First impressions matter, with people and with wine


First impressions matter, with people and with wine


First impressions count. I’m increasingly convinced of this.

The first line of a novel. It matters more than it should.

The first time you meet someone: this is particularly important.

The first impression you give when you meet someone – those first few seconds – then create the filter through which all subsequent interactions are processed. Some people I get on really well with, and in part I can put this down to a very positive first interaction. Then, after this, each subsequent meeting carried with it that positive vibe. The lens of that first impression is how we then process the following interactions.

We rely much more on our instincts than we realize, and the very first few seconds after meeting someone can shape future encounters. To a degree. Of course, it is possible to recover from a bad first impression, but it takes a long time. We use confirmation bias, and then use this to ignore evidence that doesn’t fit with our narrative, and to marshall evidence in support of the internal story that we run.

For wine marketing, first impressions are also critical. You really only have one chance to get your message across and tell the world about what you do. You need to take that chance and make the most of it. It’s worth waiting for the right moment to tell everyone your story, and you need to tell it well.

When I taste wine, the first impression is important. Packaging matters. Expectations matter. The prejudice that comes from sighted tasting is important because it influences perceptions, and you can use it to your advantage if you are presenting wine to people. If people expect that this will be a great wine tasting experience before they taste the wine, then it is more likely to be one.

2 Comments on First impressions matter, with people and with wine
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

2 thoughts on “First impressions matter, with people and with wine

  1. Dear Jaimie – Agree whole-heartedly. We take in a lot with all our senses, and on new meetings, our senses are sharper too. My partner instantly registers a person’s aura, which tells her a lot. I get it with wines much of the time, though with more time to look at a wine, I get more detail, which can alter the first impression to some degree. Raymond Chan

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