Broker Douglas Greenberg shares his passion for wine tasting and reveals more about the process.
In addition to professional wine tasting, commonly carried out by sommeliers and others in the industry, more informal, recreational tasting is today a popular activity the world over. A seasoned broker, wealth advisor, and senior portfolio manager from Portland, Oregon, Douglas Greenberg reveals more about his love of recreational wine tasting and shares further details about the process.
“Wine tasting, whether in a professional or personal, more recreational context, represents the examination and evaluation of different wine varieties from around the world,” explains Greenberg, a former broker with multinational investment bank and financial services firm Morgan Stanley.
While those tasting for recreational enjoyment are typically focused on personal appreciation, industry professionals are largely committed to a more analytical approach, according to Greenberg. “Still,” he adds, “wine tasting across the board is very much about describing the range of perceived aromas, flavors, and other characteristics of a wine, whether an individual is an expert or simply someone who enjoys the wine tasting process.”
Greenberg goes on to reveal that while wine tasting dates back as far as the initial production of the alcoholic beverage itself thousands of years ago, even so-called ‘modern’ wine tasting processes and terminology have their roots in history as early as the 14th century. The very term ‘tasting,’ for example, in regards to evaluating wine, he says, is understood to have first appeared in 1519.
“Later refined and formalized in the 18th century, wine tasting largely centers around appearance, aroma, mouth sensation, complexity and character, and what’s known as the finish, or aftertaste,” adds Greenberg.
More formal wine tasting scenarios, he says, whether carried out in a professional or recreational capacity, may also look to address what’s known as potential, or a wine’s suitability for either aging or for immediate drinking, as well as any possible faults. “Findings are then considered based on, and in respect to, other wines in a similar price range, and according to factors such as vintage or the region in which a wine was produced,” adds the former Morgan Stanley broker.
“Wine-making techniques may also be considered,” Greenberg continues, “such as a barrel or malolactic fermentation, with notes also made surrounding any unusual or otherwise remarkable characteristics of a particular wine variety or vintage.”
Common sensory descriptors used in the tasting of red wines include black cherry, smoke, spice, chocolate, and red fruits. White grape variety descriptors, meanwhile, include butter, apple, vanilla, herbs, and citrus.
“Tasting events typically address between three and eight wines,” Greenberg adds, wrapping up, “usually served either as different vintages of the same wine variety, from the same winery, or as the same vintage, but from a variety of different wineries, in order to best emphasize the subtle differences in winery styles.”
Texas-born father of two Douglas Greenberg is a resident of Lake Oswego, Oregon, located 10 miles south of Portland. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Executive Education programs and a former Morgan Stanley executive director, wealth advisor, and senior portfolio manager, Greenberg is known for his problem-solving skills, as well as specializing in alternative investments and asset allocation. A fan of professional soccer and basketball, Greenberg holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and, in his spare time, enjoys hiking, sailing, and wine tasting in addition to travel, skiing, and scuba diving.