Some thoughts about perfectionism.
Generally speaking, this is an undesirable trait. There are some people who you would quite like to see perfectionism expressed in: for example, your neurosurgeon, your architect, or the payroll person at work. But perfectionism isn’t easy to live with, and in the long run makes people miserable.
It leads to a binary view of the world. Things have to be exactly right, or they are no good at all. Perfectionists see in black and white, and are continually disappointed by the real world, with its compromises and shades of grey.
Those around them are left to feel like there is something wrong with them; that they have failed to achieve the minimum standard; that they are a source of disappointment.
Like most human traits, perfectionism has a number of roots. I suspect that one root is being badly let down by a significant figure early in life. The perfectionist has a low self image, and doesn’t feel accepted. But, if they are able to turn in a perfect performance, and play by the rules, then deep down they feel that this may be a way for them to earn acceptance. The problem: they become a harsh judge of themselves, and this drives them even further in the direction of perfectionism. Naturally, they expect others to play by these rules as well.
It doesn’t work. The perfectionist feels that if they try hard enough, they can control everything, and in truth they can’t. None of us is in control.
This is where there is a link to wine. If you are making wine, the perfectionist approach is a dangerous one, because it puts you in control. And you can’t control the process, no matter how hard you try. Trying to control winegrowing will invariably lead to disappointing results.
Wine is created by the agroecology of the vineyard, and is steered during the winemaking process. But it is this partnership among organisms that produces the final product, and this is something you join in with, not control.