiences that make me (or you) choose a position before even evaluating what’s before you. I have long been a wine aficionado. It’s not just been a job over the past 30 years, but it’s turned into a hobby and real interest. I love it. I have developed biases over the years that certain wines and wine regions produce crappy wines. Show me a wine from Southern California, and in my mind I automatically know that I won’t like it. It comes from past tasting experience. I have already made my judgement even before sampling it. I’d never tasted a wine I liked from Southern Cal.

This past week a friend came to visit and brought two wines. A Pinot Noir from Northern California’s Russian River and a red blend from – gasp – Los Angeles! We opened the Pinot the first night and I knew it would be great. And it was. The Los Angeles wine went into the wine cooler, maybe to share when we had company over who didn’t know much about wine or to give as a gift to someone who wouldn’t know the difference between Two Buck Chuck and Bordeaux. Last night I figured what the hell, I’ll open it. I’ll probably end up pouring it out and opening something else. It couldn’t hurt to at least taste it. I was shocked and amazed how good it was. My closed mindedness almost prevented me from even trying it. It was a great lesson on fear of change and having my mind made up before even having the facts. It would be like holding my hand up in the “stop right there” position, knowing I’d “been there, done that” before even listening to something that could change my life.

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